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Average Rating:(3.6)out of 5 stars
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Most helpful positive review
1 customers found this helpful
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars
Another great book by ...
Another great book by Douglas Kennedy. I always look forward to his books. This one takes place partly in East Germany and Berlin in the time before the wall came down, and partly in the present day. Having lived in West Germany during the time the wall was up, and having visited Berlin since the wall came down I could well identify with some of the images in the book The title is the moment-- what are the moments in our lives when we have to make a quick decision that could change the path of our life and have consequences we cannot forsee. Thomas Nesbiit is a travel writer who has never really known what love is until he comes to Berlin and meets a refugee form the East Petra Dussmann with whom he falls deeply in love. This is during the time when the wall divided the city in two. Years later Thomas in divorced and unhappy and living a very quiet life in Maine with only his daughterr to feel close to. However one day he receives a box in the mail and on opening it his past comes back to haunt him, and he learns the true consequences of the decision he made many years ago in Berlin. Its a great story that I could not put down. We travel the journey with Thomas and Petra and feel for them in their happiness and sorrow. The plot is absorbing with its twists and turns and the descriptions are great, creating the atmosphere of time and place very well. The characters and story will stay with me long after I have read it, the test of a good book.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
Thomas Nesbitt is an A...
Thomas Nesbitt is an American writer, soon to be divorced, when one day a packet from Berlin arrives which bears the name of his former lover, with whom he had an intense but short-lived affair in the 1980s. This is the trigger for much reminiscing on Thomas's part, even before he plucks up the courage to open the package. This has got to be one of the worst books I've read so far in my life: told in the first person, the narrator is irritating in the extreme, smug and self-indulgent, always having other people tell him what a brilliant writer he is. The book with its love story at its core is supposed to be emotionally affecting, yet I never cared for either of the main protagonists; what's more, the book is filled with contradictions, implausibilities and sheer preposterousness and pretentiousness, as well as cultural stereotypes and cliches, not to mention pages of tedious details which I personally find deeply patronising (examples: "I took the bright red cover off my Olivetti and popped up the the V-shaped stays that held the paper upright, then rolled a clean sheet into the typewriter and sat up in my chair, positioning the machine directly in front of me.", "It took just under two hours to retype the revised eight-page essay - which included the time needed to dab correction fluid on the paper and wait for it to dry whenever I made a typo." & "Petra placed the record on the long rod that could house up to four LPs. Then she pressed the requisite lever, the disc dropped down with a decisive thud onto the turntable and the tone arm automatically positioned itself over the edge of the record and lowered itself into the first groove."). The love scenes played out like a man's sexual fantasy, described in the worst kind of slush, and the dialogue between the two lovers, which should be familiar and intimate, only sounds terribly stilted. In short, I gave up just short of halfway through the novel as I couldn't bear the thought of having to waste another week or ten days on it, when I've still got so many good books on the shelf waiting to be read.
Most helpful positive review
1 customers found this helpful
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars
Another great book by ...
Another great book by Douglas Kennedy. I always look forward to his books. This one takes place partly in East Germany and Berlin in the time before the wall came down, and partly in the present day. Having lived in West Germany during the time the wall was up, and having visited Berlin since the wall came down I could well identify with some of the images in the book The title is the moment-- what are the moments in our lives when we have to make a quick decision that could change the path of our life and have consequences we cannot forsee. Thomas Nesbiit is a travel writer who has never really known what love is until he comes to Berlin and meets a refugee form the East Petra Dussmann with whom he falls deeply in love. This is during the time when the wall divided the city in two. Years later Thomas in divorced and unhappy and living a very quiet life in Maine with only his daughterr to feel close to. However one day he receives a box in the mail and on opening it his past comes back to haunt him, and he learns the true consequences of the decision he made many years ago in Berlin. Its a great story that I could not put down. We travel the journey with Thomas and Petra and feel for them in their happiness and sorrow. The plot is absorbing with its twists and turns and the descriptions are great, creating the atmosphere of time and place very well. The characters and story will stay with me long after I have read it, the test of a good book.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
Thomas Nesbitt is an A...
Thomas Nesbitt is an American writer, soon to be divorced, when one day a packet from Berlin arrives which bears the name of his former lover, with whom he had an intense but short-lived affair in the 1980s. This is the trigger for much reminiscing on Thomas's part, even before he plucks up the courage to open the package. This has got to be one of the worst books I've read so far in my life: told in the first person, the narrator is irritating in the extreme, smug and self-indulgent, always having other people tell him what a brilliant writer he is. The book with its love story at its core is supposed to be emotionally affecting, yet I never cared for either of the main protagonists; what's more, the book is filled with contradictions, implausibilities and sheer preposterousness and pretentiousness, as well as cultural stereotypes and cliches, not to mention pages of tedious details which I personally find deeply patronising (examples: "I took the bright red cover off my Olivetti and popped up the the V-shaped stays that held the paper upright, then rolled a clean sheet into the typewriter and sat up in my chair, positioning the machine directly in front of me.", "It took just under two hours to retype the revised eight-page essay - which included the time needed to dab correction fluid on the paper and wait for it to dry whenever I made a typo." & "Petra placed the record on the long rod that could house up to four LPs. Then she pressed the requisite lever, the disc dropped down with a decisive thud onto the turntable and the tone arm automatically positioned itself over the edge of the record and lowered itself into the first groove."). The love scenes played out like a man's sexual fantasy, described in the worst kind of slush, and the dialogue between the two lovers, which should be familiar and intimate, only sounds terribly stilted. In short, I gave up just short of halfway through the novel as I couldn't bear the thought of having to waste another week or ten days on it, when I've still got so many good books on the shelf waiting to be read.
9782714443984
9 reviews
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

This was a remarkable ...

This was a remarkable book. I didn't quite realize how long it was when I started and frankly, I was a little horrified when I actually looked at the last page and saw that it was over 500 pages. For the first 200 pages I wondered why it had been given such good thoughts in the reviews. Yes, definitely readable but I never love books with tons of drinking and I was not sure I liked the main character, Thomas, at ALL. But, I kept on and I'm glad I did. Kennedy includes a ton of details and I wonder what could be cut to make it a little easier to read, lengthwise. The story from Thomas's view and then, from Petra's view---just plain fascinating. There are definitely surprises along the way.

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Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

Another great book by ...

Another great book by Douglas Kennedy. I always look forward to his books. This one takes place partly in East Germany and Berlin in the time before the wall came down, and partly in the present day. Having lived in West Germany during the time the wall was up, and having visited Berlin since the wall came down I could well identify with some of the images in the book The title is the moment-- what are the moments in our lives when we have to make a quick decision that could change the path of our life and have consequences we cannot forsee. Thomas Nesbiit is a travel writer who has never really known what love is until he comes to Berlin and meets a refugee form the East Petra Dussmann with whom he falls deeply in love. This is during the time when the wall divided the city in two. Years later Thomas in divorced and unhappy and living a very quiet life in Maine with only his daughterr to feel close to. However one day he receives a box in the mail and on opening it his past comes back to haunt him, and he learns the true consequences of the decision he made many years ago in Berlin. Its a great story that I could not put down. We travel the journey with Thomas and Petra and feel for them in their happiness and sorrow. The plot is absorbing with its twists and turns and the descriptions are great, creating the atmosphere of time and place very well. The characters and story will stay with me long after I have read it, the test of a good book.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

Douglas Kennedys newe...

Douglas Kennedy's newest novel The Moment defines and spotlights the moments that change our lives. Kennedy grasps the little things that occur in life, that in retrospect, become THE moments that change or define a life. The story is told primarily through Thomas Nesbitt's memories, as he relives his life as a travel writer in 1984 Germany, during the time of the "Berlin wall" and of a woman named Petra Dussmann. I really loved The Moment. Kennedy uses words the way a painter uses paint on a canvas, highlighting the highs and shadowing the lows. For those who don't remember the Cold War time frame, The Moment serves as a brilliant learning opportunity, a chance to see the world as it was, to see the heartbreak of two people divided by a political system that robbed their people of the freedom to live and their freedom to love. Kennedy also clearly uses Nesbitt's remembrances as a way to remind us that even the smallest decision, the smallest moment can haunt us forever. Nesbitt's decisions touch and forever mark the life of another woman and mold the life of his daughter. Forever changed and forever haunted, once Nesbitt receives Petra's box, Nesbitt finally tries to come to terms with his choices at the important moments of his life. This is a book that I'll keep, it's on my book shelf now, and I'll read it again and will surely see something else in it that I missed during the first read. But isn't that the way moments are in retrospect? I give The Moment 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. This galley was provided to me by the publisher and in no way affected my review.

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Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

This is a smart and em...

This is a smart and emotionally affecting novel that grapples with universals: love, loneliness, guilt. The author is unflinchingly honest in depicting a life-changing affair: a perfect example of l'amour fou. He also balances this against what might be called marriages of convenience, how people make decisions that are wise but still violate what they know to be the truth: I'll never love you as much as I loved _____. The book also probes how guilt motivates us. How a child is often the best product of a flawed relationship. The two main characters are wonderful and Kennedy's ability to hook a reader on narrative-driven fiction is quite powerful. The drawback is that this book is overwritten as if Kennedy wanted this work to be his admission ticket to the pantheon of "great writers." It is far too pedantic, and I found myself skimming dozens of preachy pages. Ultimately though, the tale's central affair, and its backdrop of Berlin in the Cold War, as well as the ideologically driven sadism of the East German security apparatus and their culture of informants make The Moment an unforgettable read and one that is highly recommeneded.

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Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

THE MOMENT by Douglas ...

THE MOMENT by Douglas Kennedy is an interesting,touching love story set during present day,2010 and during the Cold War in Berlin. While it moves from past to present it is easy to follow and a story of true love. It has love,danger,friendship,entrapment,entanglement unto spy games,betrayal and emotional turmoil during troubled times. It is about the moments of ones life,the good,the bad,the ugly and the truly wonderful moments. This is an epic love story set of all times during the Cold War of Berlin. The Moment is a wonderful,thought provoking story of the moments that change your life.The moments that define who you are.The moment you fall in love.The moment you know what you want. The moment you lose everything. The moment you may or may not be able to change anything in the moments of your life.This is an extraordinary story of two people's lives and the moments that defined their destinies and their lives forever. This is a great read of love and hurt.This book was received as a giveaway from Simon and Schuster and details can be found at Atria Books,a division of Simon and Schuster,Inc. and My Book Addiction Reviews.

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Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

The majority of the bo...

The majority of the book takes place in the 1980s when Thomas is in Berlin working on a book about the city. It was a very moving, very emotional book. The writing was just stunning. Even if the story doesn't grab your attention immediately, I say give this a shot because the writing is amazing. Like, it's drool worthy. I have some examples coming up. This was also a very depressing read. Like so depressing that I had to keep putting it down. Of course I think that's in part due to the fact that I read it around the holidays, and right after my grandmother's death. So I was feeling super emotional at the time and couldn't always take the depessing things going on in this book. The story I loved. There were parts where it did drag, but then there were those parts where I just could not put the book down. The draggy parts were few and far between and the "I can't put this down to go back to work from my lunch break" parts were often. As for the setting, I LOVED. Kennedy was able to completely capture the feel and the scene of 1980s Berlin. I of course wasn't even around back when the Wall was around, but I felt like I had been in Berlin and experienced it for myself while reading this book. The Wall itself is like its own character. It is always present, always there, and very real. It's hard to explain because I've never really read a book where the author was so able to make a "character" out of an inatimate object. The Wall was so oppressive, and you feel that as you are reading. Of course there's also the world on the other side of the Wall in East Berlin, where the Wall, yes, is keeping out a lot of ideas and materials and whatnot, but it's also creating a close, tight-knit community within its borders. The characters were super awesome. Thomas, for example, is very likeable and I totally felt for him whenever he felt distressed. Yet he's also super annoying at times, which totally works for him because he's a journalist and has that personality. He is constantly asking blantant, straight foward questions, almost like he's interogating someone. But it's who he is. Just curious. Petra, Thomas's love interest, was a very complicated character. Without giving anything away, I still don't really understand why she did some of the things she did. But then I'm not a mother, so.. Without a doubt, my favorite character was Alastair, Thomas's roommate. He is so hilarious, but deep down he is super sensitive underneath his sarcasm. He's also a lot wiser that Thomas originally gives him credit for. I loved this book. I was really routing for a happy ending to Thomas and Petra's love story. Obviously, I knew it wouldn't happen. Because when the book starts, Thomas is married to someone completely different. It was depresssing. The book's title was so fitting. It is filled with "moments"-the moment you meet the love of your life and feel that immediate spark. The moment the relationship ends. Each event is just a little moment in your life, but it is still a very important and life-altering one.

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Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

Not everything I am go...

Not everything I am going to say about this marvelous book, The Moment by Douglas Kennedy is going to be good. This engaging, driven novel should have an exceptional review because the story is that good, however, the review will not be exceptional. Thomas Nesbitt, an American writer, who does travel books, is our narrator. We follow him as he escapes from a bad childhood and as he starts his writing career. He has just successfully published his first book about Egypt when he decides that Berlin will be his next stop. Berlin before the wall came down, Berlin divided; Berlin where he discovers more than historical attractions and Communism. It is in Berlin that he finds the love of his life, Petra Dussman and it is there that he makes another escape this time destroying his life. The Moment is about just that "the moments" of our lives that are important, life changing and brief but are the fibers that create our being. So how could I have something negative to say about such a good book? Simply, it is about 200 pages too long. Truthfully, after 250 pages, I almost just put the book down. Curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to know what happened to the characters that I had come to like. There is nothing more I hate than a book that makes a statement and then repeats it in a thousand different ways. I get it!!!!!! If an author is hoping to make an impression or get a point across, it should be done well the first time. If it isn't; there is no sense in repeating it over and over. It indicates to me that the author isn't confident in their writing skills. A bigger book doesn't guarantee a better book. I haven't read Kennedy before but I understand that his other books are shorter and as powerful as The Moment. Perhaps I will take a moment and read some of these others and in the process find some enjoyable novels.

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Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars

Thomas Nesbitt is an A...

Thomas Nesbitt is an American writer, soon to be divorced, when one day a packet from Berlin arrives which bears the name of his former lover, with whom he had an intense but short-lived affair in the 1980s. This is the trigger for much reminiscing on Thomas's part, even before he plucks up the courage to open the package. This has got to be one of the worst books I've read so far in my life: told in the first person, the narrator is irritating in the extreme, smug and self-indulgent, always having other people tell him what a brilliant writer he is. The book with its love story at its core is supposed to be emotionally affecting, yet I never cared for either of the main protagonists; what's more, the book is filled with contradictions, implausibilities and sheer preposterousness and pretentiousness, as well as cultural stereotypes and cliches, not to mention pages of tedious details which I personally find deeply patronising (examples: "I took the bright red cover off my Olivetti and popped up the the V-shaped stays that held the paper upright, then rolled a clean sheet into the typewriter and sat up in my chair, positioning the machine directly in front of me.", "It took just under two hours to retype the revised eight-page essay - which included the time needed to dab correction fluid on the paper and wait for it to dry whenever I made a typo." & "Petra placed the record on the long rod that could house up to four LPs. Then she pressed the requisite lever, the disc dropped down with a decisive thud onto the turntable and the tone arm automatically positioned itself over the edge of the record and lowered itself into the first groove."). The love scenes played out like a man's sexual fantasy, described in the worst kind of slush, and the dialogue between the two lovers, which should be familiar and intimate, only sounds terribly stilted. In short, I gave up just short of halfway through the novel as I couldn't bear the thought of having to waste another week or ten days on it, when I've still got so many good books on the shelf waiting to be read.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars

I usually love Douglas...

I usually love Douglas Kennedy's books but this one was so disappointing. I just wanted to slap the incredibly irritating narrator and I didn't find the plot at all convincing. The two narrators were supposed to be writing in different styles, for different reasons at different times but there was no discernible difference between them. And it was so pretentious.

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