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Publisher's Summary

Vienna, 1913: Lysander Rief, a young English actor in town seeking psychotherapy for a troubling ailment of a sexual nature, becomes caught up in a feverish affair with a beautiful, enigmatic woman. When she goes to the police to press charges of rape, however, he is stunned, and his few months of passion come to an abrupt end. Only a carefully plotted escape - with the help of two mysterious British diplomats - saves him from trial.

But the frenzied getaway sets off a chain of events that steadily dismantles Lysander's life as he knows it. He returns to a London on the cusp of war, hoping to win back his onetime fiancée and banish from memory his traumatic ordeals abroad, but Vienna haunts him at every turn. The men who helped coordinate his escape recruit him to carry out the brutal murder of a complete stranger. His lover from Vienna shows up nonchalantly at a party, ready to resume their liaison.

Unable to live an ordinary existence, he is plunged into the dangerous theater of wartime intelligence - a world of sex, scandal, and spies, where lines of truth and deception blur with every waking day. Lysander must now discover the key to a secret code that is threatening Britain's safety, and use all his skills to keep this murky world of suspicion and betrayal from invading every corner of his life.

Moving from Vienna to London's West End, from the battlefields of France to hotel rooms in Geneva, Waiting for Sunrise is a mesmerizing journey into the human psyche, a beautifully observed portrait of wartime Europe, a plot-twisting thriller, and a literary tour de force.

©2012 William Boyd (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers

What listeners say about Waiting for Sunrise

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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No need to wait.

You go to William Boyd for a sophisticated British/European mystery-thriller and Boyd delivers again, here, as in Restless. Boyd is interested in motivation and intention, but the plot never bogs down in introspection. This is a classy mystery thriller with insight into British and European life and thought circa World War I.

9 people found this helpful

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Good Historical Wartime Mystery

I have only recently discovered author William Boyd, and am now very much enjoying listening to all of his novels. If you are looking for a novelist who combines masterful plotting with excellent writing skills, you have found him. “Waiting for Sunrise” provides a good example of his work. I do agree with the other reviewers who complained about the ending of “Waiting for Sunrise” “leaving things hanging”: The story does feel a bit unresolved at the end. However, I think that, in defense of Mr. Boyd — and with apologies to spoiler-haters — the seemingly nebulous ending of this story might, in fact, be imputing a concealment maneuver to our protagonist, Lysander Rief: I think that he is concealing his own mother’s culpability for the treason around which this plot develops. See what you think ….

I have another reason for not having given “Waiting for Sunrise” five stars across the board. This reason will probably mean more to women listeners than to men. Early in the story, protagonist Lysander Rief is consulting with a psychoanalyst regarding his problem “of a delicate nature”: anorgasmia (his inability to have orgasms). “Extraordinary!” exclaims the psychoanalyst. “Anorgasmia — You’re the first I’ve seen!” Apparently this psychoanalyst has not had any female clients (although we encounter one in the analyst’s waiting room … hmmm …). Later on in the novel, after Lysander Rief has been “cured,” we get to hear all about his complete satisfaction … but nothing of his partner’s satisfaction. Feminists, beware — this oversight might annoy you. Author Boyd, take notice, for future novels!

Narrator Robert Ian Mackenzie treats us to spot-on characterizations via his superb command of voices and accents. I recommend “Waiting for Sunrise” to all listeners who appreciate historical fiction and realistic thrillers … with the feminist proviso stated above. Squeamish listeners (like me) need not worry: Even though “Waiting for Sunrise” takes place during the First World War, Boyd keeps graphic depictions of that war’s horrors to an absolute minimum, while still providing us with a credible sense of the times.

7 people found this helpful

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  • C
  • 02-19-13

No going wrong with Boyd

I find that Boyd's books are especially suitable for listening because he writes the books like someone sitting down and telling you a story. I would have given it 5 stars but I think that he ended it a little abruptly and left some things hanging

3 people found this helpful

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Waiting for Closure

I'm a great fan of William Boyd's books. That being said, I'm not a fan of this one. It's one thing for a mysterious book to leave things unanswered. It's another to just have a story that doesn't add up and seems to have contrivances to cover up the loose ends.

It's not a miserable read but for me it is a disappointing one - I look for Boyd to deliver first a first rate read.

3 people found this helpful

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Excelent story and narrator

One of the best audiobooks I had. Engaging story and superb interpretation. The speaker is fantastic!

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Good Narration and Interesting Story

This is my first William Boyd novel and I was a little hesitant due to it having a male narrator, but the narration by Robert Ian McKenzie was superb. The story has many twists and turns and a wide variety of characters. The narrator moved from one character voice to another with ease and the story kept me engaged until the very end. I would recommend it!

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Entertaining narration

Engaging and entertaining novel and Audible performance. I enjoyed the story. The plot was well conceived and executed. It was hard to put down. I read deep into the night. Worth the time.

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Very disappointing

The best thing about this book was Ian Mackenzie's performance. The story is a mishmash; pseudo psychological tripe, poor travelogue, and unexciting spy whodunit. Mr. Boyd has a considerable following. This effort does not induce me to try another of his novels. I cannot recommend this book.

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I'm sure its not bad but too much sex

EVERYTHING IS ABOUT SEX ADDICTION which is fine for the story line but way too much for me. Try it out if you don't mind sexual centric books.

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loved it

I really liked this book. The narrator was great - I will look for him again. I have listened to another book by this author that was fantastic, Any Human Heart.