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The Secret Speech (Anglais) Broché – 30 juin 2011

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

His first novel, Child 44, appeared on last year's Booker longlist. Worked his magic again with The Secret Speech this year' LONDON'S BEST YOUNG WRITER'S, Evening Standard 30/4
'An epic journey across the blasted Siberian landscape to the dreaded Gulag 57. As with Child 44, Smith's historiography is exact and his early career as a scriptwriter shows in his feel for the necessary rhythms of plot. The feints, bluggs and reveals keep it all rattling along' The Herald, 25/4
'The follow-up to smash-hit Child 44 is also set in post-war Russia and follows investigator Leo Demidov from that book as he attempts to protect his family from someone with a grudge against him. VERDICT: As good as Child 44 *****' Heat 16/5
'This second outing for the conflicted former Soviet law enforcer Leo Demidov shows that the proposed trilogy of novels will be something special…. Smith has spoken of his admiration for Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim, in which the protagonist has to atone for collusion with evil. That book is a template for Leo's ordeal in The Secret Speech, and if the comparison seems grandiose, one has to admire Smith's ambition. The moral conflicts just about keep pace with the tension in a narrative packed with a dizzying mass of incident' Barry Forshaw, Independent 13/5
'The central Leo-Fraera-Zoya triangle, interdependent though enemies, is brilliantly conceived and the scenes featuring them are invariably vivid'
Sunday Times 8/6
'Riots, plane crashes and a steadily building body count make this one very packed and chilly ride' Book of the Week, Mirror 10/4
'Violent actions follow relentlessly on every page. This is a tragic portrait of Russia's brutality. The novel is good, and it's good for you too - educational and informative. But you need a strong stomach for it' Literary Review April issue
'Following his debut child 44, The Secret Speech follows former war hero Leo Demidov and his family as they try to survive the collapse of society in post-Stalinist Russia. A powerful page-turner' GQ, May issue
‘A relentless cold-war thriller set during Stalin’s dying days, Child 44 focused on the efforts of officer Leo Demidov to track down a serial killer despite a state ideologically insistent that crime couldn’t exist in a utopian society. Avowedly commercial, feverishly executed and soaked in the violent paranoia of Soviet Russia, it won readers acclaim and a place on the Booker longlist…he’s just published the follow-up, The Secret Speech. Stalin is dead, Krushchev is in power and Leo and his wife Raisa are struggling to bring up the two orphaned girls they adopted at the end of Child 44. Krushchev’s reform and rapprochement policies provided Smith with a ready-made historical backdrop for examining ideas of guilt and repercussions’ Interview, Metro 9/4
‘In a market saturated by production-line thrillers, Child 44 stood out like Hannibal Lecter at a serial killers’ convention. . . its sequel maintains the momentum . .. If it’s thrills you are after, this book delivers. It’s a great piledriver of a read’ Charlie Higson, Guardian 4/5
‘Tom Rob Smith is patently a talented writer with a rich and complex period to explore’ Louise France, Observer 5/5
‘As a study of betrayal at every level The Secret Speech is masterly. It brilliantly portrays a society stripped of every element of love, trust and respect; compassion is a weakness to be exploited and denunciation is accepted with resignation…Read this and shiver’ Sunday Telegraph 5/5
‘This is a fast-paced…action thriller set in an exciting period’ Peter Millar, The Times 28/3
'Smith paints a chilling picture of post-Stalinist Russia, and never lets the pace flag as Demidov tries to save his family from foes out for vengeance' TheLondonPaper 7/4
“Remarkable... In Smith’s hands [the] scenes attain a pulse of exhilaration worthy of Dickens by way of Conrad…a broadening of moral scope and thematic richness…rendered with passionate and indelible precision.” Dennis Lehane
‘Former secret police officer Leo Dormidov goes from hunter to hunted. He knows what to do to save his family, but is it possible? Ace’ The Sun 12/3

Présentation de l'éditeur

The Soviet Union 1956: after Stalin's death, a violent regime is beginning to fracture. Stalin's successor Khrushchev pledges reform. But there are forces at work that are unable to forgive or forget the past.
Leo Demidov, former MGB officer, is facing his own turmoil. His adopted daughters have yet to forgive him for his part in the brutal murder of their parents. They are not alone. Leo, his wife, and their family are in grave danger from someone with a grudge. Someone transformed beyond recognition into the perfect model of vengeance. Leo's desperate mission to save his family will take him from the harsh Siberian Gulags, to the depths of the criminal underworld, to the centre of the Hungarian uprising - and into a hell where redemption is as brittle as glass.

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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 496 pages
  • Editeur : Simon & Schuster; Édition : EXPORT ONLY REISSUE (30 juin 2011)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1849834865
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849834865
  • Dimensions du produit: 11,3 x 3,4 x 17,8 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 39.176 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Jennifer Boulard le 28 mars 2010
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Une fois de plus, Tom Rob Smith tient son lecteur en haleine à travers son personnage désormais célèbre, Léo, dont "THe Secret Speech" explore le passé d'agent du NKVD. Poursuivis, lui et ses anciens "camarades", par un mystérieux vengeur, Leo mène une enquête qui le portera jusqu'en Kolyma, contrée sibérienne d'où les prisonniers des goulags ne reviennent jamais.
Excellent thriller, "The Secret Speech", malgré quelques micro longueurs,ne déçoit que peu. Difficile de le lâcher!
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Thibaut le 16 février 2013
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Excellente suite au premier roman "Enfant 44"; on retrouve les principaux personnages dans une histoire de vengeances et de rédemptions dans l'ère post-Stalienne. L'auteur décrit avec beaucoup de psychologie l'évolution des personnages dans un contexte historique parfaitement intégré à son scénario. Incroyablement captivant, il est difficile de lâcher ce livre.
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66 internautes sur 69 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4 1/2 Stars -- A Very Strong Follow-Up To Child 44! 19 mai 2009
Par Bobbewig - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Let me start off by saying that The Secret Speech is not quite as good as Child 44 -- BUT it is a very good historical thriller and definitely well worth reading. Tom Rob Smith's second novel takes places in 1956, post-Stalin Soviet Union. During this time a violent regime is beginning to come apart, resulting in a society where the police are the criminals and the criminals are the innocent. The "firecracker" during this period is when a secret document based on a speech by Stalin's successor, Nikita Khrushchev, is distributed throughout the nation. The basic theme of Khrushchev's message is that Stalin was a murderer and a tyrant, and that life in the Soviet Union will improve. The plot of The Secret Speech moves from the streets of Moscow during its political upheaval, to the Siberian gulags and to the heart of the Hungarian uprising in Budapest. Central to the plot is former state security officer, Leo Demidov, the hero of Smith's Child 44. Demidov is now the head of Moscow's homicide department, and while striving to see justice done, his life is in turmoil due to trying to build a life with his wife, Raisa, and their adopted daughters who have yet to forgive him for his role in the death of their parents. On top of this personal turmoil, Demidov and his family are in serious danger from someone with a grudge against him. The Secret Speech is an exciting, visceral, well-written page-turner from beginning to end that paints a vivid picture of the post-Stalinist Soviet Union at its onset. Further, as was also true in Child 44, Smith's characters are richly developed and are ones that this reader felt he got to know well. I should point out that The Secret Speech isn't flawless, although none of these flaws are major. Perhaps, the biggest of these minor flaws is that some of the plot developments are somewhat too coincidental and a bit far-fetched. But this book is fiction, after all, and these minor flaws do help to contribute to the book's excitement. In addition, I should point out that potential readers of The Secret Speech would highly benefit from reading Child 44 first. Enjoy!
22 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
"To know how to wait is the great secret of success." Joseph De Maistre 24 avril 2010
Par michael a. draper - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
With Stalin's death in the mid '50s, the iron fisted regime in the Soviet Union was beginning to breakup. The ruthless KGB were now thought to be extremists and criminals while former criminals were currently considered oppressed and innocent. During this time, Stalin's successor, Khrushchev, distributes a secret speech claiming that Stalin was a tryant and Russia was going to change.

Before that change took place, Leo Demidov, pretended to be a follower of a man named Lazar and was also the lover of Lazar's wife, Anisya. When the time came, Leo betrayed Lazar and Anisya, forcing them to inform on many of their followers. Lazar and Anisya were sent to prison.

With the lessening of the harsh treatment of dissidents, Anisya is released. She has become a hardened criminal and takes on the gang name, Fraera. Her one mission in life is to gain revenge on Leo not only for his betrayal of her husband but for his dishonesty about loving her. Her gang kidnaps Leo's adopted daughter and she tells Leo that unless he can free her husband, she will kill Leo's daughter, Zoya.

The story moves to the Gulag where prisoners are still treated harshly and we read of Leo's plan to free Lazar. The description of how this is carried out is a scene that will remain in the reader's mind.

With an excellent sense of history and drama, the story unfolds, providing the reader with an enlightened view of the intrigue and deception in Russia and in Hungary in the mid 1950's.

Although, not quite up to the excellence of the author's first novel, "Child 44," this is still an excellent historical mystery. Leo Demidov is a well portrayed character who wins the reader's heart with his love of family and sense of justice.
35 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Not quite as silly as some other best sellers... 9 mars 2009
Par Steve Benner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Tom Rob Smith's second novel, "The Secret Speech", is an action-packed thriller set in the Soviet Bloc at the start of its post-Stalinist era. Rather than provide a run-of-the-mill East-versus-West spy story, however, Smith has chosen to use the de-Stalinisation programme of the early Khrushchev years and the events of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 as a setting for an exciting and engaging action drama. The main protagonist, Leo Demidov, is a former MGB (secret police) agent who, while attempting to atone for his earlier life and his role in the Stalinist purges, and also to provide a normal family home for his wife and two adopted daughters -- children orphaned as a result of his own earlier denunciation of their parents -- suddenly finds himself at the centre of a brutal and far-reaching back-lash against former Stalinist supporters.

The action flows across the pages in a fast and furious fashion with never a dull moment, as Leo battles against both the odds and the system -- reminiscent sometimes of a Russian Jack Bauer -- to preserve the State and to protect both himself and his family from the villains of the piece. As a lively and engaging read, Smith cannot really be faulted, unless it is perhaps that he packs in rather too much action and adversity for the hero to face, with there being altogether too many close calls than are necessary to make a good story. After a while, the rhythm of crisis/progress/setback/success becomes so endlessly sustained as to become somewhat predictable, with many a cliché along the way. Hollywood will love it.

For me, the book's biggest failings are Smith's complete inability to present a credible picture of the austerity of Soviet life of those times, or to evoke any of the atmosphere of fear and paranoia which permeated all lives behind the Iron Curtain throughout the Cold War -- factors which would have rendered both the premise and the details of this story entirely implausible. Smith's USSR bears more resemblance to a Soviet Union under Gorbachev's Perestroika than that under Khrushchev. Try Gillian Slovo's "Ice Road" if you want to see how much better this could have been handled.

In addition, Smith's plot line is often unnecessarily wayward and feels to be unnaturally contorted by a design intended to string together certain set dramatic scenes, more than to serve any greater over-riding story arc, coupled with a lack of focus as to where the human drama really lies. The closing chapters depicting events in Budapest in October and November 1956, for instance, read like dramatised re-tellings of old newsreel footage; as if such were the inspiration for the story as a whole, with the back-story being bolted on simply to get us to this concluding set of scenes.

For those who care not one jot about the historical accuracy of their novels and who like the action to be thick and furious, this book is sufficiently well written to keep one entertained over a long-haul flight, or engrossed through several long evenings with nothing better to do. Lots of the book is somewhat silly, but no more so than, say, "The Da Vinci Code". The author does need a lesson or two about the physics of aircraft and flying, though, and could really do to learn to rein back his need for a new crisis every ten minutes but apart from these lapses, he sure can write a good read!
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Stand-in for Cruz Smith and Kaminsky 18 juin 2009
Par Dave Schwinghammer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Stuart Kaminsky's Porfiry Rostnikov series seems to have been retired, and Martin Cruz Smith isn't very prolific, so I'm always on the lookout for another Russian mystery series that lives up to the other two. CHILD 44 by Tom Rob Smith certainly fit the bill. THE SECRET SPEECH is Tom Rob Smith's second effort starring former secret police operative and homicide cop Leo Demidov.

THE SECRET SPEECH gets its name from a speech that Khrushchev circulated after the death of Stalin, denouncing his inhumane treatment of Russian citizens. Someone else is murdering former MGB operatives and Leo Demidov sets out to find out who's behind it. Meanwhile his adopted daughter, Zoya, is kidnapped. Zoya still blames Leo for the death of her parents and that becomes a plot line as Leo strives to earn her love. The plot takes us from Moscow, to the gulags in the Kolyma and from there to the 1956 uprising in Budapest.

THE SECRET SPEECH is not as good as CHILD 44; I imagine because Smith had so much to work with in the previous novel, based on a real-life Russian serial killer who targeted children. Smith also puts the reader through some annoying twists and gyrations. Somebody dies only to come back to life a few pages later. There's also a scene toward the end regarding a musician that I could not figure out without rereading the book. A little hint would've helped.

There does seem to be a very apt theme running through the book, however. Reform can often lead to unintended complications. Baby steps is sometimes a better option.

THE SECRET SPEECH is okay as an alternative to Cruz Smith or Kaminsky, but CITY OF THIEVES by David Benioff might be a better option. It's almost as good as GORKY PARK.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great follow-up to Child 44 3 avril 2010
Par Kathy Kaiser - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I don't understand the reviewers who think Smith's second book is subpar. On the contrary, The Secret Speech is just as riveting as Child 44. There is just as much action in this sophmore effort, just as much in-depth character study, and as much well-researched historical detail and perspective as his debut novel. Smith has a winning formula and will hopefully stick with his main characters for his next book. I find Leo to be a superb action hero. He has a core of moral goodness and never-ending supply of stamina to endure the physical discomfort and pain to which he is regularly subjected. I loved it. It's like watching a Bourne movie but with the added depth of historical setting. I found Leo's superhuman capacity to endure injury wonderfully exciting and heart-poundingly fun. Raisa is also perfectly drawn: a woman who is slowly learning to trust, a quiet but strong heroine whose love is starting to solidify and grow for Leo. That relationship is also intriguing. Smith leaves us not quite satisfied, wanting more, eager for another story about these two well-drawn characters (as well as their "daughters") and their existence in this harrowing time in history. I'll buy any book he writes from now on. I've become a huge fan.
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