Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd

70%

32 Critic Reviews

A classy entertainment from the British virtuoso... Boyd’s latest has the irresistible charm of a vintage car that’s still eminently roadworthy. And it’s great fun.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

From one of our most celebrated and imaginative writers comes a spellbinding novel about deception, betrayal, psychoanalysis, and the mysteries of the human heart. William Boyd follows his critically acclaimed novels A Good Man in Africa, Brazzaville Beach, and Ordinary Thunderstorms with a razor-sharp, incandescent thriller in Waiting for Sunrise. A provocative exploration of the line between consciousness and reality is nested within a tense, rollercoaster plotline following as a young English actor ensnared in a bewildering scandal with an enigmatic woman in early twentieth-century Vienna. Sophisticated, page-turning, and unforgettable, Boyd’s Waiting for Sunrise is a triumph of literary fiction from one of the most powerful, thought-provoking writers working today.
 

About William Boyd

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William Boyd's first novel, A Good Man in Africa, won a Whitbread Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award; his second, An Ice-Cream War, was awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Brazzaville Beach won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; and The Blue Afternoon won the Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction. Boyd lives in London.
 
Published April 17, 2012 by Harper. 384 pages
Genres: Action & Adventure, War, Romance, History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Waiting for Sunrise
All: 32 | Positive: 22 | Negative: 10

Kirkus

Excellent
Feb 20 2012

A classy entertainment from the British virtuoso... Boyd’s latest has the irresistible charm of a vintage car that’s still eminently roadworthy. And it’s great fun.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Steven Poole on Feb 17 2012

Despite efforts to tie them together by means of recurring characters, the parts do not feel interdependent, and none is developed enough to be compelling on its own. The language doesn't help.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by George Walden on Feb 16 2012

we sense that Boyd is not entirely master of his material, in the sense that the meandering plot seems to have taken charge of the author, rather than vice versa.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Liesl Schillinger on May 04 2012

...beguiling, suspenseful book...The loosening of social mores over the intervening century has granted Boyd the liberty of injecting more overt sexuality into the clinches...

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Jan 16 2012

With its adroit plot twists and themes of deception and betrayal, this is an absorbing spy novel that raises provocative questions.

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Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Leslie Wright on Apr 09 2012

Full of historical fact and fiction, Waiting for Sunrise is a thriller that keeps you guessing. The insight and thought put into the characterization of the characters makes you feel as though you know them.

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NPR

Below average
Reviewed by Aengus Woods on Apr 18 2012

...on this occasion, elaborate plots, Freudian subtexts and creaky mechanics have overwhelmed the more subtle and elemental task of good novel writing.

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Book Reporter

Excellent
Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg on May 25 2012

He succeeds on every level here and leaves us looking forward to more of his savvy, satisfying fiction.

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Nancy Wigston on May 05 2012

No one writes about the derailed life better than British novelist William Boyd.

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Toronto Star

Excellent
Reviewed by Nancy Wigson on May 05 2012

no one writes about the derailed life better than British novelist William Boyd

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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by Giles Blunt on Apr 20 2012

It’s difficult to convey the pleasures of this novel – so rich with surprises and reversals, so rife with false friends and treacherous “saviours” – without spoiling them... a terrific yarn, but it’s also a complex work full of telling detail and rich in allusions literary, mythical and psychological.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Stephen Amidon on Apr 16 2012

Boyd’s prose is often radiant, yet it is a brilliance that serves to illuminate his story... And Boyd’s characters are as beguiling as his prose... The characters spy, lie, betray and kill, and yet never manage to lose their charm.

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Keith Miller on Feb 17 2012

a gripping story... solid craftsmanship. The sense of place is remarkable

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Adam O'Riordan on Feb 10 2012

Waiting for Sunrise proves that rarest of beasts: a tantalizingly experimental work that is also an immensely satisfying page-turner.

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The Independent

Good
Reviewed by Christian House on Feb 12 2012

The latter half of the novel, firmly fixed in the ploys and feints of Britain's fledgling intelligence service, is perhaps less colourful, but remains plotted with sniper precision.

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The Independent

Excellent
Reviewed by John Walsh on Feb 03 2012

Boyd guides the reader with a master's hand. It's ages since I read a novel that offers such breathlessly readable narrative enjoyment, such page-by-page storytelling confidence and solidity. Boyd has a positive genius for pace and description.

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Salon

Excellent
Reviewed by Laura Miller on Apr 15 2012

Boyd retrofits a genre full of familiar devices and character types with finer textures and deeper psychology than it typically boasts

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The National

Below average
Reviewed by Anthony Cummins on Mar 16 2012

Waiting for Sunrise is a mess. The problem is not the ludicrous plot...so much as the half-hearted execution... what is harder to accept is how little Boyd bothers to dress up the haphazard encounters on which his tale depends.

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The Seattle Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Upchurch on Apr 22 2012

Intricate plot points... take over character-driven action in the final stretch. But certain wild-card factors... keep things pleasurably unhinged until the end.

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New Zealand Listener

Below average
Reviewed by Steve Walker on Mar 23 2012

Boyd’s problem lies mostly in his ramshackle and hackneyed plot... Disappointing, after the promise of such recent Boyd novels

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Huffington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Jez Fielder on Feb 10 2012

a return to form, and yet it retains a consistent intrigue and a splendidly intricate plot, making the deviation, if it be so deemed, a wholly worthwhile exercise.

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Literary Review

Below average
Reviewed by Adrian Turpin

Waiting for Sunrise moves with suitably Swiss precision. Sometimes it feels almost too frictionless.

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Dabbler

Excellent
Reviewed by Monix on Feb 26 2012

a ripping yarn of intrigue, deception, passion, treason and espionage... an exponent of the almost-lost art of descriptive writing

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Bookmunch

Below average
Reviewed by Valerie O’Riordan on Feb 27 2012

there’s probably a decent spy story in there that’s spoiled by a wooden main character. The love story never gets off the ground... it’s riddled with problems, but if you can overlook some dodgy prose and bad characterisation, it’s a quick enough read.

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Where Pen Meets Paper

Good
Reviewed by Andrew Jacobson on May 15 2012

Experimentally written, the switches in topic, tone, and even narrative mode don’t deter from the readability of the novel, but rather enhance it.

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Literary Corner Cafe Blog

Good
Apr 16 2012

Boyd comes through with a complex and intricately plotted novel, and Lysander, confronted by both his own personal truth and by the limits of his own mortality, is a very different man than he was at the book’s beginning.

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Bite the Book

Good
Reviewed by Jon Page on Jan 20 2012

WAITING FOR SUNRISE is William Boyd at the top of his game. If you loved RESTLESS or ANY HUMAN HEART you are in for a treat.

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The Year in Books

Below average
Reviewed by Nancy O. on Jun 12 2012

readers might be put off by the sometimes-meandering action or the pointless sidelines... if you're looking for a straight-up, full-on novel of high espionage, this really isn't it

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Book Group of One

Below average
Reviewed by Carol Wallace on Jun 04 2012

despite Boyd’s professionalism, despite a structure that included Lysander’s autobiographical jottings... this protagonist feels hollow.

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A Book A Week Blog

Good
Jun 04 2012

I liked this spin on the “jaded spy” character who gains the upper hand over his puppetmasters... And I always love it when help comes from unexpected quarters

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Dog Ear Discs

Good
Feb 26 2012

a gripping piece of wartime fiction that throws in plenty of emotion and sex into the mix. William Boyd is a treat to read as his skills explode from the page... Definitely one to read.

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Head Butler

Below average
Reviewed by Jesse Kornbluth on Apr 23 2012

The last third of the book is either too brilliantly plotted for a tool like me or it’s a bit more complex than it needs to be.

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Reader Rating for Waiting for Sunrise
66%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 272 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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