Waiting for Sunrise

Waiting for Sunrise Vienna It is a fine day in August when Lysander Rief a young English actor walks through the city to his first appointment with the eminent psychiatrist Dr Bensimon Sitting in the waiting room

Vienna 1913 It is a fine day in August when Lysander Rief, a young English actor, walks through the city to his first appointment with the eminent psychiatrist, Dr Bensimon Sitting in the waiting room he is anxiously pondering the nature of his problem when an extraordinary woman enters She is clearly in distress, but Lysander is immediately drawn to her strange, hazeVienna 1913 It is a fine day in August when Lysander Rief, a young English actor, walks through the city to his first appointment with the eminent psychiatrist, Dr Bensimon Sitting in the waiting room he is anxiously pondering the nature of his problem when an extraordinary woman enters She is clearly in distress, but Lysander is immediately drawn to her strange, hazel eyes and her unusual, intense beauty.Later the same day they meet again, and a composed Hettie Bull introduces herself as an artist and sculptor, and invites Lysander to a party hosted by her lover, the famous painter Udo Hoff Compelled to attend and unable to resist her electric charm, they begin a passionate love affair Life in Vienna becomes tinged with the frisson of excitement for Lysander He meets Sigmund Freud in a caf , begins to write a journal, enjoys secret trysts with Hettie and appears to have been cured.London, 1914 War is stirring, and events in Vienna have caught up with Lysander Unable to live an ordinary life, he is plunged into the dangerous theatre 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 which is threatening Britain s safety, and use all his skills to keep the murky world of suspicion and betrayal from invading every corner of his life.Moving from Vienna to London s west end, the battlefields

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Waiting for Sunrise

  1. Note William BoydOf Scottish descent, Boyd was born in Accra, Ghana on 7th March, 1952 and spent much of his early life there and in Nigeria where his mother was a teacher and his father, a doctor Boyd was in Nigeria during the Biafran War, the brutal secessionist conflict which ran from 1967 to 1970 and it had a profound effect on him.At the age of nine years he attended Gordonstoun school, in Moray, Scotland and then Nice University Diploma of French Studies and Glasgow University MA Hons in English and Philosophy , where he edited the Glasgow University Guardian He then moved to Jesus College, Oxford in 1975 and completed a PhD thesis on Shelley For a brief period he worked at the New Statesman magazine as a TV critic, then he returned to Oxford as an English lecturer teaching the contemporary novel at St Hilda s College 1980 83 It was while he was here that his first novel, A Good Man in Africa 1981 , was published.Boyd spent eight years in academia, during which time his first film, Good and Bad at Games, was made When he was offered a college lecturership, which would mean spending time teaching, he was forced to choose between teaching and writing.Boyd was selected in 1983 as one of the 20 Best of Young British Novelists in a promotion run by Granta magazine and the Book Marketing Council He also became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in the same year, and is also an Officier de l Ordre des Arts et des Lettres He has been presented with honorary doctorates in literature from the universities of St Andrews, Stirling and Glasgow He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005.Boyd has been with his wife Susan since they met as students at Glasgow University and all his books are dedicated to her His wife is editor at large of Harper s Bazaar magazine, and they currently spend about thirty to forty days a year in the US He and his wife have a house in Chelsea, West London but spend most of the year at their chateau in Bergerac in south west France, where Boyd produces award winning wines.

602 Reply to “Waiting for Sunrise”

  1. In my younger and vulnerable years, William Boyd gave me some advice I ve been I ve been turning over in my mind ever since .Well, actually, what happened was that I wrote to him after having read An Ice Cream War and told him how much I enjoyed his writing and that it reminded me of E.M Forster I also asked if he would agree to read some of my own work He did agree which was particularly nice of him and he even replied with a few kind words of encouragement He told me to keep writing In my you [...]

  2. Rief is that Scottish Old English It means thorough , some say And I ve also been told it s Anglo Saxon dialect for wolf All very confusing A thorough wolf Wolfishly thorough What about the Ulrich Are you part German My mother is Austrian Lysander Ulrich Rief is a young man who visits Vienna in the year 1914, hoping one of Dr Freud s followers, a British psychologist named Bensimon, can find a cure for his inner demons In between talking about his dreams and his repressed memories, Lysander is g [...]

  3. It is no accident that William Boyd names his key character Lysander the name of the iconic lover of Shakespeare s A Midsummer Night s Dream, and the victim of misapplied magic.Lysander Rief is a British actor of some renown on the world stage of life, as the rumblings of World War I become and pronounced We meet him in Vienna where he is taking the talking cure with a disciple of Sigmund Freud s as a result of a personal problem While in his psychotherapist s antechamber, he meets up with two [...]

  4. Oh dear, all a bit disappointing in the end One of those books which for most of its length threatens to be clever and brilliant but ultimately fails to deliver the goods It s a decent enough read while it goes on, with well observed characters and a clear sense of place and time, but its one of those high wire act thrillers that needs to deliver on the ingenuousness it constantly implies if it is going to pull it off, and it simply fails to do it.I don t mind a bit of ambiguity and I get all th [...]

  5. Intriguing Boyd sets up the Bergsonian idea of the Fonction Fabulatrice so very thoroughly, our protagonist is an actor and a confirmed liar, so how much are we to trust his version of events I have no idea It all sounds plausible, coherent, but there are some rather odd elements I think a re read might be in order.Done I get it now I was reading it all the wrong way, overthinking it Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and a thriller is just a thriller, and not a po mo deconstruction of the narrat [...]

  6. I hate to do this I have long been an admirer of William Boyd s stuff, but this book was one I had to force myself through, often finding myself skimming The main character, Lysander Rief, struck me as being all over the place I often found myself drawn up to ponder why on earth would he do that or say this I suppose part of that is because little personality shines through that isn t self obsessed and obnoxious A sexual predator with little love for women, Rief is half Austrian but not interred [...]

  7. Where s the Sun The main character in Waiting for Sunrise , Lysander, is an actor He s in his late twenties and decides to go to Vienna in 1913 to be psychoanalyzed in order to hopefully cure a sexual malady Throughout the book there are references to plays, mostly by Shakespeare but notably one by Strindberg called Miss Julie however since it takes place on Midsummer s Night it evokes Shakespeare as well Measure for Measure is the most often mentioned but Hamlet and Lear come up as well This le [...]

  8. The first book I ve read by this author I had another on hold and saw this meanwhile.Sunrise is well, imagine John Buchan s The 39 Steps with sex And what ludicrously un Edwardian sex it is too Beautiful women fling themselves at Hannay s alter ego the half Austrian, Lysander Rief in what can only be described as 1960 s style romps Reif, meet Bond James Bond This is basically knees bent running around intrigue, and with dialogue that is imaginatively appropriate for the era the years from 1913 t [...]

  9. It is a clear and dazzling summer s day in Vienna You are standing in a skewed pentangle of lemony sunshine at the sharp corner of Augustiner Strasse and Augustinerbastei, across from the opera house, indolently watching the world pass by you, waiting for someone or something to catch and hold your attention, to generate a tremor of interest There s a curious frisson in the city s atmosphere today, almost spring like, though spring is long gone, but you recognize that slight vernal restlessness [...]

  10. I like William Boyd and this was enjoyable, although not outstanding It s what you expect, WWI setting, London, Vienna, intrigue, love and passion I think there s actually a decent conspiracy drama in here I m not entirely sure because at some point I couldn t follow it any I got a little lost at which things were supposed to be coincidences that later turn out to be clues in the conspiracy, and which things were supposed to be plain old coincidences I think there s a little snicker there, becau [...]

  11. When I write an honest review of a book I disliked, it often generates endless comments, mostly from people who want to argue with me The net effect being that a book I didn t want to waste time on ends up stealing even of my time as I try to respond to comments months and even years later SOI thought this book stank, and that s all I m sayin.

  12. A quite enjoyable book on espionage during World War I.4 Restless3 Armadillo2 Solo3 A Haunting4 Sweet Caress4 Waiting for SunriseTR Any Human HeartTR An Ice Cream WarTR The New Confessions

  13. All a bit bloodless With such a giant glut of historical fiction out there at the moment, my first thought was here we go again Pat Barker s done it, Sebastian Faulks has done it, Alan Hollinghurst s just done it The main issue though was that I just didn t believe in the main character, Lysander He felt shallow and rushed His war was barely a daytrip, almost as if Boyd looks over the parapet and decides it s best to avoid throwing himself into that quagmire He then finds himself appointed spy h [...]

  14. I don t usually want my pots boiled but when I do, I like Mr Boyd to do the boiling He s erudite, can raise the temperature at times, and knows how to keep things hidden That said, there were moments when he strained credulity view spoiler Guy has a four month affair with a married woman Filthy sex, many locales She realizes she is four months pregnant and she and her husband have him arrested for rape His lawyer finds all the overwhelming evidence of consent hotel bills, witness testimony and i [...]

  15. I like William Boyd a lot, but I didn t like this Young, middle ranking English actor shows up in 1913 Vienna to consult an English shrink to help him with his inability to achieve orgasm Shrink helps Young actor, Lysander Rief, then has steamy affair with very neurotic young artist, who accuses him of rape to protect herself when her volatile partner finds out about their affair Rief escapes because he is a master of disguise Of course he is He s an actor.His skills have been noted and apprecia [...]

  16. I have loved every William Boyd book that I ve read to date, except this one It s hard for me to believe that Waiting for Sunrise was written by the same author The story hardly hangs together Secondary characters seem to pop up out of nowhere, the reasons given being unbelievable worse, they don t add a thing to the flimsy storyline The only positive thing I can say is that I liked the main character What a disappointment.

  17. Like Boyd s other recent and highly successful novels, Waiting For Sunrise is the story of a relatively ordinary individual caught up in extraordinary events Opening in Vienna in nineteen fifteen, it begins with Lysander Rief, a not overly successful English actor, sitting in the consulting room of Dr Bensimon, a psycho analyst, to whom he has come for help with sexual problems that originate in a childhood burdened with confusion and deception.A chance acquaintance with Hetty, a young Englishwo [...]

  18. This spy novel was a pleasant surprise Waiting for Sunrise takes place at the opening of WWI between 1913 and 1915 in Vienna, Geneva, and London It follows a young British actor named Lysander Rief who is wrongly accused of rape in his travels to Vienna to seek treatments for a sexual dysfunction As a result, he flees the country and returns home and enlists in the war effort He is recruited as a spy to locate a mole in the British war office and is caught up in an exciting counter espionage plo [...]

  19. Young, blandly handsome British stage actor Lysander Rief lives in the shadow of his renowned, deceased father, a charismatic, talented actor that died in his prime Lysander travels to Vienna in 1913 to undergo psychoanalysis, which is becoming the rage now that Freud has pioneered the talking cure While there, he engages in a sordid love affair with a seductive, gamine sculptor The consequences propel him toward the most intrepid performance of his life a persona game of guile and espionage, a [...]

  20. Just wanted to make sure Sweet Caress wasn t a one off and gladly it wasn t Boyd is in fact a good writer Alas spy novels aren t particularly my thing, so when, closer to the halfway point, the story veered in that direction, it didn t particularly engage as much as a regular historical novel would, but it was still a very enjoyable read Strongly reminiscent of C.J Sansom s Winter in Madrid An unwitting man theatre actor of all things gets drawn into political and military intrigue, in this case [...]

  21. Too complicated Too unclear It is pretty meaningless to say that life is totally subjective.I like Boyd s language even in this book I like how he creates people that draw your interest and how he throws in history and details about literature and music and tons of other topics too These details are fascinating But a book is also the story that is being told and the message that is being conveyed Both completely failed me in this book You get a very complicated spy story that is impossible to so [...]

  22. Description Vienna 1913 It is a fine day in August when Lysander Rief, a young English actor, walks through the city to his first appointment with the eminent psychiatrist, Dr Bensimon Sitting in the waiting room he is anxiously pondering the nature of his problem when an extraordinary woman enters She is clearly in distress, but Lysander is immediately drawn to her strange, hazel eyes and her unusual, intense beauty.Later the same day they meet again, and a composed Hettie Bull introduces hers [...]

  23. I loved it Absolutely Lysander Rief arrives in Vienna in 1913 to receive psychological help for a sexual problem His closest friend in England had convinced him to try psychoanalysis taking his advice, Lysander took out all of his savings and moved to Austria At his first session with Dr Bensimon, he is advised to keep a journal, which Lysander calls his Autobiographical Investigations, which Bensimon says will hopefully yield a direct insight into Lysander s unconscious mind during the course o [...]

  24. Lysander Reif, actor and hapless lover, is given brief speaking parts in Waiting through the prop of a diary prepared for his Viennese psychoanalyst Otherwise we watch in wonder a laugh behind our smile as this young British pawn in pre WWI Vienna is turned this way and that in canny and knowing hands and is subjected to the voracious appetites of mature personalities Lysander, like the Shakespearean character of that name in A Midsummer s Night s Dream, experiences a magical twist in his affec [...]

  25. Vienna, 1913 Lysander Rief, a young English actor, walks through the city to his first appointment with the eminent psychiatrist Dr Bensimon Sitting in the waiting room he is anxiously pondering the particularly intimate nature of his neurosis when a young woman enters She is clearly in distress, but Lysander is immediately drawn to her intense beauty Back in London, 1914 War is imminent, and events in Vienna have caught up with Lysander in the most damaging way Unable to live an ordinary life, [...]

  26. I enjoyed reading this so much I didn t want it to end Great character in Lysander Rief a young Englishman, a stage actor turned espionage pro, a man who frequently falls for the fairer sex, and is able to put on a disguise that his own mother won t recognize The story begins in Vienna, just prior to WW I, 1914, where Rief is seeking the advice of a psychiatrist to deal with a personal problem After all Vienna is Freud s milieu The doctor he sees is English however and he falls for a woman who i [...]

  27. boyd is a favorite author, but this one misses marks as a bit too scattered, that is the mystery and spy stuff is not as focused as it could be but also there are very interesting bits of pre wwi vienna and england, psychoanalysis and shooting coke, sex and love, gays and their codes in england, wwi and england s spies, food and drink and smoking, the impact of cars, zeppelin attacks on london, being multilingual, art, music and acting and england s administration of the great war and who did wh [...]

  28. I enjoyed William Boyd s Restless and Ordinary Thunderstorms so picked up this one for a bit of escapism I was disappointed Even in escapist reading I want to care about the characters and I didn t Over convoluted to no good purpose I read to the end to see what happened But only because I could do so quickly

  29. Spies and liesWhen young actor Lysander Rief consults an eminent psychiatrist in pre WW1 Vienna about a problem, Dr Bensimon introduces him to the concept of parallelism A technique developed by the good doctor himself, the idea is to identify the event at the root of a problem and then to invent an alternative history of the event, embellishing and repeating it until it feels like a truer memory than the thing that actually happened And this book feels like an exercise in parallelism itself a h [...]

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