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Download Garden of Beasts: A Novel of Berlin 1936 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Garden of Beasts: A Novel of Berlin 1936, by Jeffery Deaver Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,299 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeffery Deaver Narrator: Jefferson Mays Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the most ingenious and provocative thriller yet from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Jeffery Deaver, a conscience-plagued mobster turned government hit man struggles to find his moral compass amid rampant treachery and betrayal in 1936 Berlin.

Paul Schumann, a German American living in New York City in 1936, is a mobster hit man known as much for his brilliant tactics as for taking only “righteous” assignments. But then Paul gets caught, and the arresting officer offers him a stark choice: prison or covert government service. Paul is asked to pose as a journalist covering the summer Olympics taking place in Berlin. He’s to hunt down and kill Reinhard Ernst—the ruthless architect of Hitler’s clandestine rearmament. If successful, Paul will be pardoned and given the financial means to go legit; if he refuses the job, his fate will be Sing Sing and the electric chair.

Paul travels to Germany, takes a room in a boardinghouse near the Tiergarten—the huge park in central Berlin but also, literally, the “Garden of Beasts”—and begins his hunt. In classic Deaver fashion, the next forty-eight hours are a feverish cat-and-mouse chase, as Paul stalks Ernst through Berlin while a dogged Berlin police officer and the entire Third Reich apparatus search frantically for the American.

Garden of Beasts is packed with fascinating period detail and features a cast of perfectly realized locals, Olympic athletes, and senior Nazi officials—some real, some fictional. With hairpin plot twists, the reigning “master of ticking-bomb suspense” (People) plumbs the nerve-jangling paranoia of prewar Berlin and steers the story to a breathtaking and wholly unpredictable ending.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The best psychological thriller writer around.”

    Times (London)

  • “Slick, breathless stuff from a master of suspense in full flight.”

    Guardian (UK)

  • “Teeth-chattering suspense.”

    Daily Mail (UK)

  • “Stunning.”


  • “Deaver’s novel, equal parts noir thriller and historical extrapolation, is a page-turner that offers a twisting visceral experience of the tension in Berlin during that fateful summer. He draws sympathetic portraits of everyday Germans caught between duty to country and their consciences. Into this mix, Deaver drops his coldly dangerous hitman who brawls with brownshirts, chums with Olympic athletes, collaborates with criminals, fraternizes with poets, and discovers the hero inside his hardened soul.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Deaver fans expect the unexpected from this prodigiously talented thriller writer…this time offering a deliciously twisty tale set in Nazi Berlin…bringing to frightening life the Berlin of 1936, a city on the brink of madness. Top Nazis, including Hitler, Himmler and Göring, make colorful cameos, but it’s the smart, shaded-gray characterizations of the principals that anchor the exciting plot. An affecting love affair between Paul and his German landlady goes in surprising directions, as do the main plot lines, which move outside Berlin as heroes become villains and vice versa. This is prime Deaver, which means prime entertainment.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Filling the tale with historical facts skillfully woven into the fiction, Deaver deftly places the characters into the chaos of 1936. American slang, German-language translations, food, and clothing are among the details used to create the setting. Individual characters clearly serve as examples of typical people caught up in the confusion and fear felt by the general population as they witness the rise of Hitler. Fans of action, adventure, or history will enjoy this fast-paced, tightly plotted story.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Although not known for historical fiction, Deaver takes the new genre in stride, subtly and plausibly working real people into the tale while delivering his signature sense of story, depth of characterization, and sharply rendered dialogue. Readers looking for the author’s usual startling plot twists will not be disappointed, either. Deaver’s audience will be pleased with this one, but it will be an equally big hit with fans of such Nazi-era thrillers as Philip Kerr’s Berlin Noir trilogy or Robert Harris’ Fatherland.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2004 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Frank Hughes | 2/13/2014

    " Nice fictional companion to "In the Garden of the Beasts" by Erik Larson, both books complement each other and provide the reader with a better understanding of what life was like in Nazi Germany before World War II. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Lindsay | 2/4/2014

    " AMAZING BOOK! Takes place in Berlin, Nazi/olympic intrigue. Highly reccommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Brian Sison | 2/2/2014

    " Another excellent suspense novel from Deaver. Set in nascent Nazi Germany, this is part Historical fiction, bigger part espionage intrigue. Deaver shows his range in this stark departure from his popular Linlcon Rhyme stories. The story keeps a pretty fast pace while weaving through the everyday life of 1936 Germany, the beginnings of a love interest with a grieving woman, and the politics and bureaucracy of the many departments of the German police/military. As usual for Deaver, this story is filled with enough twists and turns to keep the pages turning. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Duraimurugan | 2/2/2014

    " Admittedly a great read on historical fiction but still lacks Deavers thrills.But it has its fair share of turns and twists and this book will make you guess all along the read.But somethings are absurd like American Olympic Gold medalist Jesse ownes being ridiculed on some scenes with the protagonist.But one thing if I have to tell you better read it to fail your guessing. You cannot predict even a single thing or a twist in this plot.I would like Paul Schumann more if he was portrayed as a more blood thirsty more crook minded and especially more villainous assassin.You cannot simply denounce someone for small mistakes especially when it comes to fiction so I gave 4stars better read this thing then you post your comment. "

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