Munich | Penguin Random House Canada
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Publisher: Random House Canada
Following the success of Conclave comes Robert Harris's new novel, bound for bestseller-dom as he returns to the historical terrain of his best-known book, Fatherland.

September 1938

Hitler is determined to start a war. Chamberlain is desperate to preserve the peace.

The issue is to be decided in a city that will forever afterwards be notorious for what takes place there. Munich.
As Chamberlain’s plane judders across the Channel and the Fürher’s train steams relentlessly south from Berlin, two young men travel with secrets of their own. Hugh Legat is one of Chamberlain’s private secretaries, Paul Hartmann a German diplomat and member of the anti-Hitler resistance. Great friends at Oxford before Hitler came to power, they haven’t seen one another since they were last in Munich together six years earlier. Now, as the future of Europe hangs in the balance, their paths are destined to cross again. 

When the stakes are this high, who are you willing to betray? Your friends, your family, your country or your conscience?


“[A] brilliantly imagined thriller. . . . Harris’s cleverness, judgment and eye for detail are second to none. Because he writes with such apparent effortlessness, it is easy to underestimate his achievement, but his research is so impeccable that he could have cut all the spy stuff and published Munich as a history book. His portrait of Hitler, for instance—lazy, rude, sulking furiously at the German crowds’ enthusiasm for Chamberlain, reeking of sweat like a ‘workman who had not bathed or changed his shirt for a week’—is as good as anything you will find in Ian Kershaw’s definitive biography. The real star, though, is Chamberlain. Indeed, Harris’s treatment of Britain’s most maligned prime minister is so powerful, so persuasive, that it ranks among the most moving fictional portraits of a politician I have ever read.” —The Sunday Times
“Robert Harris is on sure ground in this brilliantly constructed spy novel. . . . [A]gainst the intriguing backdrop of political machinations and brinkmanship is a thriller plot bursting to get out. . . . Harris is brilliant at depicting their world; prewar London, with its anti-aircraft guns, barrage balloons and searchlight batteries, is vivid, cinematic. Munich, too, is horrifyingly imperial, huge swastika banners on every building.” —The Observer
“[G]ripping. . . . A master storyteller, with a forensic eye for detail—who knew that tiny steel swastikas adorned the taps in the lavatory on Hitler’s train?—Harris is a splendid writer. Every sentence is smooth. His beady observations of the main players are a joy.” —The Herald
“We know Chamberlain was not prevented from signing the Munich Agreement, but such is Harris’s storytelling magic that the description of Paul’s mission is never less than riveting. In fact, the novel is unputdownable to the point of being dangerous: the house could have been on fire while I was reading and I wouldn’t have noticed.” —Daily Express (four stars)
“As always, Harris excels in close-focus scenes of history being written—or rather, scrawled, ripped up and redrafted—in a blur of small-hours wrangles, whispered rumours, midnight phone calls, sleepless vigils and cross-town dashes, amid a tobacco fug of fear, panic and confusion. . . . Defying hindsight, Harris generates a galloping sense of excitement and doom. . . . With moral subtlety as well as storytelling skill, Harris makes us regret the better past that never happened—while mournfully accepting the bitter one that did.” —Financial Times
“It takes a historical novelist of the calibre of Robert Harris to make Chamberlain into a more empathetic figure than generally is allowed in the judgment of history. . . . In Munich, Harris meticulously recreates the tense atmosphere of the negotiations. . . . [A] compelling version of fictionalised history. . . . The behind-the-scenes intrigue propels [the] novel. . . . Harris is adept at weaving real and imaginary elements without letting the one unbalance the other.” —The Australian