The Song Before it is Sung

The Song Before it is Sung

3.52 (417 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author) 

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Description

On 20 July l944 Adolf Hitler narrowly escaped death when an assassin's bomb failed to kill him in his Eastern command, the Wolf's Lair. The conspirators were hunted down and hanged from meat-hooks, and their executions were filmed. Among them was Axel von Gottberg. Sixty years after his death, von Gottberg's close friend and now a legendary Oxford professor, Elya Mendel, leaves a legacy of papers and letters to a former student, Conrad Senior. Senior becomes obsessed with what they reveal, but as he becomes more and more involved with the past his own relationship with his wife Francine begins to fall apart. The friendship between Mendel and von Gottberg is fatally undermined by a romantic rivalry when two mysterious cousins, Rosamund and Elizabeth, enter their lives in a richly imagined pre-war Jerusalem. But it is finally destroyed when von Gottberg returns to Germany. Mendel, who is Jewish, believes him to be a Nazi, and alerts the Allies to his doubts about his friend, doubts which torment him after von Gottberg is garrotted. Conrad is desperate to find a film Hitler had made of these appalling executions, for reasons he himself cannot fully understand. The Song Before It Is Sung is a remarkable tapestry of passion, ideas, frailty, courage and humanity, spanning Oxford in the 1930s, pre-war Prussia and contemporary Britain. It is a profound novel that addresses the nature of friendship and what it means to be human, and it is the work of a master novelist.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 160 x 236 x 36mm | 539.78g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • UK ed.
  • 0747583412
  • 9780747583417
  • 846,972

Review quote

'Justin Cartwright is one of our best novelists, but he still feels like a buried treasure.' Allison Pearson, Daily Telegraph Books of the Year 'Cartwright is a beautifully evocative writer; also one who makes you think.' Scotsman 'His characters and their regrets, resentments, hopes and fears are very real, and his talent for spotting a telling detail can be devastating' Independent on Sundayshow more

About Justin Cartwright

Justin Cartwright's novels include the Booker-shortlisted In Every Face I Meet, the Whitbread Novel Award-winner Leading the Cheers and the acclaimed White Lightning, shortlisted for the 2002 Whitbread Novel Award. His previous novel, The Promise of Happiness, won the 2005 Hawthornden Prize. Justin Cartwright was born in South Africa and lives in London.show more

Rating details

417 ratings
3.52 out of 5 stars
5 16% (68)
4 37% (153)
3 35% (146)
2 7% (31)
1 5% (19)
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