I enjoyed this book, but with the mildly guilty feeling that both the writer and myself were wasting our time.
A sort of genre thriller with literary aspirations, it tells the story of a young man in 1910s Vienna. He is an actor with erectile problems with goes on to be a spy. It’s strong on atmosphere, on historical detail, and on fun; but it lacks plot, and, more importantly, heart. It’s obviously written by a very capable person, but seems to lack purpose, or a reason for being.
It was more or less a kind of popcorn. Expensive and unusually flavoured, but popcorn all the same. I am not sure why Boyd or I bothered.