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Puppets of Prague: Gripping 20th Century European Historical Fiction

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Can the dream of freedom overcome fear and oppression? Friendships, marriages and loyalties are tested to the limit in this novel which spans Prague’s tumultuous twentieth century . In the summer of 1914 young love beckons and the future seems bright for three friends as they reach adulthood, but dark clouds are gathering and momentous events throw into stark relief the dif Can the dream of freedom overcome fear and oppression? Friendships, marriages and loyalties are tested to the limit in this novel which spans Prague’s tumultuous twentieth century . In the summer of 1914 young love beckons and the future seems bright for three friends as they reach adulthood, but dark clouds are gathering and momentous events throw into stark relief the differences between them that had never mattered before. From WW1 and the heady days of liberty which follow, to the Nazi occupation of WW2 and afterwards Communist dictatorship, life threatening risks must be taken and families are torn apart by the choices they make. Conflict and hardship will bring out both the good and the bad, and in unexpected ways. A moving story set in one of the world’s most enchanting and fascinating cities.


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Can the dream of freedom overcome fear and oppression? Friendships, marriages and loyalties are tested to the limit in this novel which spans Prague’s tumultuous twentieth century . In the summer of 1914 young love beckons and the future seems bright for three friends as they reach adulthood, but dark clouds are gathering and momentous events throw into stark relief the dif Can the dream of freedom overcome fear and oppression? Friendships, marriages and loyalties are tested to the limit in this novel which spans Prague’s tumultuous twentieth century . In the summer of 1914 young love beckons and the future seems bright for three friends as they reach adulthood, but dark clouds are gathering and momentous events throw into stark relief the differences between them that had never mattered before. From WW1 and the heady days of liberty which follow, to the Nazi occupation of WW2 and afterwards Communist dictatorship, life threatening risks must be taken and families are torn apart by the choices they make. Conflict and hardship will bring out both the good and the bad, and in unexpected ways. A moving story set in one of the world’s most enchanting and fascinating cities.

30 review for Puppets of Prague: Gripping 20th Century European Historical Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Sherman

    Emotional Historic Fiction at its Best This book was not only historically correct but extremely emotional. It followed the life of a teenager through to his death at the age of 93. From 1914 when the country was occupied by Nazi Germany, until 1993 when Prague became the capital city of the new Czech Republic, his family and many others suffered at the hands of the socialist and communist government. Many lives were lost and loyalties were questioned. A very moving story that I highly recommend. Emotional Historic Fiction at its Best This book was not only historically correct but extremely emotional. It followed the life of a teenager through to his death at the age of 93. From 1914 when the country was occupied by Nazi Germany, until 1993 when Prague became the capital city of the new Czech Republic, his family and many others suffered at the hands of the socialist and communist government. Many lives were lost and loyalties were questioned. A very moving story that I highly recommend. his death at the age of 93.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Erik Berman

    Terrific history, characters and story

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hank Lett

    puppets of Prague This was an Excellent historical story! I Couldn’t put this book down! Wonderful writing and I will look for other books written by David Canford! Thank you!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gloria Rodriguez

    Great history What a wonderful story. I learned a lot of history. This book made it come to life. There's happiness and sadness. Great history What a wonderful story. I learned a lot of history. This book made it come to life. There's happiness and sadness.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karen Lippeatt

    Relevant As I read this gripping (yes, gripping) novel, I couldn't help but recognize it's relevance in today's America. So much so, it frightened me at how easy it is to lose our freedoms and how quickly young people who have no real knowledge of our struggles to keep our freedom can be brainwashed. This book needs to be required reading in schools, but, alas, in the America we now live in this would be suppressed by incorrect fact checks. Relevant As I read this gripping (yes, gripping) novel, I couldn't help but recognize it's relevance in today's America. So much so, it frightened me at how easy it is to lose our freedoms and how quickly young people who have no real knowledge of our struggles to keep our freedom can be brainwashed. This book needs to be required reading in schools, but, alas, in the America we now live in this would be suppressed by incorrect fact checks.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kati Berman

    This novel spoke to me Puppets of Prague could have also been titled Puppets of Budapest and would have had a similar plot. I grew up in Hungary under communism, and as both Hungary and Czechoslovakia were previously part of the Astro-Hungarian empire under the Hapsburgs, the two countries had very similar histories. My mother was born in Prague during the First World War. With all this background I was very much interested in reading this novel. I was somewhat disappointed in the writing, often This novel spoke to me Puppets of Prague could have also been titled Puppets of Budapest and would have had a similar plot. I grew up in Hungary under communism, and as both Hungary and Czechoslovakia were previously part of the Astro-Hungarian empire under the Hapsburgs, the two countries had very similar histories. My mother was born in Prague during the First World War. With all this background I was very much interested in reading this novel. I was somewhat disappointed in the writing, often I felt it was a Reader’s Digest version of events. The author often abandoned sub plots or just skipped over them superficially. I was going to give 3 stars for the writing but I rounded it up,to four stars for the effort to summarize nearly 100 years of history of a country in 323 pages. I do recommend the book to those who are interested in some European history.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sharonb

    A story of a young czech boy's life from 1914 until 1993.  The geographical situation and size of czechoslovakia meant that it was often under the control of other nations at one time or another, the czech people being "puppets"of other nations politics and ideologies. It is about the national identity and a desire for self determination of your own country.  Goes through WW1 through WW2 up to modern times with Czechoslovakia being controlled by austro hungarian empire, nazi germany and communis A story of a young czech boy's life from 1914 until 1993.  The geographical situation and size of czechoslovakia meant that it was often under the control of other nations at one time or another, the czech people being "puppets"of other nations politics and ideologies. It is about the national identity and a desire for self determination of your own country.  Goes through WW1 through WW2 up to modern times with Czechoslovakia being controlled by austro hungarian empire, nazi germany and communists in turn. I enjoyed the writing, the descriptions of Prague were wonderful and I have always wanted to go there. The nationalism in the culture was a big thread particularly with the mentions of Dvorak and smetana who were Czech nationalist composers, smetana writing a series of 6 symphonic poems about his country "ma vast" (which I have actually listened to many times and studied in music lessons in school in relation to the nationalism composers of the 19th century). For those who enjoy learning about history and multi generational family stories this is a must read.  The czech people continued to fight for their own country through many rough times, eventually, after much bloodshed and lost family and friendships, either through death or different ideologies, achieving independence, self determination and no longer "puppets" to others. Obviously very emotional at times given the subject matter.

  8. 5 out of 5

    florence k jones

    A very interesting historical novel Knowing very little of Czechoslovak I was fascinated about the history and the story line has made me look further into it’s history. The characters ate very believable a sad story but I couldn’t put it down

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rudy G

    Awful Book looks like he read some history accounts and crammed all of it into a book. As one who actually lived this story I found the book offensive for its lack of effort. He certainly is not a writer

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ginny

    Although this book was fictional, it offered great insight into the 20th century history of Czechoslovakia. It truly brought the human experience to life.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carla Berlin

    I read this in one day…10 hours in the car. The book gave a great account of what it was like living in Prague from 1914 to 1990.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Lilly

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

  15. 5 out of 5

    Deb Radtke

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Studholme

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anne

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mary Tuckley

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shirley A. Roe

  21. 4 out of 5

    George Stocker

  22. 5 out of 5

    ckennedy39btinternet.com

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Wells

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ross G Jackson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Isabel Morrison

  26. 5 out of 5

    Fatima Sevivas Silva

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lamar

  28. 4 out of 5

    Keith Hampton

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jill Williams

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susie Seeber

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