The Diary of a U-Boat Commander by Stephen King-Hall

Published July 26, 2022

The Diary of a U-Boat Commander by Stephen King-Hall

Book info

  • Title The Diary of a U-Boat Commander
  • Author Stephen King-Hall
  • Year 1920
  • Genre History

Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But after only a couple of months into his new career, Edward, a Polish émigré, shows up at his door with a very keen interest in Julian's new enterprise and a lot of knowledge about his family history. And when a letter turns up at the door of a spy chief in London warning him of a dangerous leak, the investigations lead him to this quiet town by the sea... Silverview is the mesmerising story of an encounter between innocence and experience and between public duty and private morals. In this last complete masterwork from the greatest chronicler of our age, John le Carré asks what you owe to your country when you no longer recognise it.


It’s not clear whether this book is fact or fiction, it presents as a diary recovered from a German prisoner-of-war, as a factual record of his progress through the German navy and the first World War. But there’s not a lot known about it so it could be fabrication. Regardless, it does a great job of showing how human both sides of a war can be, people just doing their jobs, falling in love, missing home and doing their duty. A good, quick, read.

Rating: 3 / 5

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