Letters, biscuit breaks & murder. TRANSCRIPTION REVIEW.


WARNINGS: Murder, Main characters dealing with Hitler fans, off-screen animal death.
FROM: Penguin Random House NZ


  • poetic writing


  • lack of story structure
  • monotonous feel
  • nothing at all to spark interest.


Transcription is a novel based around the second world war. We meet our main character, Juliet Armstrong, as she takes her place in the war, being a spy & a typist. We follow her through the 1940s, 1950s and to her death in the 1980s. It is a pocket-sized glimpse of her life.

The characters in this novel were not very deep. Almost all of them were in support of Hitler, or worked for MI5 & yet they had no distinguishing wants. They were nothing more than the cardboard cutouts that they needed to be. Actors in a play, you could say. My favourite was Cyril for what I hoped he would become, he was an innocent fellow and while he never showed what he wanted, I envisioned it might have just been plain old peace for himself and his gran. Juliet, the main character more often than not irritated me with her wishes for affection from Perry, to her delusions towards the end. 

Plot-wise, I was personally unable to really see a plot within this novel. It felt more like a book just dutifully following Juliet’s life. If someone were to ask, I would truthfully answer that I could see no climax point, nor a true ending. This left the novel feeling like it was really missing something. It felt like reading a rather boring diary. 

Overall, this was very much not the book for me. I was more often bored than enjoying it and even while it featured some poetic writing, there was nothing that could save it in my opinion except for a rewrite. However, if you’re into historically based WW2 era books, perhaps this will spark your interest. 


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2 thoughts on “Letters, biscuit breaks & murder. TRANSCRIPTION REVIEW.

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