The book has a good plot that, just like a good Law and Order episode, goes in directions you don't anticipate in the early stages. I would definitely listen to subsequent books in the Jeremy Fisk series as they appear, which I hope they do. I'd have to agree with an Amazon reader who said it lacked a bit of emotion, but it was still better than average for me. All very forgivable for a first novel!
I was prepared for a book that I wouldn't enjoy as much as Robert Littell's masterpiece, The Company, and I also feared I wouldn't like it much at all, ruining him for me. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was about Philby as a fairly young boy, to show how he took the path he did. There were some elements of that, but there was still a lot of intrigue, a lot of spycraft, especially as the story progresses.. Do hang on to the very end if you're enjoying it at all. You must!
I also enjoy going back into a time before we know how things turned out and can see the sense in people's choices through that lens. Who could have said how far the revolutionary zeal in the U.S.S.R., for example, would spread? I never thought of Philby as making choices in an anti-fascist period, when all of Stalin's horrors weren't known and people feared the rise of Hitler.
The book's format, with the story presented through interviews worked for me as well, as did John Lee's narration. A large amount of the book was read with dialects, which could be a bit distracting, but he pulled it off.
It was a great book and definitely a new approach to a familiar subject.
I discovered Daniel Silva about a year ago and promptly read everything that was available unabridged. So, I'm a fan!
I enjoyed what was new in this book, which was a 'buddy' aspect with a new character (love/hate relationship) and the more up-to-date concerns on the world stage. I found some of the old aspects not boring at all, as it gave me that cozy feeling of familiarity and, of course, allows a new reader to have enough background without reading all the books. The narrator, George Guidall is marvellous. He can say "Let's go outside" and it resonates with layers of meaning.
To me the mark of a good writer is that you enjoy hearing the words no matter what the topic because they are so rich and entertaining. Daniel Silva definitely has that for me. I don't enjoy the violent parts, but for me, they are little enough in his writing that it's manageable. I do believe in the axiom that "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf". That certainly sums up Gabriel Allon. What is most important to me is that there is a moral centre in a book and there always is with Daniel Silva. Looking forward to Summer 2014 for the next one!
Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.
Admittedly, I'm a fan of this series. Having skipped around a little re which ones I was listening to I decided to go back and listen to all in order. (I did skip Red October due to the quality concerns expressed by other reviewers.) All is first rate in this book. Even though there is a reasonable mix of characters and nationalities, Clancy keeps it clear enough that you don't find yourself wondering , 'who is this again?" Scott Brick handles the various accents exceptionally well. The pacing is just right to keep you fully involved but not so fast that you lose track of things.
Now, on to the next one.