This was one of the best books I have ever "read". Everything about it from character development to plot keeps you, if not on the edge of your seat, so fully involved that it was difficult to stop listening. If there was a downside it was that the book made me worry that the CIA made and continues to make very costly mistakes. You will learn a lot and perhaps believe you "learned" even more.
A Fantastic listen.
I enjoyed the character development, the plot twists and the underlying story, but I was prevented from thoroughly enjoying the 40 hours of listening by the very long and detailed descriptions of incredibly meaningless items. It should not take almost a minute to describe how an already known character walked into the room.
Because of the overly descriptive text, it took me about an hour and half to get into the story, and about another 5 hours to really start enjoying it.
Really good Cold War 'faction' stuff here. Very well read, very plausible, riveting. Long, but you won't regret it. Not just a guy book, as might be implied - it will definitely appeal to anyone who wants a good read, which is simultaneously escapist and realistic. A minor criticism is that while the Western (US and UK) characters are three-dimensional, the Russians are generally drawn either sketchily or as obvious nasties.
Great story? I should actually say great stories. This book has it all, and it should at 40 plus hours. I would not pick this as a first audio book because of the length. You kind of have to work your way up to a book this long. But I enjoyed it so much, I was sad to have it end. I had fun researching some of the stories in this book and learned a bit about our history. And as usual Scott Brick is a great narrator
This is more a warning than a review, since this was one of my first audio books many months ago and I still cannot make it past the first 3 hours. I'm sure after more than 800 reviews this book must be great, but trust me, it takes some patience. I did books of more than 8 hours with no problem, but this one was a waste of money for me, so if you click to purchase, keep in mind you could have herd 3 or 4 good books on the time it took you to listen to this one (also, I'm sure, a good book).
I have been an avid audible listener foot quite some time.it has helped me stay sharp and entertained as well.
This is an excellent book! I can only agree with the other reviewers, in that it is deeply engaging , with well developed characters, and a nice pace. You will be very pleased even with its hefty length. It is great story with alot of documentary elements . When you delve into CIA and american history you'll find that much of the contents of this book ring true. very relevant book . buy it!
I couldn't believe how fast 40 hours could go by. I was engrossed by the tail. I am still wondering about which parts are completely fictional and which parts are fact.
The speaker is just superb! His rendition of the emotional scenes moved me (well) to tears. This book gave me an appreciation of what spies go through: their loyalty, their contribution, their struggles. The author painted a picture of Good Guys versus Bad Guys; with a stroke of a pen he made it blurred, and then indistinguishable. In the end, it was only men doing, in their own ways, what is sufficiently good and honorable.
Legal Thrillers, crime, fiction. humor and a bit of management sprinkled with some self improvement. All through Audible.
In case the other reviewers have forgotten to mention this, this book is mainly about the cold war and USSR! It spans a period of 30 years so at the end of the book we get a whiff of Osama and team. It goes on till ?perostrika? is compete. The central plot, if there is one in the book, is a question of a mole in the CIA that keeps surfacing while historical events take place around the globe.
So if you like the old spy stories with dead drops, safe houses, interrogations, planned revolutions intertwined with real history you are in for a very good time like I did! This book has spies, moles, defectors, revolutionaries, presidents and a dash of mafia. Since the history lessons taken by the author are well embedded in the story, it is not possible to differentiate the fiction from history. One only notices that this is fiction when we start noticing the characters, they are FICTION. There is an alcoholic head of Berlin station during the peak of the cold war. His mind is as alert as Gary Kasporov while he drinks and spies through the day, intelligently interrogates potential defectors and continues drinking. The characters running the CIA are remarkably amusing and interesting. The book has James Bond style love stories on the fringes to thicken the plot whenever it becomes too spy-ish!
It will keep you gripped. Your attention will not drift. You will enjoy the compete 40 hrs. Let not the size intimidate you!