I had a hard time following the story at the beginning but things began to fall into place after I got into the book.
An unusually constructed plot which sometimes gets one lost but is redeemed by a really unique bunch of characters. If you spy novels this is one that goes against the standard linear plot but holds your interest. Compelling narration as well.
Book blogger at Bookwi.se
I read the first book in this series on a whim. I did not know anything about it. But I was bored with my standard fare and wanted something different.
The first book, The Tourist, focused on Milo Weaver and his desire to leave his job as a black ops spy, but includes a lot of background that does not come out quickly. The second book The Nearest Exit, follows right on the heels of The Tourist, but you are well into the book before you realize that.
An American Spy, again takes you wide afield with characters mentioned in the first two books before you come back to Milo between 1/3 and 1/2 through the book. It is much easier to read these back to back than spread over three years because there are a lot of characters and many of the characters have several aliases, almost everyone has some relationship to someone else and many of those relationships do not come up until the very last minute.
I like spy fiction. And these are the best modern spy fiction books I have read. In a post-cold war world the good guys and bad guys are much less clearly marked. There are real internal struggles of conscience on all sides. And power, more than national interest or ‘moral good’ is the main driver for many of the characters.
Of course I am just projecting, but I think that Steinhauer does a good job of raising the issues that would affect black ops. Too much power corrupts. No one is immune to conscience. What does it really mean to work for the best for people? You get in intelligence out of a sense of patriotism or a desire for adventure. But you stay for power, money, the sense of the game.
At one point a friend of Milo’s has had her place ransacked by the CIA. She is pissed. She said she would have gladly let them look if they had asked. Milo says it does not work that way. No one asks for permission, because they do not know what to do if you say no. So they just assume you will say no. The problem is that that path creates many more problems in the long term. I thought that little half page of dialogue was the essential thesis of the book.
This really is a good series.
Yes, only because I liked others
If this was not an audio book there is no way I would have finished this book.
I have listened to other books in the series and usually like them but this one took forever to become interesting.. Like 8hrs before the story finally got going.
This book is really slow at getting everything set up. The last few hrs were good but it took a long time to get there!
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This is book 3 of the Milo Weaver series. I think I should have started with book 1 but did not notice this was a series until I start to write the review. I found I had to pay close attention to the story so I could understand what was going on. Not sure if this is because I seemed to have started in the middle of a series or not. Was a lot of action and travelling around the world. It was interesting they made the master Chinese Spy an obese man at 300 pounds. It was interesting to see the interaction between the various counties spies. David Pittu did an adequate job with the narration. Not sure if i will go and read the other books in the series or not.
Just an old retired guy, eyesight not as good as it was, so really enjoy listening to these books. Been listening for about 6 years.
I really dont know.
I never finished it
I never was sure who the characters were.
To many oriental persons whose names are hard to keep track of and before long I was not sure who they were, etc.
I am a big fan of espionage and spy novels. I have listened to the first two in this trilogy (a must if you want to understand this book at all). After spending lots of time developing key characters in the first two books there is almost nothing in this book. Spoiler alert: Milo plays almost no role in this story. He is a pawn moved around having very little influence over the story - he is not a key player in any way. All the time in Nearest Exit working on his marriage, and there is nothing in this novel nor at the end of the novel. Sure we know they are still together but the pieces don't fit .. we just jump over history of their marriage which was central to the first 2 books and important to Milo in this one but with no substance. The ending - well the book just ends. Story lines aren't wrapped up they are alluded to. I persevered through Part 1 waiting and hoping to return to more of Milo, Allen, Milo's father ... but it never came. Read/listen to the first two books, don't bother with this one.
Better narration, plot, believable characters. Interesting characters.
It was grating, his voice is very nasal and the accents seemed affected. The voice bordered on monotone, the worst possible trait for reading aloud.
I don't have that much time, even in my imagination. Besides, what happens when you cut off a person's arms, legs, and head? The same would happen to this story--- get rid of the slow bits and there's nothing left.
This is the perfect marriage of a book that should not be read aloud and a voice that should not be reading aloud. I gave up after part 1.