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Vicki

Princeton, NJ, United States | Member Since 2003

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  • 257 titles in library
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  • The Triple Agent: The al-Qaeda Mole who Infiltrated the CIA

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Joby Warrick
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (204)

    In December 2009, a group of the CIA’s top terrorist hunters gathered at a secret base in Khost, Afghanistan, to greet a rising superspy: Humam Khalil al-Balawi, a Jordanian double-agent who infiltrated the upper ranks of al-Qaeda. For months, he had sent shocking revelations from inside the terrorist network and now promised to help the CIA assassinate Osama bin Laden’s top deputy. Instead, as he stepped from his car, he detonated a 30-pound bomb strapped to his chest, instantly killing seven CIA operatives....

    Melissa says: "Great modern history story"
    "A TRAGIC TRUE-LIFE THRILLER"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Triple Agent to be better than the print version?

    It can be a little hard keeping characters straight in an audio presentation--especially if there are a lot of them and when they have foreign names. But the author did a pretty good job of providing little clues to keep the listener on track. I love audio books, in general, and believe a good reader, as this book had, adds to the understanding of the text. What isn't easy to do, of course, is go back and reread a paragraph or page.


    What other book might you compare The Triple Agent to and why?

    Although this was a true-life story, it was paced like a fictional thriller, with the author skillfully building tension and bringing out aspects of the characters that made them engaging people, whose fates the listener cared about. Amazingly, the tension was sustained, despite knowing the episode's outcome. I'd compare it, in its exploration of the ambiguous realities of Afghanistan and what Americans face there, to Frederick Forsyth's The Afghan (an audiobook I've listened to twice).


    What about Sunil Malhotra’s performance did you like?

    The reader did an excellent job of text interpretation and character differentiation.


    Any additional comments?

    I read some 50 books in 2012--including several prize-winners--and listened on audio to at least a dozen more. This was one of my half-dozen favorites. From thousands of miles away, it can be easy to put Iraq and Afghanistan out of our minds; this book made the real sacrifices of real people very, very painfully present.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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