©2008 Fred Burton; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
When retired clandestine-service operatives tell their stories, it can often go either way; a dry and barren account or a riveting spook-yarn. "Ghost", by Fred Burton, offers an authentic, well-written and very well-read glimpse into the day to day "police-work" of counter-terrorism. But here it's the real deal, never boring and always honest, real-life. Not since Robert Baer has an operative (and here it's the Diplomatic Security Service), told his story with such emotional and honest conviction. You'll never get the whole story, it's not possible, but Fred Burton does a masterful job of offering a sleeves-rolled-up account of the Ghost life and how it affected him; the lives saved, the lives lost. This book was read with a good flair for drama; voice inflection, dialects from the middle-eastern captured terrorist to the Columbian assassin. This is a must-read Audiobook for anyone from the history buff to the crime-fiction lover. Go for it, you will not be disappointed!
An Avid Reader.
Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent by Fred Burton is a great read about the sacrifices that the brave men and women waging the war on terror make on a daily basis. Burton is an expert in the field of counter-terrorism and reading his book is like taking an advanced class on the subject. Sadly, there still seems to exist the lack of teamwork amongst the agencies that are so needed to work together. Hopefully, with works like this readable book by Burton, people will wake up and realize the need to focus on the issues and not worry about obtaining glory or credit for stopping the threats that exist.
Burton is a hero and we should all thank him for the dedication and commitment he has shown to this country. A four star read. Enjoyable, informative, and scary.
The narrator does an excellent job.
I thoroughly enjoyed this. It's tough to turn it off and go to sleep, and when you do turn it off, you're likely to lay there thinking for a while. It can be very disturbing. I'm very grateful that we have these guys out there.
Burton's account of his own history in the DSS sheds light on some of the evolution and history of the State Department. It also demonstrates who really does the heavy lifting in terms of spycraft and the War on Terrorism. If only Burton could let down his guard and tell the WHOLE story.....
I did not read the print version, however, the accented areas and the pronounciations were something you would not get in a read, so probably.
I am not sure this really applies here, as it is autobiographical.
Uninflected, montonous, gravelly
The story is what counts here. It is a spellbinding account of real events and people, and dramatic for the times it occurred in and the events portrayed. If you are a fan of cold war and beyond real world workings of counterintelligence this is a must have.
I really enjoyed listening to this book...if you are into military history this book is for you. To me the most interesting part was the investigation of the plan crash of Pakistan’s leader in the 1980’s. This plan crash is mentioned briefly in several books I have read, including Charlie Wilson’s War, but never explained.
I am glad I bought the book - it was interesting and informative. The narrator did a great job - it was hard to believe that one person could have so many different voices.
However the author never really hit his groove. The book often felt like a series of independent note cards that were just strung together with occasional editorial comments.
The writing is a little wooden and sometimes repetitive. But the book isn't supposed to be entertaining for it's literary style, it's fascinating for the inside perspective delivered personally by the author.
It's as if Fred is sitting in the living room over a bourbon telling you all about it. It's a truly personal "confession".
I really enjoyed it.
Authors I like: Patrick O'Brian, Frederick Forsyth, Jane Austen, John Le Carre, Alan Furst, Jon Krakauer, Ernest Hemingway.
Some other listeners clearly enjoyed "Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent" and give it strong reviews, but to me it seemed pretty thin. There is a little but not much in the way of operational detail or in-depth portrayal of the various activities of the DSS. Much of the narrative is just ho-hum. The book hits stride best when recounting the investigation into the airplane crash that killed President Zia of Pakistan in 1988. Much of the rest of the book in my opinion offers a superficial glance into the work of DSS officers, and it is somewhat repetitive at that.
I thought that narrator Tom Weiner overdid the "drama" in his reading. His is not an unbearable performance but I can't say I'll seek out his work in future audiobook performances.
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