A team of intelligence agents tries to prevent an impending terrorist attack, but is thwarted by bureaucratic hurdles in this darkly humorous debut by former CIA agent Susan Hasler.
Maddie James and her colleagues are terrorism experts working in a crumbling intelligence agency. They are certain another big terrorist attack is coming, but in a post-9/11 election year, the administration is stressing its victories in the War on Terror, and few want to hear the team's warnings.
Maddie is given a team of five analysts to focus on the impending threat. The crew labors through bureaucratic obstacles, personal problems, and a blossoming romance between its senior members, Doc and Fran. They come heartbreakingly close to stopping the attack, but fail to predict a surprising twist in the terrorists’ plot.
In the wake of tragedy, the administration pins blame on Iran, despite a lack of evidence—so Maddie and her team try to investigate. With dark humor and a razor-sharp tone, they fight back against office politics, government cover-ups, and blackmail in order to set the record straight. A keenly crafted debut that could only be written by an ex-CIA agent, Intelligence will please fans of Wag the Dog and Primary Colors.
The excellent cast of narrators includes Joe Barrett, Dina Perlman, Suzanne Toren, Marc Vietor, Peter Ganim, Elisabeth Rodgers, L J Ganser, Caitlin Davies, Rachel Butera, Ken Kilban, Terry Donnolly, Eileen Stevens, Gabra Zackman, Kevin Pariseau, Joshua Swanson, Gayle Hendrix, Anthony Salerno, and Bryan Kennedy.
BONUS AUDIO: Includes an introduction written and read by author Susan Hasler.
©2010 Susan Hasler (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"A biting satire of the agency [Hasler] once called home….It’s a very funny book about a deeply unfunny slice of recent history. Read it and weep – but you’ll be laughing, too." (The Washington Post)
"Often laugh-out-loud funny, Intelligence even manages to squeeze in a genuinely sweet romance. Susan Hasler does for the folks at the CIA what Joseph Wambaugh accomplishes with cops: she gives them human dimension. Sometimes sad, sometimes stupid, sometimes scary and at other times heroic, Hasler’s characters always seem achingly real." (January magazine, Best Crime Fiction of 2010)
"There have been many books written about the CIA, some of them by ex-agents of the clandestine organization. But none of them have been anything like Susan Hasler’s Intelligence. For one thing, it’s refreshing to get a female point of view. For another, Hasler’s mordant wit makes reading this novel an unalloyed delight. Not since Catch-22 has a novel with such trenchantly mordant wit illuminated the inherent insanity of institutionalized war. Intelligence is funny, sad, and frightening. It’s a book to keep you up at night, one you won’t soon forget." (Eric Van Lustbader)
I enjoyed this book immensely and couldn't wait to get back to it.
The "acting" style of narration, where each speaker was done by a different voice truly enhanced the presentation.
There are many things this book is not. It is not an action/thriller tale. It was not written by a high-level player on the national-security scene. And, in the dubious interest of so-called "fairness", the author has not checked her opinions at her word processor.
This book is a hamster-eye view of those who run on the wheel deep in the CIA. The characters are regular people with regular foibles, even the bosses. Problems ensue when the bosses are asked to tailor the analysts' product to the policymakers' chosen party-line. Bosses being bosses, they cave in to the pressure - not that they really have a choice. Hasler presents a very believable view of how this kind of pressure can actually help the terrorists: by diverting resources better used in fighting them.
Another reviewer commented on the author's politics. The issue is bigger than mere "politics". It's about the safety of the American people at home. In a very entertaining way, Susan Hasler has shown the peril of taking our eyes off that prize.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
This novel did elicit 3 smiles and no laughs in 10 hours. The multiple narrators do a wonderful job, but it does not save this turkey. I cannot believe I listened to the whole thing!
I know we are all tired of 9/11 terrorist plots but this was a fresh take. It is written by a woman who actually worked for the cia and actually was ticked off at the way the government handled it. You could feel her bitterness is the forward, she told a good story and I really enjoyed. it.
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
Well it's smart and authentic, written by a former CIA analyst. She knows and is able to introduce us to what the inner workings of the CIA.
It is well written, a gripping, suspenseful tale that kept me riveted till the end. It has some of the best, most human characters I have encountered. And it is as funny and clever as it is intriguing.
The narrators are outstanding. I am not a fan of multiple narrators, but every one of these work seamlessly. Joe Barrett is one of the best.
Finally, it actually educated me on just how important it is to beware of the industrial military complex. I do not think I will trust our leadership again when it comes to going to war.
I really enjoyed this book. There are certain things about previous administrations and policies that became more clear to me after listening to the book. Also, the performance of the narrators was outstanding.
The Bush-Cheney bashers will love this. The parts of the story where it ascends into Dilbert style office politics is tolerable, but the parts that descend into sermonizing about how all conservatives/republicans are religious hypocrites with out any morals is just disgusting. I just couldn't get past the cynical, narcissistic, arrogant, "I'm so much smarter than everyone else" tone of the book. If this lady is representative of the analysts working in the CIA, we should all say a prayer and thank God we haven't seen weekly terrorist attacks.
The narration was above average. Overall, this book reads like an MSNBC editorial.
In sales and on the road a lot. Love SciFi, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and the occasional Non-Fiction. Funny. Opinionated.
Put simply? It sucked. Hard. Like a million-dollar space-age vacuum. Suuuuuucked. I like thrillers; this isn't thrilling. Spy novels? Sure. This is not a spy novel. This is a former employee bitching about her former employer. If I wanted that I doubt that I would be buying an audio book which implies spy-stuff. False advertising.
Uhm, there was no story. The main character was worthless and has a miserable life and hates her job. The end.
Possibly, the narration wasn't terrible itself. It's just hard to separate the performer from the material.
Absolutely none. Not one. And the fact that there are so many 4 and 5 star reviews SHOCKS me. This is a waste of time, pure and simple.
If you haven't gotten the picture yet: This is bad. Avoid.
It wasn't the Narrator that was the problem here, it was the author.
All of them
This book seems to be the Author's way to vent over her frustations while employed with the CIA. This read was very disappointing and a waste of money!!! Don't waste your time on this one.
I listen to all types of thrillers, but this one has to be about the most poky, boring and pointless of all the novels I've listened to. The narration isn't bad but the story line is just plain uninteresting and has plenty of the author's political opinions included. I listened to the complete first part and part of the second part but just couldn't bring myself to finish it. Glad I got it for $4.95!
No. I learned way too much about the main character's personal life. It was devoid of action and whiney. The basic story was a good one, and well thought out, but the characterizations were not as rich as I would have liked.
I would recommend Mark Greaney or David Baldacci. This was a woman who hated George Bush and wanted to write a novel to ping him. I am no fan of Bush, but I don't buy books based on politics.
Narrators were terrific
Only if Fran Drescher played the lead character.
There are better books about the CIA, but this one is still okay and worth your time.
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