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36 Yalta Boulevard: A Novel | [Olen Steinhauer]

36 Yalta Boulevard: A Novel

State Security Officer Brano Sev is the secretive member of the Ministry for State Security. No one else quite trusts him, but it is part of his job to do what the authorities ask, no matter what. So when he gets an order to travel to the village of his birth in order to interrogate a potential defector, he goes. When a man turns up dead shortly after he arrives and Brano is framed for the murder, he assumes this is part of the plan and allows it to run its course.
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Publisher's Summary

State Security Officer Brano Sev is the secretive member of the Ministry for State Security. No one else quite trusts him, but it is part of his job to do what the authorities ask, no matter what. So when he gets an order to travel to the village of his birth in order to interrogate a potential defector, he goes. When a man turns up dead shortly after he arrives and Brano is framed for the murder, he assumes this is part of the plan and allows it to run its course.

But when the plan leads him into exile in Vienna, he finally begins to ask questions. In fact, Comrade Brano Sev learns that loyalty to the cause might be the biggest crime of all.

©2005 Olen Steinhauer; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"This is an imaginative, brilliantly plotted espionage thriller, with finely detailed settings and a protagonist of marvelous complexity. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"With its shifting perceptions, pervasive paranoia, and truly unpredictable plot, this will be savored by readers of well-crafted espionage." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (63 )
5 star
 (13)
4 star
 (17)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (5)
Overall
3.0 (20 )
5 star
 (5)
4 star
 (2)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (2)
Story
3.1 (20 )
5 star
 (5)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 08-25-09
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 08-25-09 Member Since 2005

    I love books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    442
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    387
    251
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    84
    0
    Overall
    "Interesting"

    To be honest I had low expectations for this book, I was only reading it because I told myself I was going to read the whole series. Come on, how interesting can you make a story set in the 1960's in the eastern bloc of Europe about a main character working for the state security. You think drab life. But, Steinhauer did turn it into an interesting listen that I found enjoyable. There were some nice twists and turns, east meets west, and it kept me listening. I recommend tis one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Santa Rosa, CA, USA 03-09-06
    Barry Santa Rosa, CA, USA 03-09-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent Book/Lousy narration"

    I really enjoyed this book. It was intriguing and had several twists and turns. The central character is not loveable but he is compelling. I found the narration to be very annoying after a while. It was like the narrator was trying to sound American (way too much). H also did the lead characters (who were Eastern Europeans) in very American voices but did Austrian voices with pseudo-accents. It's still a very good audio book

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grandma Psychoanalyst Chicago 05-29-12
    Grandma Psychoanalyst Chicago 05-29-12 Member Since 2010

    PJ

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Riveting Reader"
    If you could sum up 36 Yalta Boulevard in three words, what would they be?

    Great story, performance


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The plot was a wonderfully convoluted spy story with constant twists, turns and surprises.The Eastern European ambience was interesting. There was cynicism, romance, failed idealism, danger and deception.


    What does Yuri Rasovsky bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He is a fabulous reader, taking each character part uniquely and with just the right emotion. I have never heard a better performance. The reader's accents varied with the native language of each character. This recording is an instance where the oral reading is a much better experience than the visual experience of reading on the printed page.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Too long to listen to all at once, but that is the pleasure. I didn't want it to end.


    Any additional comments?

    I was exhilarated by the combination of a skillful reader and a great story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John R. Brown Dallas, TX USA 10-08-05
    John R. Brown Dallas, TX USA 10-08-05 Member Since 2002

    Perry Mason Fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
    68
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Cold war spy story - Soviet satellite's agent"

    The year is 1967. Brano, an savvy and experienced agent in the state security agency of a Soviet satellite, is a pawn in a game among powers he cannot see and for purposes he does not comprehend. His perspective is much like that of a character in a Kafka novel. As he struggles to understand, to survive, and, most of all, to follow orders, the many layers of manipulation and deception unfold. But who or what is the ultimate puppetmaster and what is he or it up to? Will Brano live long enough to find out?

    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luis Miami, Fl, United States 02-24-08
    Luis Miami, Fl, United States 02-24-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    105
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    167
    93
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    FOLLOWING
    2
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    Overall
    "Not Bad"

    Not the greatest spy story I have read but also not the worst. Plot was interesting as was the main character.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben Norwich, VT, USA 02-04-06
    Ben Norwich, VT, USA 02-04-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    1
    Overall
    "Too Dark"

    Very hard to relate to the lead character. No real redeeming qualities to his persona, or political belief system. It is difficult to become involved with intrigue/espionage when the lead character and that for which he stands for is so miserable and dark. Sorry, not much here.

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results
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  • Phil
    Banbury, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
    6/21/10
    Overall
    "36 Yalta Boulevard by Olen Steinhauer"

    A good story, I shall no doubt listen to again, however the problem I have is Yuri Rasovsky reading of it, which is a great shame hence 3* not four or five. At times the reader seems totally disinterested in the story which can effect the listeners interest as well. I found myself going back several times to listen again to parts for just that reason. This is made worse by the fact the story is fairly involved and concentration is needed as with most of this type of book. That said it's still a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results

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