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
"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)
I love books!
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.
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
Great story, performance
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.
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.
Too long to listen to all at once, but that is the pleasure. I didn't want it to end.
I was exhilarated by the combination of a skillful reader and a great story.
Perry Mason Fan
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?
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.
"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.
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