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Legends: A Novel of Dissimulation | [Robert Littell]

Legends: A Novel of Dissimulation

It's a deadly dilemma for Martin Odum: both remembering and forgetting his past are dangerous options. A discharged CIA agent turned private detective, Odum is struggling through a labyrinth of memories from past identities, "legends", in CIA parlance. Is he really Martin Odum? Or is he Dante Pippen, IRA explosives specialist? Or Lincoln Dittmann, Civil War expert? Or another, hidden legend?
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Publisher's Summary

It's a deadly dilemma for Martin Odum: both remembering and forgetting his past are dangerous options. A discharged CIA agent turned private detective, Odum is struggling through a labyrinth of memories from past identities, "legends", in CIA parlance. Is he really Martin Odum? Or is he Dante Pippen, IRA explosives specialist? Or Lincoln Dittmann, Civil War expert? Or another, hidden legend?

When Stella Kastner asks Odum to find her missing brother-in-law, Odum's ex-boss from the CIA shows up to order him off the case. Odum takes it anyway, embarking on a search that leads him around the world battling mortal danger and psychological disorientation.

©2005 Robert Littell; (P)2005 The Audio Partners

What the Critics Say

"Wonderful writing and a great sense of fun make this another winner." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (240 )
5 star
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3.8 (62 )
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4.0 (64 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 08-20-05
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 08-20-05 Listener Since 2003

    Black

    HELPFUL VOTES
    552
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    354
    78
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    "Outstanding Reading"

    I have listened to all of the author's books including the 40 hour Company. Along the way, I developed a true fondness for both the author and Scott Brick who was the reader on the previous books. However, the interpretation by Grover Gardner on this one was truly exceptional and fit beautifully with this almost tongue-in-cheek spy vs. spy book. Jumping among time periods and locations and following a lead character who keeps changing "Legends" does require a little effort, but it is an effort well worth it. It is certain not a formula production.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Bentonville, AR, USA 09-16-05
    Richard Bentonville, AR, USA 09-16-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    56
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Excellent Story"

    While it took some convincing after a rather graphic and horrific first 5 minutes for my wife to let the story continue on our 20 hour car trip, she soon was completely captivated, as was I.

    The rich detail of the characters, the complex plot of interwoven threads and the vivid insight into another world all proved masterfully done in this novel.

    I would highly recommend this book and it certainly made the long car trip fly by.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin United States 04-08-07
    Kevin United States 04-08-07 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    4
    2
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    Overall
    "Authentic"

    Legends is great because of the quality of research, writing and characters. The narration was excellent with multiple voices and accents as well as perfect pronunciation of names and places. This was a thoroughly entertaining book - complex and very rich. I have listened to all of Littell's titles and recommend this one very highly.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah shallotte, NC, United States 03-10-06
    Deborah shallotte, NC, United States 03-10-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    312
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    REVIEWS
    149
    35
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    Overall
    "LeCarre's Younger Brother"

    This was a fascinating book. I've read LeCarre's earlier books (he's too political now)many times and Littell steps in where LeCarre went astray in politics. A good old-fashioned spy thriller that keeps you guessing til the last page. However, this might be a book that is easier read. There were several times I wished I could page back to double-check something that contributed to what was currently happening. It's a very complicated, complex puzzle of a book that is well worth spending a credit on. And, because it is so multilayered, it's worth a second listen to see how many clues were given that were missed by the reader, how the story weaves together (after knowing the ending), and just to revel in the excellence of the writing. Again... like the Smiley books by LeCarre.

    If you are looking for an easy read, this isn't it. But if you like feints, mind tricks, etc., you'll love this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thad Renton, WA, USA 11-17-05
    Thad Renton, WA, USA 11-17-05 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    56
    2
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    "Very Good"

    Story was entertaining and flowed well. Another good story from Robert Littell and the narrator was excellent. I enjoy Scott Bricks narrations but Grover Gardner far surpassed him. If you like Littell's book, then you won't be disappointed with this one. Enjoy!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Green Bay, WI, United States 07-13-05
    Stephen Green Bay, WI, United States 07-13-05

    Retired Neurologist. Age 67. Prefer longer unabridged works. Hobbies include flyfishing, gardening, birding, photography. Enjoy a mix.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
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    378
    3
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    Overall
    "Legends"

    As another reviewer noted, this is fun stuff. The reader should engage in funseeking rather than typical spy gazing so as to enjoy it along with the author whose name has, by some coicidence, two "T's"and two "L's",similar to the doubling of letters in his Legends' names.
    Masterfully read

    22 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy Norman South Pasadena, CA United States 03-28-06
    Peggy Norman South Pasadena, CA United States 03-28-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    190
    4
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    "Loved listening to this unfold"

    I loved how all the elements in this book wove together. I'm not always sure about Grover Gardner's reading. He can be great, like this time, or boring. I could see the lovers as he read and could hear all the layers of meaning as they talked. Nice work. That said, I would not recommend this to a friend who finds lots of names and complex situations hard to listen to. For me, the surprises as old stories affected new circumstances was delicious.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Baker 01-12-06
    Aaron Baker 01-12-06 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    132
    11
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    "Littell does it again"

    The first Robert Littell book I read was the Company which is a spectacular book. I read some of his other books afterwards and they were good but not like the company. Legends is AWESOME! It is as good if not bette than the Company. Great story with twists and turns. Finished it in 3 days and wished it wasn't over, which to me is a sign of a GREAT book.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Austin, TX, United States 06-02-11
    Janet Austin, TX, United States 06-02-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So boring I couldn't finish"

    I have listened to at least 100 books from Audible. My favorites being mystery/thrillers. My favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Tana French, Laura Lippman, Gregg Hurwitz, and David Rosenfelt. I have never NOT finished a book. At 4.5 hours into this one I am bailing out. I am so bored with all that is NOT happening. There have been a few short exciting scenes but they are followed by speculation, overly descriptive dialog and a list of names and places that become very difficult to keep up with. I love Grover Gardner but I just can't do Littell.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John San Rafael, CA, United States 07-11-14
    John San Rafael, CA, United States 07-11-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Almost "goofy" in its back and forth storyline"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The reader did a good job but the storyline kept moving back and forth in time to such an extent that the plot line got lost. The main characters various "legends" were not interesting enough to warrant the time spent on them. Some may like the uniqueness of the story telling, but it was not for me.


    What could Robert Littell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Focused more on the core storyline and less on the multiple "legends".


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Mr. Gardner did a good job on the various characters and their accents. My problem with this audiobook had nothing to do with his performance.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    My reaction was one of some confusion and disappointment in the clutter in the story telling approach.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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