We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
Once a Spy: A Novel | [Keith Thomson]

Once a Spy: A Novel

Drummond Clark was once a spy of legendary proportions. Now Alzheimer's disease has taken its toll and he's just a confused old man who's wandered away from home, waiting for his son to fetch him. When Charlie Clark takes a break from his latest losing streak at the track to bring Drummond back to his Brooklyn home, they find it blown sky high - and then bullets start flying in every direction.
Regular Price:$31.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Drummond Clark was once a spy of legendary proportions. Now Alzheimer's disease has taken its toll and he's just a confused old man who's wandered away from home, waiting for his son to fetch him.

When Charlie Clark takes a break from his latest losing streak at the track to bring Drummond back to his Brooklyn home, they find it blown sky high - and then bullets start flying in every direction. At first, Charlie thinks his Russian creditors are employing aggressive collection tactics. But once Drummond effortlessly hot-wires a car as their escape vehicle, Charlie begins to suspect there's much more to his father than meets the eye.

He soon discovers that Drummonds unremarkable career as an appliance salesman was actually a clever cover for an elaborate plan to sell would-be terrorists faulty nuclear detonators. Drummond's intricate knowledge of the device is extremely dangerous information to have rattling around in an Alzheimer's-addled brain. The CIA wants to contain him - and so do some other shady characters who send Charlie and Drummond on a wild chase that gives father-and-son quality time a whole new meaning.

With Once a Spy, Keith Thomson makes his debut on the thriller stage with energy, wit, and style to spare.

©2010 Keith Thomson (P)2010 Random House

What the Critics Say

"Huffington Post columnist Thomson's wildly original debut, a darkly satirical thriller, features an unlikely, if endearing, father-son spy duo....Poignant themes of love and redemption underpin an action-packed story line that includes exotic locales, high-tech gadgetry, and international intrigue." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (98 )
5 star
 (26)
4 star
 (38)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (5)
Overall
3.6 (48 )
5 star
 (15)
4 star
 (13)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (2)
Story
3.9 (50 )
5 star
 (15)
4 star
 (19)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jami E. Nettles Columbus, MS USA 05-16-10
    Jami E. Nettles Columbus, MS USA 05-16-10 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    354
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    155
    64
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    29
    0
    Overall
    "Off beat thriller"

    I loved this non-formulaic, quirky spy story. The titular spy has Alzheimer's and is therefore a threat to his former employers. He connects with his estranged compulsive gambler son as they try to save themselves. It is an unusual mix of seriousness and levity and these characters were likeable and had dignity instead of being melodramatic or pathetic. It is over the top as far as action goes - way too much gunfire and killing - and that detracted from the story for me, but that is my only complaint. It was a very enjoyable listen and I recommend it.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Park City, IL, United States 07-31-10
    Michael Park City, IL, United States 07-31-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "I want more"

    I enjoyed the concept of the book but had doubts about how the plot could be sustained. I was delightfully wrong. The plot keeps evolving and surprising and you continue to smile all the way through the book. The characters are nicely drawn and are deep enough to be distinctive and memorable. I finished the book and went directly on line to see what else Keith Thomson has written. Unfortunately, this is the only book (so far). I want more.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ranch Girl Colorado, USA 04-30-11
    Ranch Girl Colorado, USA 04-30-11 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    84
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    267
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    3
    Overall
    "Action all the way!"

    This is a non-stop action novel, where the father & son protagonists constantly escape the frying pan only to end up in the fire. Charlie, is something of a ne'er-do-well, suffering in the midst of the mess he has made of his life. On top of his own troubles, Charlie discovers that his aging father, Drummond, was once a spy, and is now marked for death. Drummond has alzheimer's disease, which could cause him to reveal high-level secrets that he carries in his head. The two manage to escape hopeless situation after hopeless situation throughout the story. Along the way Charlie gains respect for his father and confidence in his own talents. This is what I would call a "guy" story, and for me the constant action/escape sequences got repetitive. But the characters were so likable, that overall it was quite enjoyable.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Alameda, CA, United States 08-23-10
    Linda Alameda, CA, United States 08-23-10 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "It's a Book. It's a Movie. It's Loads of Fun."

    It's a Book. It's a Movie. It's Loads of Fun. This is a wonderfully cinematic story. Not many thriller writers pull off such graphic excitement, and although the body count is high, it has more the flavor of a comic romp than a gory tale. Characters are rich and endearing.

    I will cast Paul Newman as the dad in my imaginary film.

    Hope you all enjoy.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Amarillo, TX, United States 05-24-11
    Michael Amarillo, TX, United States 05-24-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great!"

    This is one of my first spy novels, and I really enjoyed it. The characters develop really well and it keeps your attention the whole time. Very entertaining.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Mazama, WA, United States 06-27-10
    Dennis Mazama, WA, United States 06-27-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    487
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    179
    166
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    102
    2
    Overall
    "a nice read, fun"

    This is a nice book, it is unusual, a bit odd and entertaining all the way through. I look forward to another effort by Mr. Thomson. If you are looking through the offerings and wish you could find some new litte gem that up until now was under your radar then give this book a try, I think you will be happy you did.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dejan Belgrade, Serbia 05-25-13
    Dejan Belgrade, Serbia 05-25-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Always etc"

    Even though I wouldn't read it again, this book succeeded in keeping my attention and wondering how it would end. Good thing is that author left the end to us, in a way, it wouldn't be nice if everything ended like Hollywood lemonade. I won't mind reading the sequel.

    I thought narrator was overstating some words a bit and I didn't like that. Dialogues were great though.

    Best line? After shooting a guy with a gun from unbelievable distance, Drummond says that it is harder to make it look like he's doing it every day. Great line, and it was just one of many.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Boerne, TX, United States 03-24-13
    Amazon Customer Boerne, TX, United States 03-24-13 Member Since 2005

    I listen to audiobooks mainly while commuting 90 minutes a day and when walking. Sometimes when knitting.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    63
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not your usual spy novel"

    Interesting twist on a spy novel and I enjoyed it all the way through. Not sure I am up for the sequel but it was a good use of a credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KH Matthews, NC, United States 06-10-12
    KH Matthews, NC, United States 06-10-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Painful"
    What was most disappointing about Keith Thomson’s story?

    It was a nice concept but it was just too painful to keep listening in and out of Drummonds episodes. I have seen the effects of Alzheimer's first hand with grandparents, and it is a horrible disease for which I am happy that Mr. Thomson brings it to the forefront. However, the amount of conspiracy theories that would have to be put in place after every scene is far too much to accept in anyone sitting. This is why I listened to the book over several 45 minute walks because I just couldn't take it. I still have 8 minutes left and I have no desire to finish.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results
Sort by:
  • Mr
    United Kingdom
    5/6/12
    Overall
    "starts slowly, but builds very well"

    Starts slowly, but builds very well into a enthralling and gripping listen that's hard to put down.

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

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.