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The Amateur: A Novel of Revenge | [Robert Littell]

The Amateur: A Novel of Revenge

Charlie Heller is an ace cryptographer for the Company. He's a quiet man with a quiet job in a back office. But when terrorists shoot his fiancee in cold blood and Heller learns that the Agency has decided not to pursue those responsible, his life takes an abrupt turn. He was not a blackmailer but he will force the CIA's hand. He was not an assassin but he will penetrate the Iron Curtain with the intent to kill. Heller is an amateur with a one-in-a-million chance of success.
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Publisher's Summary

In a world of professionals, Charlie Heller is the Amateur, and he's at the center of a chillingly engrossing tale of espionage and intrigue, written by master-of-the-genre Robert Littell.

In this "first-rate thriller" (Chicago Tribune), Charlie Heller is an ace cryptographer for the Company. He's a quiet man with a quiet job in a back office. But when terrorists shoot his fiancee in cold blood and Heller learns that the Agency has decided not to pursue those responsible, his life takes an abrupt turn. He was not a blackmailer but he will force the CIA's hand. He was not an assassin but he will penetrate the Iron Curtain with the intent to kill. Driven by an obsessive need for revenge, targeted for elimination by the CIA itself, Heller is an amateur with a one-in-a-million chance of success.

With last year's publication of his New York Times best seller The Company, Robert Littell reestablished his position as one of our top writers of intelligent, ironic, and always entertaining espionage thrillers. After many years The Amateur, a cult classic among aficionados, is finally available in audio.

©1981 Robert Littell; (P)2003 New Millenium Audio, All Rights Reserved.

What the Critics Say

"Superb...real terror...a hall-of-mirrors showdown...plus last-minute twists...Littell is in top form." (Kirkus)
"A taut, chilling plot and a protagonist as memorable as one of Len Deighton's, or le Carre's George Smiley." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (558 )
5 star
 (147)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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4.1 (132 )
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (130 )
5 star
 (62)
4 star
 (50)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    M.W. SW USA 05-21-12
    M.W. SW USA 05-21-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    213
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    365
    191
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    19
    Overall
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    Story
    "A Little Better than Just OK"

    I'm thinking closer to 3 1/2 stars. I almost quit listening about 1/2 way thru because it was getting pretty boring, but then things started to pick up a bit. I doubt I'd listen to this book again, and while I don't feel like I wasted a credit, I didn't get as much book as I had hoped for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Huntington Beach, CA, United States 03-18-12
    John Huntington Beach, CA, United States 03-18-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    269
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    283
    164
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    FOLLOWING
    34
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Littell in my mind is one of the best in espionage"

    Littell and Brick go very well together. I wish more authors could write like Littell and more narrators were like Brick. A great 8 hours story. Never boring. I always tend to enjoy longer books, but occasionally a shorter book is a breath of fresh air. This is an excellent choice for a shorter book that feels longer. I will definitely listen to all of Littell's books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. A. Jacques Michigan USA 12-22-10
    E. A. Jacques Michigan USA 12-22-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    74
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    46
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    4
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    Overall
    "Good Listen"

    This was my first book by the author. After reading the reviews of the authors books I was interested in getting the Company, but it???s a 40 hour book. So I decided to test the waters with this one first and ignore some of the negative reviews others have given ??? and was glad I did. I found it to be an excellent and completely enjoyable listen. Just the right level of character and plot development. The author made this unlikely hero a truly interesting character and provided just the right level of detail for the supporting characters.

    I really don???t understand the criticism others are making and glad I ignored them and gave this one a try. I actually wish it would have been a longer book with more detail.

    I also enjoyed the narration of Scott Brick who continues to show why he is one of the best - at least in my mind.

    So I just got the company and have settled in for, what I hope to be, some enjoyable commutes. If you like this genre, and agree with some of my past reviews, you can trust me that you won't be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Maple Grove, MN, USA 10-01-04
    Robert Maple Grove, MN, USA 10-01-04 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "No surprises"

    Unlike Littell's very good book "The Company" this book has no surprises in it - one can see the end from the beginning. Not very believable.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Little Rock, AR, USA 07-13-04
    Kevin Little Rock, AR, USA 07-13-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    26
    3
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    Overall
    "Way too slow of a start for my taste"

    While the overall story has potential, the author decides to bring the book to a grinding halt 1/3 of the way in. Once the terrorists kill the girl, the next 2 hrs. are a waste of "character building". Extremely boring until he leaves for the Czech Republic. And then the ending was a disappointment as well (in the warehouse). At least I know what Guinea Fowl are now.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful

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