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The Ambler Warning: A Novel | [Robert Ludlum]

The Ambler Warning: A Novel

On Parrish Island, a restricted island off the coast of Virginia, is a little-known and never-visited psychiatric facility. There, the government stores former intelligence employees whose psychiatric states make them a danger to their own government, people whose ramblings might endanger ongoing operations or prove dangerously inconvenient. One of these employees, agent Hal Ambler, is kept heavily medicated and closely watched. But there's one difference between Hal and the other patients, Hal isn't crazy.
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Publisher's Summary

On Parrish Island, a restricted island off the coast of Virginia, is a little-known and never-visited psychiatric facility. There, far from prying eyes, the government stores former intelligence employees whose psychiatric states make them a danger to their own government, people whose ramblings might endanger ongoing operations or prove dangerously inconvenient. One of these employees, former Consular Operations agent Hal Ambler, is kept heavily medicated and closely watched. But there's one difference between Hal and the other patients, Hal isn't crazy. With the help of a sympathetic nurse, Hal manages to clear his mind of the drug-induced haze and then pulls off a daring escape. Now he's out to discover who stashed him here and why, but the world he returns to isn't the one he remembers. Friends and longtime associates don't remember him, there are no official records of Hal Ambler, and, when he first sees himself in the mirror, the face that looks back at him is not the one he knows as his own.

©2005 Myn Pyn, LLC; (P)2005 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Ludlum packs more suspense into his novels than any other six-pack of thriller writers combined." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (935 )
5 star
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4.1 (156 )
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Story
4.1 (151 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Patsy Bailey 11-29-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    1
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    "What Were They Thinking?"

    Could have been a great ride. If the narrator was asked to read this
    book in this manner, he should have turned the job down. Seems like
    an interesting story but my mind wandered so much due to narration not holding my attenton, could not wait until it was over

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Thornburg Huntersville, NC United States 12-17-05
    Mike Thornburg Huntersville, NC United States 12-17-05 Member Since 2000

    capitalist

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "Listener be warned"

    I have loved Robert Ludlum novels since my introduction to his writing in the early 80's. I have travelled to exotic locales, fought enemies of mankind, and loved with all the passion of his characters as they triumphed in their pursuits. But, the Ambler Warning is an utter disappointment. Be warned, this is not up to the character or caliber of Robert Ludlum. Perhaps he has lost his touch.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amor Canton, CT, USA 11-03-05
    Amor Canton, CT, USA 11-03-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    163
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    28
    14
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    "Tragic!"

    In the tradition of Ludlumese style, plot and execution, this latest book could have been more fun and enjoyable to hear had it not been for a choice of the narrator whose effeminate voice and poor elocution was a grave sacrilege to Mr. Ludlum and the eloquence of the previous narrators Erik Bergmann, Patrick Larkin and most specially Paul Michael. Mr. Sowers spared me from taking Ambien. I had difficulty discriminating the characters since there was not much difference in the decibels of their corresponding voices. It was monotonous.

    Don't worry. I continue to be mistified by Mr. Ludlum's style and poetic flair despite my utter disappointment with Mr. Sowers. I just hope that for our sake, you reinstate Mr. Paul Michael. The way he narrated the Tristan Betrayal, Sigma Protocol and Janson Directive still reverberate in my mind

    120 of 136 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Redfin Western Canada 03-25-08
    Redfin Western Canada 03-25-08 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    16
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    "The Ambler Warning"

    A typical Ludlum, fast paced and exciting and because of that a lack of reality. The audio was quite good but the narrator lacked the ability to make the different characters stand out through their different voices. This genre works best in books, then on film and less so on audio tape in my view. It did help me get through long drives across the southern U.S. deserts!

    Are there really people who are as skilled and knowledgeable as Hal Ambler? The "Jason Bourne" type character has been well used by Ludlum albeit highly successfully. I still rate the Gemini Contenders as my first and favourite Ludlum and one of my favourite books of all time but that judgment was made many moons ago when the genre was all quite fresh and new!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William L. Shallbetter Cape Coral, FL 11-27-05
    William L. Shallbetter Cape Coral, FL 11-27-05 Member Since 2005

    Cape Coral Bill

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Ambler Warning"

    The story is great, but I strongly suggest the short version of this book. The author rambles on about many situations that do not add anything to the story. I can see how they can take this 16 hour book and shorten it to 7 hours. I found my mind wandering many times while listening to it.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott West Jefferson, OH, USA 01-31-09
    Scott West Jefferson, OH, USA 01-31-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Spend your money elsewhere"

    Spend your money elsewhere, this is a ghost written book in the Ludlum name and the writer must have been paid by the word. Huge long rambling passages read by a marginal reader. The books pace is slow and plodding and more importantly the characters are not well developed as they shift and change in how they act, think, and behave frequently. The plot is predictable after the first few chapters and the twist at the ending doesn't even come as a surprise. There is nothing to challenge the reader in this novel what so ever. If this had not been written as part of the "Ludlum" franchise it would be taking up space in trash can of an editor. Perhaps if you could find an abridged version of this novel it might decrease the suffering enough to at least be palatable.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sammy Eddy, TX, USA 02-13-06
    Sammy Eddy, TX, USA 02-13-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    5
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    "Heed The Warning"

    Yes, this is a long book. Yes it is not easily digested, and yes it requires more than average concentration to enjoy, but it is also Robert Ludlum's work. To those reviewers who complain about it's pace and about its complexity I have to ask what they expected? Ludlum's work is a finely detailed portrait of implausible heroes thrust into near impossible situations against powerful foes. Anyone expecting a light,breezy watercolor of a book has no business reading Ludlum in the first place. If you are not into finely detailed characters and their interaction with one another, read another book. If you can't appreciate a complex plot, with many turns and twists, read another book. When you make the decision to read a Ludlum book you are committing yourself to investing time and concentration into it. This book, like all of my favorite Ludlum books, requires an effort to grasp and understand it's intricate structure. If you know Ludlum you understand that starting one of his novels is going to take you on a trip that is not suited for a day's effort. This book requires at least a long week-end, preferable longer, to absorb and savor in order to appreciate it. This book is not "fast food", it is an exquisite dinner to be enjoyed slowly and with deep appreciation of characters who you can only envy for their perseverence and originality as they grapple with great adversity. If you are willing to give it the time and effort it deserves, The Amsler Warning will remind you why Mr. Ludlum's passing is a cause of regret and mourning for his fans worldwide.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Exeter, RI, United States 11-24-05
    Mark Exeter, RI, United States 11-24-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Typical spy mystery"

    A good book but there seemed to be an unending "more of the same" pattern. The end was disappointing in that it ended quickly without full explanation. Almost like the writer got tired and wanted to get it over with. If you like suspense novels, you may enjoy it anyway.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. A. Franklin 10-02-08 Member Since 2007

    eaf14131

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story"

    I would have given this 5 stars if it weren't for the reader. His single voiced style could put an insomniac to sleep. The story itself is great. Typical Ludlum, with lots of action and twists, but as I said, you have to concentrate not to let you mind wander

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert K. Maeda Geneva, CH 03-06-08
    Robert K. Maeda Geneva, CH 03-06-08 Member Since 2006

    R Maeda

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "pointless"

    The reader is fine. The writing is fine. The characters are fine. If the story would follow suit. .. From the beginning of the story, Ludlum has you asking why people did things to the main character, Ambler. If you turn off your brain and just say, "Gee Whiz, why don't I just read and find out", then perhaps you can enjoy this story. If you think, even a little bit, then the whole ending is way too obvious. I had a hard time listening to it to the end, because if you know the ending, then you just can't figure out why the bad guys would set up such a convoluted plot, using such a talented agent, when the direct way would have been so much easier. I don't want to give too much away, so let me just end by saying that came away from this read feeling as if I had just wasted a lot of time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Andrew
    Stockport, Cheshire, United Kingdom
    9/14/09
    Overall
    "Enjoyable rollercoaster"

    Robert Ludlum writes some excellent thrillers. This one is slightly formulaic and follows a similar thread to the 'Bourne' series. Having said that it was hugely enjoyable rollercoaster of a ride. The narrator's characterisation was excellent and subtle rather than over-the-top. All-in-all, very enjoyable, although I think most people will guess the ending before they get there.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    Derby, Derbyshire, United Kingdom
    1/14/07
    Overall
    "A good listen."

    I enjoyed this book. Classic Ludlum stuff really. It's long, I'll agree, but then I like long books that develop characters slowly. The ending is surprising to say the least.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
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