In David Ignatius' gripping new novel, spies don' t bother to steal information...they change it, permanently and invisibly. Graham Weber has been director of the CIA for less than a week when a Swiss kid in a dirty T-shirt walks into the American consulate in Hamburg and says the agency has been hacked, and he has a list of agents' names to prove it. This is the moment a CIA director most dreads. Weber isn' t sure where to turn until he meets a charismatic (and unstable) young man named James Morris who runs the Internet Operations Center. He' s the CIA' s in-house geek. Weber launches Morris on a mole hunt unlike anything in spy fiction - one that takes the listener into the hacker underground of Europe and America and ends up in a landscape of paranoia and betrayal. Like the new world of cyber-espionage from which it' s drawn, The Director is a maze of deception and double-dealing - about a world where everything is written in zeroes and ones and nothing can be trusted.
©2014 David Ignatius (P)2014 Recorded Books
I listened to it rather quickly- this is always a good sign on my end. I love Guidall as a narrator in general, so that may be a bias as far as my feelings on the book.
This book is a meditation on the modern challenges of an ever evolving technological world and their implications for intelligence gathering. Ignatius sets the "walk in" that kicks off the book in Germany- if there was ever a nail on the head for "this was the past, lets look at the future", this would be it. At some points, this mantra gets a little heavy handed, honestly. But it is extremely engaging and entertaining.
Like any good spy thriller, you are never quite sure who is to be trusted, nor who is truly the 'bad guy'. I imagine that is the reality of life in intelligence. Human allegiances will never be black and white and what may motivate one person may completely alienate another. The main characters reflect this concept quite nicely.
I am not one of those reviewers who will tell you huge portions of the book, thus why I am being intentionally vague. However, it is well worth your time if you like conspiracies, espionage, and paranoia. I imagine it would be a great beach listen.
I stumbled into this book because of the narrator and stayed because of the tale the author wove. A tale of those who have no true believe system other than the code they can write or the thrill of the 'hack'. The young people who were given The Lie and believed it. All the hacking done by Morris is plausible. That he is a Goverment employee is also believable. And there is where this tale causes that shiver down your spine. But that is only one of the strands in this web of lies, deceipt Mr Ignatius has so tighty woven. Add Geo. Guidall, a true master, and I could not turn it off. This is one of those I wanted to listen to straight through.
The Director is brilliant writing. I could physically imagine each character, the scenes, and locations.
Attention to detail. Ignatius knowledge of the intelligence industry and US foreign policy.
He really gets it right!
His vocal inflections were very good! Timing, spacing, the entire delivery, great!
I did not have an extreme reaction, only intense fascination!
I'm a fan!!!
I could never be confident I knew who the story was about. There were several--several--interesting, well developed and intriguing characters. But whose story was it? In the end, this was cleared up but I'm talking the VERY end. And when it was, all the other interesting characters that I had invested in just sort of melted. The ending? Well, let's just the guy who turned out to be the main character got really, really lucky.
My favorite character was the guy who had to make the hard moral choices. Readers often expect such characters to be the main character. This guy kind of was until he wasn't anymore.
The national information czar, the director of national intelligence. That was the other confusing thing. The Director. There were three of them. I'm sure this was intentional, but it also contributed to the gnawing uncertainty that there might not have been a main character.
I thought the subject matter was fascinating, current, credibly portrayed. The main technical flaw in the cyber-security plot was that ALL systems these days are archived and can be re-created. But that turned out to be OK because the real issue was the timing. It takes time to put such things all back together and the operators struck in the interim.
The book felt like an exploration into multiple characters without really a coherent plot. The villains were unmarked. The implicit threat was vague. The motivation was, in some cases, irrational. I found myself often looking for a place to put my foot, a perspective from which I could evaluate the stage. That kept shifting which might have been intentional abut it didn't work.
Chet Yarbrough, an audio book addict, exercises two cocker spaniels twice a day with an Ipod in his pocket and earbuds in his ears. Hope these few reviews seduce the public into a similar obsession but walk safely and be aware of the unaware.
Conspiracy theories are a jaded genre of fiction. The Director is marginally interesting because of Assange’s WikeLeaks, and Snowden’s NSA’ fiasco.
The Director fails as a conspiracy theory thriller but succeeds in scaring anyone that believes in freedom (which does not infringe on others), and the right to privacy. If 50% of what Ignatius suggests cyber criminals are capable of is true, no economy; no government agency; no private individual is safe.
Ignatius writes a story that suggests no security system exists that is not crack-able by a good hacker that understands computer coding and the gullibility of human beings. Ignatius infers–a good hacker with social engineering skill can crack any security system that is dependent on 1s and 0s. As a conspiracy theory story, The Director is boring and predictable but, as an exposé of cyber-crime, it is frightening.
I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.
I love Guidalls narrations...lately I've been listening by narrator rather than author..if you can't stand a narrator, why bother with the listen,right?
However, even George Guidall wasn't able to turn this average spy story into a page turner.
Don't waste your money on this.
This book is not for most people. The plot is not terribly good and the storyline goes far afield. The underplot however is all about contemporary hackers and what they can do and how they break into secure data. The best I can compare it to is some of the very different kind of people I worked with 30+ years ago who, even then, marched to their own drummer. Every computer organization had one or two of these very bright "go-to" guys; even IBM which demanded white shirts of its public people but their back-office genius folks could do as they wanted. I am certain that remains true to this day.
I did recommend it, before finishing the story, now not so much. Love the details offered up about cyber criminals going after corrupt officials but then the end came and the story just went 'poof' into the ether.
George Guidall is always brilliant...any character he does comes to life.
No. It needs a rewrite.
started out great but became sophomoric half way through. Ended in a thud. Geo Guidall great as usual.
Maybe some psyfi
He's always superior
Change the ending.
no...the 'boomer' mentality resonates throughout all his efforts
when will somebody give our security establishment a few kudos, instead of constant BS?
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