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The Director | [David Ignatius]

The Director

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (99 )
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3.8 (87 )
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4.3 (90 )
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  •  
    Charles TULSA, OK, United States 06-09-14
    Charles TULSA, OK, United States 06-09-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well Done."

    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.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frances Garland, Texas, United States 06-22-14
    Frances Garland, Texas, United States 06-22-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just Flat Out Scary!"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alvin 06-21-14
    Alvin 06-21-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "New fan of writer- David Ignatius - THE DIRECTOR"
    What made the experience of listening to The Director the most enjoyable?

    The Director is brilliant writing. I could physically imagine each character, the scenes, and locations.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Attention to detail. Ignatius knowledge of the intelligence industry and US foreign policy.
    He really gets it right!


    What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

    His vocal inflections were very good! Timing, spacing, the entire delivery, great!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I did not have an extreme reaction, only intense fascination!


    Any additional comments?

    I'm a fan!!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott United States 07-31-14
    Scott United States 07-31-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lucky Ending"
    What disappointed you about The Director?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by George Guidall – was your favorite?

    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.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHESTER LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 07-18-14
    CHESTER LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 07-18-14 Member Since 2007

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "CONSPIRACY THEORIES"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 07-18-14
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 07-18-14 Member Since 2011

    I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Average-even George Guidall didn't rescue this."

    Meh...

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Soudant Jupiter, FL, United States 07-09-14
    Soudant Jupiter, FL, United States 07-09-14 Member Since 2004
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    "Good Underplot; terrible main story"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Hanson Alameda, CA United States 06-25-14
    Linda Hanson Alameda, CA United States 06-25-14 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Almost..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by George Guidall – was your favorite?

    George Guidall is always brilliant...any character he does comes to life.


    Do you think The Director needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. It needs a rewrite.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan P. Parker Marysville, CA USA 07-06-14
    Jonathan P. Parker Marysville, CA USA 07-06-14 Member Since 2008

    JP California

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not even the great George Guidall could fix this"
    What disappointed you about The Director?

    started out great but became sophomoric half way through. Ended in a thud. Geo Guidall great as usual.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Maybe some psyfi


    Have you listened to any of George Guidall’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    He's always superior


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Director?

    Change the ending.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russ Potomac, MD, United States 06-26-14
    Russ Potomac, MD, United States 06-26-14 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "more paranoia"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    yes...the plot


    Would you be willing to try another book from David Ignatius? Why or why not?

    no...the 'boomer' mentality resonates throughout all his efforts


    What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    saves eyestrain


    Could you see The Director being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    today? sure...


    Any additional comments?

    when will somebody give our security establishment a few kudos, instead of constant BS?

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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