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The Prodigal Spy | [Joseph Kanon]

The Prodigal Spy

The Prodigal Spy is a story of fathers and sons and the loyalties that transcend borders, and of a young man's search for the truth buried in his own past, when a national drama was made personal and history itself became a crime story.

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Publisher's Summary

Washington, 1950. The trouble with history, Nick Kotlar's father tells him, is that you have to live through it before you know how it'll come out. And for Walter Kotlar, a high-level State Department official, the stakes couldn't be higher: an ambitious Congressman has accused him of treason. As Nick watches helplessly, his family's privileged world is turned upside down in a frenzy of klieg lights and banging gavels. Then, one snowy night the chief witness against his father plunges to her death and his father flees, leaving only an endless mystery and the stain of his defection. It would be better, Nick is told, to think of him as dead.

But twenty years later Walter Kotlar is still alive, and he enlists Molly, a young journalist, to bring Nick a disturbing message. He badly wants to see his son; after two decades of silence and isolation, he is desperate to end his own Cold War. Resentful but intrigued, Nick agrees to accompany Molly to Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia for the painful reunion.

Once in Prague, Nick finds a clandestine world where nothing is what it seems - not the beautiful city, shadowy with menace; not the woman with whom he falls in love; and most of all not the man he thinks he no longer knows, yet still knows better than anyone. For Walter Kotlar has an impossible request: he wants to come home and he wants Nick to help. He also has a valuable secret about what really happened the night he walked out of Nick's life - and about the deadly conspiracy that still threatens them.

©1998 Joseph Kanon; (P)1998 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (22 )
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4.8 (4 )
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1.5 (4 )
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  •  
    julia Bedford, NY, United States 03-11-05
    julia Bedford, NY, United States 03-11-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "very Bourne Identity ish"

    the plot is complex and historically interesting. there are a lot of components and hidden agendas making this listen absolutley intriguing. this is the only book I have read by him, but it was a terrific "listen" and the reader does a good job. Definitely an old school style novel that is a pleasant change from some of the more recent "trying too hard" novels.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    June Ventura, CA, United States 03-31-14
    June Ventura, CA, United States 03-31-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    Story
    "Great story: get rid of the music intros and segue"
    What made the experience of listening to The Prodigal Spy the most enjoyable?

    Enjoyed the story very much, I'm downloading another title by this author as I write this. Music is poorly reproduced and interferes with narration.


    What other book might you compare The Prodigal Spy to and why?

    Tinker, tailor ...


    What three words best describe Boyd Gaines’s performance?

    Appropriate.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Herbert Hinklebaum Chester, IL USA 09-19-13
    Herbert Hinklebaum Chester, IL USA 09-19-13 Member Since 2004

    Bert

    ratings
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    30
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    Story
    "Lousy Sound"

    Liga is right. I'm going to ask for a credit because the sound is so bad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liga Basye, VA, United States 06-26-12
    Liga Basye, VA, United States 06-26-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    3
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    Story
    "Good story, poor quality presentation"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The book is great -- would recommend the hard copy since the poor quality of the recording really detracts from the enjoyment of hearing the story. The sound quality was poor (very muffled, scratchy), the background music was screechy and caused me to yank out my ear plugs several times. The narrator was great, but his voice, etc. suffered because of the bad production level.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Joseph Kanon is a terrific writer, I always enjoy his books -- they are tightly written, take unexpected turns, one can really get "into" the characters -- this was no exception. This book, like "The Good German" presents unique situations from unique perspectives, presenting an interesting (and educational) look at a political situation that has sometimes been stereotyped in pop movies and books...


    What didn’t you like about Boyd Gaines’s performance?

    I thought Boyd's performance was good -- the production was awful & the full impact of his performance could not be appreciated properly.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Depends -- the movie of "The Good German" was a sore disappointment, so don't know.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Smyrna, GA, United States 02-08-12
    K. Smyrna, GA, United States 02-08-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
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    Story
    "Great story, poor quality audio"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I've read the unabridged print edition of this book and enjoyed it; thought I would try the audio version on for size. The narration is good, but the audio quality is severely distorted. At first I thought they were deliberately imitating a 50s-era newsreel audio track, but it quickly became clear that something is just not right with this one.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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