To Paul Christopher, the world of espionage had become a region of the mad, in which men and women lived without conviction and were compelled by a craving for conspiracy. But now, he has to find the "mole" in the Outfit and demand justice from enemies, past and present. As he follows the twisting path of this secret American intelligence group, he discovers a trail of betrayal and violence that leads backward to the horrors of the Nazi era and plunges forward beyond the Vietnam War's labyrinth of lies.
Would you listen to The Last Supper again? Why?
I have! It is such a thick and nuanced story that each reading opens up new treasures.
Have you listened to any of Stefan Rudnicki’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Yes. His voice is not pleasant to me, and I had to force myself to continue listening the first time I heard him, but he is a very good reader, and I have (almost) become used to him. In fact, hearing his voice in other books stirs up the enormously good memories I made reading this book.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, but the scope of it made that impossible. One has to pay attention to the plethora of detail.
Any additional comments?
This is one of my all time favorite novels. It is basically a family epic underlying a spy saga. I was attracted and engaged by the characters and the sensitivity of the characterizations and plot line. I felt lost and sad when the book ended and missed the characters. The story is unusual and exciting and thoroughly engrossing, with not a few surprises along the way. I was emotionally moved by the events of the book. WARNING: His novel Old Boys is not a worthy sequel to this wonderful book.
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In this magnificent novel, Charles McCarry returns to the world of his legendary character Paul Christopher—the savvy intelligence agent as skilled at choosing a fine wine as he is at tradecraft, at once sophisticated and dangerous, and no stranger to the world of dirty tricks. Now Paul Christopher has mysteriously disappeared. But a group of his retired colleagues - the “Old Boys” from the Outfit - refuse to believe Christopher is dead.
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
Someone who had not read The Last Supper would enjoy it more than I did.
What could Charles McCarry have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
The Last Supper by this author is one of my all-time favorite novels. Although drawn as dramatically original characters, the people were believable and thoroughly engaging. The character of Laurie, the mother, was among the most attractive and interesting. Old Boys, however, took this character beyond the bounds of any reasonableness, and I was thoroughly irritated by her role in Old Boys. While Le Carre is overtly misogynist, I kept thinking that McCarry was also displaying misogyny, but by turning a woman into a man. Without giving away the plot, I do not think there is any way the woman that McCarry created in The Last Supper would have acted as he portrayed her in Old Boys, especially as related to her son. I think he was performing dramatic gymnastics in order to bring her back and try to create a rational plot line. He failed. The plot line stretches the bounds of suspension of belief to bursting.
I can think of a dozen other plot lines that would have done this character justice. The subplot of the amphora manuscript is equally ridiculous and comes off equally contrived.
Did Stefan Rudnicki do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?
Although his voice is not pleasant to me, he is a very good reader. Changing the character of his voice to differentiate characters is not his forte; however he e does a reasonable and adequate job.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
This book sparked deep disappointment. This was not a worthy sequel to The Last Supper.
Any additional comments?
I would still give other McCarry books a chance, but only because of the perfection of The Last Supper.
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