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Billion-Dollar Brain

Narrated by: James Lailey
Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The classic spy thriller of lethal computer-age intrigue and a maniac's private cold war, featuring the same anonymous narrator and milieu of The Ipcress File.

The fourth of Deighton's novels to be narrated by the unnamed employee of WOOC(P) is the thrilling story of an anti-communist espionage network owned by a Texan billionaire, General Midwinter, run from a vast computer complex known as the Brain. After having been recruited by Harvey Newbegin, the narrator travels from the bone-freezing winter of Helsinki, Riga, and Leningrad, to the stifling heat of Texas, and soon finds himself tangling with enemies on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

©2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"Dazzlingly intelligent and subtle." ( Sunday Times)
"Such credibility, such accurate line-by-line beaming of a sheer sense of the actual…a glittering, wintry entertainment." ( The Guardian)
"Worthy of Raymond Chandler…intelligent…inventive…constantly entertaining." ( Sunday Telegraph)

What members say

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-24-18

of its time and still timeless

surprised me as the strongest of the original 4 Harry Palmer books.

I didn't think I was going to enjoy it as much as the movie had prepared me for a James Bond pastiche but just like the Bond books aren't like their movies, neither is this. The plot, such that it is, provides an excuse for meditations on nationalism, idealism, reactionary conservatism, patriotism gone wrong, capitalism and communism, the longing for lost youth.
Vivid depictions of scene and location and details and various favourite themes of Deighton's.

The reading is great, though there's an editing glitch where occasionally the same phrase is repeated but it didn't detract for me

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  • A. Curtis
  • 08-16-17

Cold War Masterpiece

If you could sum up Billion-Dollar Brain in three words, what would they be?

Classic, soviet, gripping

What was one of the most memorable moments of Billion-Dollar Brain?

Any times our hero talks to the Russian General is fantastic

What about James Lailey’s performance did you like?

Perfect. Loved the Michael Caine style voice of course, but all the characters are so well done. Brilliant.

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

It's not very emotional although there is a lot of loyalty in question

Any additional comments?

The best of the series for me. The locations and story is very very good. Love the characters in this one. Very well written as you would expect. And some good old fashioned Cold War spy craft. Loved this book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-06-19

Dated? Possibly, but a good tale nonetheless

Although the technology dates the story, and human interactions stand the test of time and our nameless hero again navigates the cold war minefield of exactly who is loyal to who...?