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Publisher's Summary

For listeners of John le Carré and viewers of Homeland, a slow-burning psychological spy thriller by a former brigadier general of intelligence in the Israeli army.

After attending her father's funeral, former Mossad agent Rachel Goldschmitt empties her bank account and disappears. But when she makes a cryptic phone call to her former handler, Ehud, the Mossad sends him to track her down. Finding no leads, he must retrace her career as a spy to figure out why she abandoned Mossad before she can do any damage to Israel. But he soon discovers that after living undercover for so long, an agent's assumed identity and her real one can blur, catching loyalty, love, and truth between them. In the midst of a high-risk, high-stakes investigation, Ehud begins to question whether he ever knew his agent at all.

In The English Teacher, Yiftach R. Atir drew on his own experience in intelligence to weave a psychologically nuanced thriller that explores the pressures of living under an assumed identity for months at a time.

©2016 Yiftach Reicher Atir (P)2016 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"An extraordinary page turner, told with clarity, insight, and compassion, The English Teacher offers a rare and realistic portrait of the unrelenting sacrifices of living a double life." (Gideon Raff)
"[Yiftach R. Atir] probes how leading a double life can erode the foundations of a spy's former existence; how all of the lies are rooted in truth, and the truth, especially when it comes to love, is often coated with a patina of lies.... Masterful." ( The Times of Israel)
"The book...does exactly what a novel of its kind should do: re-examine the Mossad. Throughout the book...doubts are cast on personal as well as national morality.... Atir seeks to pinpoint the fine line separating the moral actions that operatives perform for their country and their own exploitation." ( Ha'aretz)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rosemary
  • Greenwich, CT, United States
  • 02-19-17

Powerful suspense story

This is not a feel good happy ending spy story. It's a powerful and seemingly truthful account of an agent caught between a real life which holds nothing for her and a False life that she creates containing all that she loves. Well written and well read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ann
  • United States
  • 01-08-17

The Good and the Bad

The Washington Post named this mystery novel one of the top 10 of 2016. I agree that the story was well written and interesting; however, while the narrator had a good voice and did an adequate job, her lack of energy throughout much of the story did a disservice to the author and the listeners. Overall, still a good audiobook.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

In the leauge of "I am pilgrim "

If you want to feel what kind of nightmare the agents live this will swollow-you!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Don't , just don't.

No big story, nothing special, no character building. I waited and waited then it's over.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unique, captivating and thought-provoking.

Very different from the usual spy thriller genre. It's stark, dark and realistic. No good guys. No bad guys. Just human beings.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Katherine
  • Georgetown, Ontario, Canada
  • 03-07-17

Psychological spy novel

I found I couldn't stop listening to this, so once I caught on to what kind of book it was, I enjoyed it. Once you accept it's more about the inner experience of being a spy, especially as a woman, it makes sense. The focus is different than many other spy novels, but it seemed believable most of the time, with a couple of exceptions. I especially liked how the author made reference to John Le Carre's Little Drummer Girl in a very clever way, because seasoned spy novel readers likely would be thinking of it and comparing them early in the novel.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Reminiscent of John LeCarre novels

Where does The English Teacher rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I'd rank it close to the very top.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The English Teacher?

The return of the protagonist to her one time lover after 15 years. But don't think this book should be classified with the romance genre. The story is more profound and reveals an in-depth look at what covert agents must do and how they are "used".

What about Charlotte Albanna’s performance did you like?

Her performance was fine just not remarkable.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Manipulators

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed the story but there seemed to be parts that were missing...didn't flow smoothly. Not sure if this was due to the author's requirement to edit out some of the details that were too revealing regarding covert work or some other reason. I did find it very interesting and character development was great.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

don't waste your time or money

it was not exciting. It was boring. it was sad. I kept waiting for intrigued there was none. I will avoid this author in the future.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful