• The Ghost Writer

  • A Novel
  • By: Robert Harris
  • Narrated by: Roger Rees
  • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (927 ratings)

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The Ghost Writer  By  cover art

The Ghost Writer

By: Robert Harris
Narrated by: Roger Rees
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Publisher's summary

Adam Lang has been Britain’s longest serving—and most controversial—prime minister of the last half century. And now that he’s left office, he’s accepted one of history’s largest cash advances to compose a tell-all (or at least, tell-some) memoir of his life and years of power.

As pressure mounts for Lang to complete this magnum opus, he hires a professional ghostwriter to finish the book. As he sets to work, the ghostwriter discovers many more secrets than Lang intends to reveal, secrets with the power to alter world politics - secrets with the power to kill.

Tense, gripping, and savvy, The Ghost Writer puts forth all the author’s long-term know-how about high stakes politics, journalism, and governmental deception. Set in America, on Martha’s Vineyard, The Ghost Writer is Harris’s finest foray into political fiction since Fatherland.

©2007 Robert Harris (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc.

Critic reviews

  • Thriller Award, Best Novel, 2008

What listeners say about The Ghost Writer

Average customer ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Too close to the truth?

I have read all of Robert Harris' novels and enjoyed them all. This one is different. And better.

Politics, power, the "war on terror," moles, murder, torture, deceit, creepy Americans, Brits, misdirection, paranoia, plausibility. It has all the elements of a great spy novel.

The events of the past seven years lend this story credibility. Can anyone seriously believe anymore that power, absolute power, does not corrupt absolutely? Or that the marriage of absolute power and unshakable conviction inevitably spawns evil?

Great read, great reader!



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23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A Real Thriller

By all means read this now as I have no idea how to movie version will be. The one great device the main character uses as a ghost writer is to repeat significant quotes from a book apparently on tips for ghost writers. Like any good thriller the plot has its share of twists and turns and it is smartly written, for very savvy listeners. I had to rewind once or twice for a line that anyone in the publishing business would "get" immediately.

The tension stays taut from the first page despite the fact that personal memoirs of statesmen tend to be dreadfully dull (i.e. This ghost writer knows what sells.)

Excellent narration and editing (i.e. no distracting noises with a perfectly matched voice to the character)

It's good, no wonder they made a movie out of it.

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16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

politicalthriller

Well-paced, suspenseful, really grips you to the end. Highly recommend.

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10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Subtle, clever and thoughtful

The reviews and the award made me get this book. Clearly derived from real-world people, the plot is more subtle than I had expected (I was expecting a real ghost and not a ghost writer but found there is a very subtle ghost running through the narrative). The beginning of the book is interesting with bursts of wit, but it is not clear what is going on. As the book gathers momentum what is happening becomes quite clear. The end is a surprise.

Summary: a highly enjoyable read with a stellar end.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Good story, great narration

The Ghost is a well written story that is worth listening to if only for the outstanding narration. The author, Robert Harris, is able to capture the tone and rhythm of the British English language and the narration of Robert Rees brings his words to life. The story blends American/British relations, tactics to counter terrorism and old fashioned politics. At times toward the end, the book gets a little tedious but has a satisfying ending. Well worth your 1 credit.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A compelling narrative

A compelling narrative, with a deceptively simple surface. I found this novel reminiscent of early John Le Carre (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold) although set in the present day. Harris' historical insight illuminates his treatments of ancient times, and this novel brings his integrity to a modern subject. This novel will make you think, even as you are entertained. A great listen!

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

If you're a fan of action, don't get this one. He talks and talks and talks about ghostwriting but nothing exciting really ever happens--at least in the first 75% that I was able to endure.

He uses a simile in every other paragraph, like a nervous patient who doesn't really need his cane but leans hard on it every few steps.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A good listen

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it. It starts out a little bit slow but it really finished strong. At one point I wondered if the book was trying to make some kind of political point but in the end I think that was part of the plot. The book was suspenseful, but not in an over the top way, more subtle. Narration was well done.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Listen

I really enjoyed this book, much more than I expected to. I found myself getting inside the main character's head and trying to follow the same path. But things were never quite what I expected them to be. And the ending is great. It's not an action novel, but it is a thriller and the fun part is that you don't know how much of a thriller until the very end.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Be Patient; It's Worth it

I bought the audio intrigued by its award. As I got into the book I kept wondering why it won the award. But there was sufficient plot and curiosity to keep me going, and the reader is excellent. Although the tension the plot created never got me nervous, there was enough to merit finishing the book. The last sentence left me shocked, surprised and a bit frightened. How Mr. Harris took a simplistic, nearly formula conspiracy story and made it sufficiently interesting without lots of gore to propel the reader to the last bitter sentence is beyond me, But that is what makes the book an award winner.

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4 people found this helpful