The Quiller Memorandum

By: Adam Hall
Narrated by: Simon Prebble
Series: Quiller, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
4 out of 5 stars (178 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

You are a secret agent working for the British in Berlin. You are due to go home on leave, but you are being followed by the enemy - or your own people. A man meets you in the theater and briefs you on a plot to revive the power of Nazi Germany. You do not believe him, but you remember that one of the suspects mentioned was a senior SS officer you met while you were working as a spy in Nazi Germany. Next, you make contact with a beautiful girl who may know something. Someone tries to kill both of you.

Your name is Quiller. You are the hero of an extraordinary novel that shows how a spy works, how messages are coded and decoded, how contacts are made, how a man reacts under the influence of truth drugs, and that traces the story of a vastly complex, entertaining, convincing, and sinister plot.

©1965 Jonquil Trevor (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Winner, 1966 Edgar Award for Mystery Fiction

"You can't go wrong with Quiller." (Harper's)
"Tense, intelligent, harsh, surprising." (New York Times)
"A model of breathless excitement." (New Yorker)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • 3 Stars
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

It starts off pretty strong, but...

I enjoyed roughly the first half of The Quiller Memorandum immensely. It's set in Berlin during the mid 1960s, a setting ripe with intrigue, and it gets off to a fast start. But about half way through the story, an element of overdone psychoanalysis intrudes on the narrative and it just goes on and on until you begin to wonder which word applies best, tiresome or wearisome. (I say wearisome is worse than tiresome, and thus is the better choice.)

The performance by Simon Prebble is top notch.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An entertaining thriller

This is a well-read, well-written thriller that holds up to repeated listens. It is a classic of post-war espionage, full of twists and turns.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Story stops with an interesting premise

The idea of a post WWII Germany and hunting for evil Nazi's had potential. The book however realized none of it as it rambles through a self reflective narrative that neither tells a story nor develops any characters.

90% of the time the story deals with what the main character is thinking. It never seems to develop into a plot to follow nor enjoy.

This easily is my least favorite Audible download in 3 years. Maybe if you have enjoyed other of this authors books you may enjoy it, but I found it uncompelling and tedious.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Classic Spy Novel from the 1960s

A very good read/listen. Reminds me of Len Deighton's work from the same time period.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A good thriller with a lot of spy craft

This is a story about a hunter of Nazi war criminal's. I am not sure when it takes place maybe the 1990s and there is a rise of neo-Nazis in Germany and still lots of war criminals on the loose. It begins very thrilling and quite exciting but towards the end, There is an awful lot of spy craft and details about what the hero is thinking and it drags and gets a bit boring.

If you are interested in the details of spy craft then you would really enjoy this book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Fiction

Would you listen to The Quiller Memorandum again? Why?

Yes. Mostly because the story is so good but also because the performance is near perfect. The narrarator did an absolutely splendid job bringing this story to life. I don't think this would have been as good an experience without the narrarator.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The main, character, of course. Everyone else is a bad guy.

Have you listened to any of Simon Prebble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is my first time listening to Mr. Pebble. I would absolutely listen to him again. He is fantastic.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Very entertaining story. Marvelous performance.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Intricate, Credible Thriller

My first Quiller. Beautifully done. Understated, detailed and intriguing. Twists within twists. What's more, Adam Hall's crisp, unremittingly logical reasoning tightens each twist. That means that you're able to test your own mental acuity right along with Quiller's, yet the plot is so artfully paced that you're fully invested in his predicament and his peril every step of the way. You never doubt that Quiller's in danger and never quite know what he should expect. It's a page-turner right to the bitter, sobering end. Highly intelligent, adult storytelling. And fortunately it's given a modulated, piercingly rhythmed reading by Simon Prebble, easily one of the finest narrations I've come across in Audible. Prebble's tone is appropriately cynical, dead steady and acidly witty all the way. A fine vocal performance. What a captivating opening novel in a series. I can't wait to read more of Quiller.

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

A classic of espionage noir

Something of espionage procedural, full of tradecraft, this grim, tense secret agent story is set in mid’60’s Berlin, with the title character hunting resurgent Nazis. Well wrought, and very interesting, if occasionally tedious. Perfectly read by Simon Prebble.

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

Droning on

a fairly typical Cold War Era spy-type novel, replete with secret codes, handshakes, etc. Narrator droned on and on. And his pronunciation of German words/names was, at times, appalling.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Boring book

It never got going. So many descriptions of what was around the main subject and not enough story