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The book didn't live up to the expectations I had from the reviews. It was adequate and I found I did want to hang in to finish it, nonetheless. I didn't find the characters 3 dimensional nor realistic to the time period. The story was also adequate, with a little suspense, but some sections were far too drawn out. The main point of the book seemed to be to trash any outlook the author doesn't like from either a leftwing or a 2016 sensibility, I'm not sure which. The presentation of the time period was little more than a cliche and all these years later, we deserve better. There was no nuance at all, for example, in the portrayal of the McCarthy hearings. I think what modern progressives have to do to get themselves out of their narrow mindset is to imagine what should be done if there was evidence of KKK infiltration into the government. They would want to root it out by any means necessary. Surely the threat of worldwide Communism in 1953 deserved the same.
In addition to shallow characters and a distorted view of history, there were multiple times I believe words were used incorrectly or awkwardly. I did not record them all, but the latest one I just heard was "right wingism" describing the condition of people at a Republican party. Is that even a word? I would ask the author to check the platform SEVEN YEARS LATER in 1960 of one John F. Kennedy and see if it passes his 2016 sensibility test or is it also guilty of 'right wingism'. Here's a line from the JFK library: "Cold War rhetoric dominated the 1960 presidential campaign. Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard M. Nixon both pledged to strengthen American military forces and promised a tough stance against the Soviet Union and international communism."
The narrator also mispronounced a few words, but that is a minor problem for me.
The spy genre is one of my favourites but this was a 50's spy novel written by the equivalent of a semi-literate millenial with little understanding of history. I am planning to finish the book but the end can't come soon enough. I wouldn't read another by this author.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
Kept me hanging until the end, great characters - excellent first novel by Paul Vidich, can't wait for the next one.