Customer Reviews for

Harlot's Ghost

Average Rating 2.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2002

    Better than Clancy

    Mailer's " Harlot's Ghost " is truly a masterpiece about the C.I.A, and gives terrific insight into the exposition of being in the shoes of an intelligence officer. Harry Hubbard is almost as realistic as anyone, and represents the reader in the story who is interested in knowing how these secret agents live their lives and do the work their country has asked them to fulfill. The novel should have received a Pulitzer Prize for the material the book has presented and the genius of Norman Mailer. The reason why I believe Tom Clancy could not even come close to " Harlot's Ghost " is because Clancy will write a 1400 page book and half of it will only exist so Clancy can demonstrate his so-called military intellect, when the other half of the novel is really the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2001

    The first REAL novel about intelligence

    I started 'Harlots Ghost' this past summer, and finally finished the book in December. My god, how to accurately describe the content, and its apparent validity. I have read various books pertaining to intelligence before, but this one takes the cake. And addressing that specific question, I am not your a-typical spy novel connoissuer. I like the real, hard-nosed fiction that is available. And I think that is precicely what attracted me most to this book. Reading it, I got the feeling time and again that this was the final authority on the subject; indeed, there are few people more akin to criticizing others for considering a 'novel,' an authority on a subject more then I. However, it is obvious that Mailor knows exactly what he is doing, has done the necessary research, and is an all-around authority. One thing I feel is essential to point out is the fact that, people might get destracted over the details. Namely, was what Mailor wrote about entirely accurate or not? That is not what Mailor meant. I believe that it is the specific questions, the answer, and the concepts that were addressed in this book, in the broadest of terms. People should get the impression, upon conclusion, that the intelligence community is completely gray, and that we live not it a fairy land, or even in a 'bad start, good ending' land. Everyone is split down the middle, to put it in laymans terms. It is such an intellectually complicated institution, this CIA, and that is the most important concept that the reader can come away with. The fact that it is as human (both super and sub) as anything else. It is reality. And so, I loved the book, for its take on what I would love to believe (obviously) is reality. Absolutely superb. Mailors inherent capabilities with regard to the intellectual mediems that these people engage in is, by all acounts, unparalleled. It is just so fantastic. The best thing about the book is just that. Written in a style that gives the reader a peak, nay, a vision, into how these lives are lived, why these choices are made, it satisfies the reader only when chapter after chapter are devoured. One will have a peak into the psychology of humans in this book as much as if one were reading a text. To give the book one slight criticism, I feel that Mailor is so good sometimes, he things that perhaps he is a little above some editing. The book lacked a certain sense of proportion with regard to the timeline. But make no mistake about it, it might be my misinterpretation on the matter the proves that the longevity of certain parts of the book is, in fact, part of what makes the book a complete book indeed. Perhaps it sacrilige to say that, I don't know. I was hoping for a continuation into the late 60's and 70's in the book, but apparently, that is to come in a much anticipated sequel. I cannot wait. And so I say, if you have made choices that leave you in the greater shaddow with regard to various philosophical comprehensions, read this book. It will fuel your interests, and is also filled with action, a good story line, and some fascinating perspectives on time periods and various historical figures. I think that, if anything, the book seems to want to quell the rumors that life is simple.

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