Gift Guide

The Old Boys [NOOK Book]


More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
The Old Boys

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99 price


More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Charles Trueheart
In Old Boys, his 10th novel, McCarry has cut loose yet again, this time in a cheerfully convoluted yarn whose tone is by turns mischievous and elegiac.
The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
McCarry is another ace spy novelist from the past to whom Overlook's Peter Mayer is giving a new lease on life (as with Robert Littell's The Company two years ago). Both of them are real pros, with McCarry having a more lapidary style and a rather more aristocratic turn of mind. His "old boys," former CIA men who come out of retirement to help one of their former colleagues, Horace Hubbard, find his lost cousin, Paul Christopher, are a classy group, each with a well-defined area of expertise. Christopher, an elderly agent himself (he starred in some of McCarry's earlier books, most notably in The Tears of Autumn), has disappeared, and apparently died, in a remote area of China. His ashes are sent back to the U.S. by the Chinese, and a memorial service is held. But Horace cannot believe he is dead, and nor can Paul's daughter, Zarah. As they set out on Christopher's trail, they find it leads to his remarkable mother, Lori, who was probably involved in the assassination of Nazi kingpin Heydrich in WWII and kept as a legacy of that monster a priceless scroll in his possession depicting the death of Christ from a Roman agent's viewpoint. The plot is almost indescribable, involving a Muslim terrorist who wants the scroll and who plans to blow up much of the West with a cache of miniature Soviet nuclear bombs; a Chinese forced-labor camp; and sundry ex-Nazis, ex-KGB men and double-crossers galore. It's a great tribute to McCarry's skill that he manages to keep all his colored balls in the air and carry the reader willingly with him. But the kitchen-sink approach to the plot increasingly strains credibility as the story zips along, and the tension between his all-too-believable "old boys" and the comic-book action is never satisfactorily resolved. Agent, Owen Laster at William Morris. (June) Forecast: Overlook is getting behind this novel in a big way, with a 75,000 first printing, a $50,000 Father's Day campaign and rights already sold in six countries. While there's a challenge in bringing McCarry back to his older fans and, perhaps more importantly, introducing him to new ones, the house's experience with Robert Littell has proven that can be done. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Undoubtedly, fans of high-caliber spy fiction will welcome the return of McCarry's intelligence agent Paul Christopher (The Tears of Autumn; Second Sight), thought to have died in a remote corner of China. Upon receiving Christopher's ashes, his cousin, Horace, a onetime spy himself, nevertheless doubts their authenticity. He recruits a team of old boys from "the Outfit" (think CIA) to track down any evidence that their friend is alive and can be saved. Their investigations take them not just hither and yon over the globe but also deep into the minds of terrorists and religious extremists of the sort that American readers will recognize today. Truly unusual aspects of this rambunctious excursion into the exotic include a son's lasting love for his kidnapped mother, lost back in the Nazi heyday and her profound attachment to a mysterious scroll connected to Judas of the New Testament. McCarry, a wizard writer, transforms the sturdy ingredients of the spy and suspense genres into a magical brew for our new age. A summer read that will be in demand at many public libraries. Barbara Conaty, Falls Church, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A collection of retired intelligence agents comes to the aid of the very dashing Christopher family of spies last seen in McCarry's 1991 Second Sight. Paul Christopher is dead. Possibly. A packet of ashes has arrived from western China, where the retired spook had spent ten years as a prisoner. Why on earth would he go back to such an awful scene? And why isn't the provenance of the cremains any better than it is? These and other questions plague Paul's cousin Horace Hubbard, who was also in the family spying business until caught stealing a national election. Horace rather thinks that Paul has taken the opportunity to drop out of the scenery, and, indeed, following Paul's state funeral, clues lead Horace to a hollowed-out table leg in his cousin's house wherein are cached clues suggesting that Paul has headed for central Asia on a hunt for his nonagenarian mum and a glass vial containing a Roman intelligence officer's eyewitness report of events in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Christopher's mother, a German national who lived enough lives for five ordinary mortals, salvaged the document from Nazi Germany and has been carrying it about ever since. Horace rounds up a group of elderly colleagues and begins a search for Paul that takes him to China, Bulgaria, Turkey, South America, and numerous "-stans." He must be rather careful, since there is a fatwa out on him. Ibn Awad, an Islamic maniac Horace had supposedly killed in the line of business, is not only alive, but very much in the hunt for that interesting bit of biblical history and very unhappy about that murder attempt. After he eliminates Horace, Ibn Awad plans to blow up numerous satanic cities with the old Soviet A-bombs he'sbeen hoarding, so the Old Boys have to keep an eye out for radiation. There are numerous narrow escapes from goons, police, armies, and Arabs, and a lot of interesting side trips well off the beaten tourist-track. Excellent spy thriller in the Anglo-American style. First printing of 75,000; $50,000 ad/promo; author tour
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781468300307
  • Publisher: Overlook
  • Publication date: 6/3/2004
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 328,847
  • File size: 808 KB

Meet the Author

Charles McCarry served under deep cover as a CIA operations officer in Europe, Asia, and Africa. He is the author of nine critically acclaimed novels, as well as numerous works of non-fiction incuding Citizen Nader. He currently splits his time between Florida and the Berkshires.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2004


    Charles McCarry with 'Old Boys' is to spy thrillers as Logan Robert Bingham with 'Hunter Rising' is to SF.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)