Once and Future Spy

Once and Future Spy

4.0 7
by Robert Littell
     
 

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Extraordinarily inventive, breathtakingly imaginative, and relentlessly gripping, The Once and Future Spy is easy to read, and hard to put down.
By national best-selling author, Robert Littell, whose most recent novel The Company received rave reviews across the nation, The Once and Future Spy is finally back in print. This is Littell at the top of his form,

Overview

Extraordinarily inventive, breathtakingly imaginative, and relentlessly gripping, The Once and Future Spy is easy to read, and hard to put down.
By national best-selling author, Robert Littell, whose most recent novel The Company received rave reviews across the nation, The Once and Future Spy is finally back in print. This is Littell at the top of his form, constructing a tale of espionage and counterespionage revealing the dirty tricks and dangerous secrets about the subjects he knows intimately the CIA and American history, past and present. Littell proves beyond all doubt that he is a storyteller of inimitable caliber. As Stephen Coonts put it, “Eric Ambler invented the modern spy novel. Robert Littell perfected it. The Once and Future Spy is a classic spy story.” At the center of Littell’s plot is an elite plan, so secret and so dangerous that its existence is known only to a tiny group of specialists within CIA headquarters. There is virtually no paper trail but, somehow, the plan has sprung a leak. The plotters must urgently trace it or face deadly consequences. Meanwhile, at work elsewhere on another highly sensitive project for "the Company" is an operative known as “the Weeder” a man obsessed with American history and one of its heroes. When the Weeder's and Washington's clandestine worlds collide, the present faces the past and disturbing moral choices are weighed against a shining patriotic dream. What is the truth? Whose truth should be believed?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This complex, layered tale of espionage pits members of the CIA against one another in an effort to stop an information leak concerning the construction and deployment of atomic devices. In Washington, Rear Admiral J. Pepper Toothacher is recalled from disgraced retirement to ``walk back the cat''--that is, trace the leak. He is joined by the brilliant but physically repulsive Wanamaker and a mathematical genius-cum-chauffeur named Huxstep. In New York, Silas Sibley, aka the Weeder, also engaged in secret work for the company, tracks phone calls across the nation from his SoHo loft and--in his spare time--indulges a passion for Revolutionary War heroes, particularly one legendary figure he coyly refers to as ``Nate.'' When Toothacher's operation closes in on the leak, the Weeder's world is abruptly shut down, and he, with his erratic but appealing sidekick Snow, takes flight--for reasons he shares with Nate. Littel blends history and espionage inventively, and his dialogue and prose resound with high wit. But the story remains obtuse, the historical subplot something of a giveaway. The result is funny and complex but a little silly. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo. (May)
Publishers Weekly
Two more of Robert Littell's vintage spy novels are back in print. Set soon after the Cuban missile crisis, Littell's 1986 novel The Sisters has CIA operatives Francis and Carroll (affectionately known to their colleagues as "the sisters of Night and Death") manipulating the KGB's smartest agents as if they're so many puppets. They get "the Potter," former head of the KGB's sleeper agent school, to betray his best prot g , "the Sleeper," sending the Potter on a cross-continent trek to rescue his student with the help of the Sleeper's ex-lover, a mortuary hair stylist. In The Once and Future Spy, originally published in 1990, the CIA plans to discredit the Ayatollah Khomeini in the early 1980s by blowing up the University of Tehran. The mission is threatened when a rogue operative, a proto-computer hacker obsessed with the Revolutionary War traitor Nathan Hale, gets wind of it. These will come as a boon to Littell's fans. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Littell is still hot with the success of his recent title The Company, but this espionage novel dates back to 1990. It tells the story of a deeply hidden group within the CIA, whose secret plans suddenly aren't so secret. The book also has a historical tack as one of the operatives follows an obsession with a figure from American history. If fans of The Company ask for another title, recommend this. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"An unusual, absorbing book that should keep you riveted." —The New York Times Book Review

"Eric Ambler invented the modern spy novel. Robert Littell perfected it. The Once and Future Spy is a classic spy story." —Stephen Coonts

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585673889
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
02/10/2003
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
294
Product dimensions:
6.22(w) x 9.14(h) x 1.16(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Robert Littell's novels include the New York Times bestseller The Company, The October Circle, Mother Russia, The Amateur, The Once and Future Spy, An Agent in Place, The Visiting Professor, and Walking Back the Cat. A former Newsweek journalist, he is an American currently living in France.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Martel, France
Date of Birth:
January 8, 1935
Place of Birth:
Brooklyn, New York
Education:
B.A., Alfred University, 1956

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The Once and Future Spy 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Bizarre' and 'convoluted' aptly describe this spy novel. I chose to read it based on numerous commentators comparing Little to spy greats LeCarre and Deighton. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The style was fanciful as opposed to LeCarre and Deighton's overwhelming realism. The dialogue was trite, contrived and gratuitous, in stark contrast to LeCarre and Deighton's which is used solely to advance the plot. And, the storyline was set in some unrecognizable historical context or era, whereas LeCarre and Deighton's works reference real events and at least can be placed in the proper decade. Wholly disappointed. Justin
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although I found the characters interesting and the book did get better as it went along, I was not, however, interested in the authors use of historical descriptors to provide an insight into the Weeder. I found the ending to be totally confusing. I reread it four or five times and still could not figure it out. Was Huxstep in the bar or on the boat? Somebody Please Explain!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maybe we shoul move to a bigger result. Cause then we would have more space