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The Defection of A.J. Lewinter

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The Defection of A.J. Lewinter Cover

ISBN13: 9780142003466
ISBN10: 0142003468
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The legendary debut spy thriller from the author of The Company.

A masterpiece of irony and intrigue, deftly and dazzlingly plotted, The Defection of A.J. Lewinter is the novel that established Robert Littell as a master of the Cold War thriller and immediately elevated him to the ranks of John le Carré, Len Deighton, and Graham Greene.

A.J. Lewinter is an American scientist, for years an insignificant cog in America's complex defense machinery. Now he is playing both sides against the middle — telling the Russians he wants to defect and tantalizing them with U.S. military secrets he claims to posses. But is his defection genuine? Neither the Russians nor the Americans are sure, and as each side struggles to anticipate its opponent's next move, Lewinter is swept up in a terrifying chess match of deceit and treachery.

Review:

"This is a dazzling work, literature of a high order that happens to address the madness of the Cold War....The Defection of A.J. Lewinter is just about perfect." Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post

Review:

"Breathtaking inventiveness....A perfect little gem, one of the best Cold War thrillers I've read in years." Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

Review:

"Rarely has confusion been so elegantly plotted. The Defection of A. J. Lewinter is a must for all who find clarity elusive and overrated. Kudos to Overlook Press for reissuing this classic." Boston Globe

About the Author

Robert Littell is the author of numerous spy novels, including the New York Times bestseller The Company, The Amateur (which was made into a feature film), and The Once and Future Spy.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

jab2060, July 29, 2010 (view all comments by jab2060)
"Defection" is a quick and breezy read, but comparisons (oft made) to LeCarre are seriously inapt. The characters, with few exceptions, are stick figures, and their behavior, in key instances, strikes this reader as contrived. The relationship between the young model, Sarah, and her lover, Diamond (the American wannabe spy whose machinations drive the 2nd half of the book) is particularly ludicrous. The dissolution of several important relationships, near the end of the novel - painful severances meant to resonate with LeCarre-esque 'rueful pathos' - struck me as tonal 'clunks', Littell's unearned grasping for emotional impact in what, frankly, best functions as a social satire That said, read as a social satire (of hyper-masculinity, even more than Cold War paranoia), it's just larky enough to hold one's interest. Littell is quite adept at limning the absurdities of bureaucratic oneupsmanship, and throughout there is a deft and gentle send up of the male 'mid-life crisis', a crisis that seems to be animating almost every central (male) character is this novel. What's odd, however, is that we are set-up to expect a considerably more intricate and fiendish 'game of chess', between multiple competitors, than is ultimately delivered: not to mix metaphors, but this reader was left feeling about three hairpin twists and turns short of a legitimate roller coaster ride --- while I wouldn't say that this was an unenjoyable read, I suspect that many readers might feel, as I did (upon completing this short novel) that there was another 100 odd pages still to be written to legitimize this book as a 'thriller'.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780142003466
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Location:
New York
Author:
Littell, Robert
Subject:
Espionage/Intrigue
Subject:
Scientists
Subject:
Americans
Subject:
Spy stories
Subject:
Espionage, Soviet
Subject:
Tokyo
Subject:
Defectors.
Subject:
Espionage
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Reprint ed.
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
November 2003
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.44x5.52x.69 in. .64 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers

The Defection of A.J. Lewinter
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 304 pages Penguin Books - English 9780142003466 Reviews:
"Review" by , "This is a dazzling work, literature of a high order that happens to address the madness of the Cold War....The Defection of A.J. Lewinter is just about perfect."
"Review" by , "Breathtaking inventiveness....A perfect little gem, one of the best Cold War thrillers I've read in years."
"Review" by , "Rarely has confusion been so elegantly plotted. The Defection of A. J. Lewinter is a must for all who find clarity elusive and overrated. Kudos to Overlook Press for reissuing this classic."
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