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The Road to Gandolfo: A Novel (Road to #1)

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  4,544 ratings  ·  151 reviews
War hero and infamous ladies’ man General MacKenzie Hawkins is a living legend. His life story has even been sold to Hollywood. But now he stands accused of defacing a historic monument in China’s Forbidden City. Under house arrest in Peking with a case against him pending in Washington, this looks like the end of Mac’s illustrious career. But he has a plan of his own: kid ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published August 14th 2012 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1975)
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The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
Good read. Funny, a bit misogynistic but that comes with books written in the 60s and 70s. Worth reading anyway. It's a surprise to see Ludlum wrote something like this. Read the author's comments their as funny as the book and don't take any of it seriously, it's a satire.

This is Scott Brick's, the narrator, best work yet. Loved it.
Tejas
When I first picked up this book decades ago, I expected it to be another in a long line of highly entertaining Ludlum thrillers. Four hours later, I couldn't remember the last time I had laughed so much, so consistently.

This is the second funniest book written by Ludlum (top spot goes to its sequel, 'The Road to Omaha'). It is completely out of character for Ludlum and yet somehow fits within his established style.

Following the mad capers of General MacKenzie Hawkins, who despite being America
...more
Jim
This was fun. I added another star for Brick, the reader. I swear he read this at times in an eerie, but entirely apt, imitation of Arlo Guthrie Jr. doing "Alice's Restaurant". No music or four part harmony, but still! It was fun & fit perfectly in with the tongue-in-cheek story.

The Hawk was a great character, as were they all. A friend said it was a bit misogynistic, but I didn't get that impression at all. The Hawk's women (gorgeous ex-wives who still liked & respected him) were defini
...more
Gunner1956
I was cleaning out my basement the other day and found a pile of old Robert Ludlum books from the 70s and 80s. Ludlum of course was the master of the thriller-conspiracy-spy genre of those decades. I picked up Road to Gondolfo and began reading it again after over 30 years of collecting dust .....and I couldn't put it down. A typical “Ludlumesque” fast-paced thriller, but also extraordinarily funny. I had forgotten that Ludlum was equally renowned for his humour and wit as well as being the mast ...more
Nancy Brady
A disgraced general, MacKenzie Hawkins, decides to kidnap the Pope for ransom. He enlists his four ex-wives, a reluctant attorney, Sam Devereaux, and an international cast of characters in this crime. One dollar for every Catholic in the world is his goal as he commands and plans his way. All Sam wants is out without causing World War III, but Hawk is in charge. Can he pull off the kidnapping, or will Sam circumvent it? This is a madcap scheme with wild situations.
David Roberts
I am reviewing the thriller The Road To Gandolfo by Robert Ludlum which is a very good novel which I bought from a car boot sale. Robert used to be the biggest selling author in the world and his books were so successful he didn't have to even write a novel every year. He is an ex film producer and he tends what you might call intelligent thrillers. This book is a little bit more light hearted than his usual stuff and in the introduction he says it was great fun to write. This book was written i ...more
Dick Reynolds
This book was first published in 1975 and the author’s name given as Michael Shepherd. Turns out it was written by Robert Ludlum, using a pseudonym, at the mandate of his editor/publisher so as not to smirch his well known name. It was reissued several times and the paperback I have is the 1992 issue. According to Ludlum’s introduction this arrangement gave him the freedom to unleash his staggering imagination.
The plot is way over the top and features an army general named MacKenzie Hawkins wh
...more
Barry
Based on the blurb on the back cover of the book, I was led to believe that this was a hilarious tale told by the master of the thriller, Mr. Ludlum. I was led astray. Perhaps because of the term "wickedly funny" I expected just that, but instead got just a few chuckles. Just now as I write this I spy on the front cover the words "an explosion of mirth and suspense". More hyperbole. If I hadn't expected a funny book maybe I would have enjoyed it more, but it's only mildly humorous and majorly di ...more
Charles Spencer
This may sound strange, but I read this book's sequel, THE ROAD TO OMAHA, first...I just saw the premise on the back of the book, knew Robert Ludlum's reputation as a great writer, and thought 'Okay, this might be worth a buy.' I had NO IDEA what I was getting into: THE ROAD TO OMAHA became one of my favorite books once I was done, and it took a little while afterward to hunt down and secure its predecessor, the madcap beginning of the absurd, OMG-they-didn't-do-that adventures of MacKenzie 'Mad ...more
Maggie
This book I do remember well. I believe only book by Robert Ludium RIP That had me laughing out loud. I have this urge to pick it up and read it again. Its been awhile since I read one of the books under his name. I guess I lost interest since Posthumous authors/Ghost writers continued in his writing style. There was always more often then not a touch of romance in a lot of his books. It was very very low key as the suspense took prominence in all his books.
A truly remarkable writer.
Michael
Humorous and a Great Read

My good friend was clearing out some of his old books and gave me this book to read. I enjoyed the book and I found it to be a very entertaining read. I always appreciate a bit of humor in stories and this book had a number of humorous moments. I laughed at some of the scenes and kept reading and laughed at the characters.
I understand that there is a sequel to the book so I'll probably ask my friend if he has it. Assuming he can remember the title.
Karyn
I remember reading this on the beach in Cancun. I was laughing so hard, a couple people came over to ask what I was reading. The general and his poor schmuck of a lawyer are the perfect pair. If I could find it as an ebook, I'd read it today. I NEVER would have pegged Robert Ludlum as a gifted comedy writer... but this one is excellent. I really am not a Ludlum fan..
Kevincl
I was a little disappointed with this book to be honest. While descriptively it was well written, and it flowed nicely, as far as plot and progression were concerned, I hated it. My dead grandmother's one legged parrot's ass could have written better with a pen stuck in it. It reminded me a bit of The Ambler Warning. So much plot twisting and detail and counter plots (ridiculous plot twists too in my opinion) leading right up to the end of the book. With a few pages to go I was wondering to myse ...more
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
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Athornton
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John
Gandolfo is Ludlum at his least serious (it was originally published under a psuedonym). General Mac Hawkins is unceremoniously, though deservingly, booted out of the army for extremely rude behavior. With the unwilling help of his military attorney Sam Devereaux, Hawkins hatches a plot to kidnap the Pope and extract a ransom from the Catholic church. Mac has the help of his four ex-wives, who have a knack for showing up in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.

This book was enjoyabl
...more
Dakeyras
Mackenzie Hawkins is awesome.

Not only does he cause a ton of trouble for the US government in the 1st third of the book, he then hatches a plan to kidnap the Pope so as to get $400 million in ransom.

Sure there are plotholes big enough to fly a plane through but just by reading the back of the book you go in knowing this won't be an award winner. Still, for a 324 page novel, it took longer than it should have to get through it.

Not sure when I'll get to reading The Road to Omaha but I do look forw
...more
Jim
This is a really cheesy book. Funny. But cheesy. It's about Mackenzie Hawkins, who was kick out of the U.S Army on potentially trumped up charges, and decides to do a little something that'll ensure a safe retirement.

Hawkins tries to ensure that the kidnapping he arranges is as above board as possible (like I said it's a comedy), so he uses the lawyer who minimised the issues related his army exist to help. Much of the comedy comes from this relationship.

It's a silly book. It's an easy read, but
...more
Jasper
This is on of those novels by Ludlum which he wrote using another name (Michael Shepherd)and this books is radically different from his usual style that I can see why this was done.

In comparison to his usual work, this book is more intended to be humorous and this can be a welcome chance from his usual books, however not all Ludlum fans will probably appreciate this.

A story about an ex-general who has the plan to kidnap the pope with the help of his 4 ex-wives is not something you would expect i
...more
Connie
Not the typical Ludlum novel.

Its hard to believe that a Robert Ludlum book can make you laugh, but "The Road to Gandolfo" made me chuckle more than once. Don't be fooled by the humor, because this book has the Ludlum's touch for creating a well written story that is meant to be amusing. For example, in this satire, the guy is discharged from the Army for becoming a political embarrassment. He later decides to do something even more politically embarrassing by kidnapping the Pope. Who would thin
...more
Erwin
Warning, this is not your typically Ludlum. Just assume it's someone else.

Comedic adventure about a disgraced US Army General's plot to kidnap the Pope.

It's a fun story. Reminds me of Shubumi and Eiger/Loo Sanction by Trevenian.

Interesting to see how the USD to Lyra exchange rate (by way of Euro) has changed so completely in fourty years. Also interesting to see how far wireless communication has come.
Oliver Rabacal
Nice story on the Pope at the Vatican, now that the current Pope Francis is going to my country the Philippines. I hope and pray everything goes well with him as the HOLY SPIRIT, the BLESSED VIRGIN MOTHER MARY and the WHOLE CATHOLIC CHURCH is praying for him.
Johanna Gail Tongco
Robert Ludlum never failed to amaze me with this book. Indeed this one is a work of art as the writer himself is equally a man full with humor. I also love how he portrayed the characters in this book especially the wicked but awesome General MacKenxie Hawkins and his lawyer Sam Devereaux.
Samuel
Once upon a time, Robert Ludlum tried to make this into a serious story. But he realised no one could take it seriously. So he decided to write an extremely self-deprecating parody gently mocking his work. The result is a genuinely outrageous, sometimes laugh out loud book where an American General tries to kidnap the Pope, dragging a army lawyer along for the ride. The settings are impressive, the characters are so ridiculous, they're almost lovable and the plot is a gem. For serious spy fictio ...more
Laura Muthappa
This is one of my all time favorite books, I have read this book about 5 times now. It's a light and quick read and keeps you in a good mood.
Tim Potter
Unfortunately, this is a book that does not stand the test of time. Upon its original release the review could be quite different.
David Douglas
A disgraced general tries to kidnap the pope with the forced help of the Sam the lawyer and 4 voluptuous ex wives. Good comedy.
Tim
I picked this up at a laundromat; I've read a few Ludlum books and have found them mildly entertaining. This has a somewhat different twist, with a hapless lawyer caught up in the usual massive-conspiracy-with-a-retired-general-at-the-helm schtick that is usual with these intrigue books. This time it's all about the Pope (don't want to give away any spoilers so I won't say more). A few other interesting characters (said general's four ex-wives, but i digress) add to the party. The cover describe ...more
Garren
Too silly in a not-good way for me. Considering the decade it was written, I'm pretty sure the racism isn't being played ironically either.
Peter Vágner
this is a bit different compared to other Ludlum works i have read so far but i like it. the end is fantastic.
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Robert Ludlum was the author of twenty-seven novels, each one a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 210 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into thirty-two languages. He is the author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, and the Jason Bourne series--The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum--among others. Mr. Ludlum ...more
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