Saving the Queen
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Saving the Queen (Blackford Oakes #1)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  325 ratings  ·  30 reviews
America's top financial secret agent Blackford Oakes performed his first heroic effort in Saving the Queen in which William F. Buckley Jr. coaxes readers back to the earliest days of the Cold War. The year is 1951. Harry Truman is president, and the beautiful, young Queen Caroline has just settled onto the throne of England.

The CIA is baffled at the shocking things going o

Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 28th 1981 by Avon Books (first published January 1st 1976)
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Saving the Queen By William F. Buckley

This weeks classic book is the WFB's first Blackford Oakes novel. Oakes seems to have been Buckley's American answer to James Bond. The story was fast paced and interesting. Newly recruited to the CIA, Oakes is sent to the UK to try to find and eliminate an intelligence leak of nuclear secrets that may well be coming from the Queen herself. This was the first in an exciting series that rivals some of the best espionage thrillers that are produced today.
Kevin Montgomery
The first of the Blackford Oakes novels catapults Oakes to preeminence in the Cold War spy genre. While some may think Buckley's style is tedious, I think he conveys much information while keeping words to a minimum. I especially enjoy his creations of conversations between Heads of States (Presidents, Queens...) and their underlings. The plot is often does a rookie CIA agent get to engage in a romantic interlude with the Queen of England? Even James Bond would be envious!
Kim Justice
Aug 23, 2013 Kim Justice rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my Historical/Fiction Readers
Shelves: reviewed
I am going to start this review out by saying: If you are asking why am I reading and reviewing an OLD book? Well I found this book at a thrift store and thought hmmm why not.

But after getting into the book, about little over half, I was not really impressed. Yes it is fiction and an older book but I thought it really sounded like:

To read more:
Breath of Life
This was an okay CIA spy book set right after WWII, during the period when the US and Russia were competing to develop the H-bomb. None of the characters really grabbed me or made me care a whole lot about them. Though I had to pull out my dictionary a few times to look up words, the writing style was less sophisticated than the vocabulary. This may be more man-fluff, like the Flashman series.
July 2011 Germantown Book Club selection. We usually read a "light" book over summer and this one seems perfect. I have some audible credits to use up, so I went with an audiobook for this one and it's fairly enjoyable so far.


I ended up giving up on this about midway through and, after hearing the book club's discussion of it, I'm pretty glad that I did.
This is first of WFB's Blackford Oakes novels. Set in 1952, the novel involves the honor of the newly coronated Queen of England, nuclear secrets, and a British double agent. Oakes, a Yale grad and newly minted CIA operative, is clearly Buckley's alter ego. The author is audacious in that he has his hero engaging in a somewhat unexpected tryst.
Wilson Lanue
This, one may assume, is what Buckley wished his two years in the CIA had been like: Foiling bad guys, piloting experimental jetfighters, and - of course - having sex with a sultry young Queen of England.

I found it overwritten fluff without a point.
Chris Hyde
The Blackford Oakes series of books by William F. Buckley is a great series. As mentioned by another reviewer, Blackford Oakes was Buckley's answer to James Bond. A fun book with lots of intrigue...though it is an older book, it's a lot of fun to read!
What a fun book to read. Fairly short - 250 pages +/-. Great James Bond-ish story written by a famous American icon, William F Buckley. It is fun to read this and imagine Buckley's voice doing the speaking. Highly recommended.
Very fun read, and well written (typical Buckley). I've developed a crush on Blacky. Excellent summertime, beachy reading -- which is where I read it. Looking forward to the whole series.
I did not find this much of a thriller. Quite lame really and I suspect it's just out-dated and so none of the suggested theroys are fact...some of them have been proven true.
The first in Buckley's Blackford Oakes series, it makes for entertaining reading, though don't expect a high degree of complexity or suspense. His political asides are always entertaining.
Excellent read! I may have to continue with more of this series. Glad to have been reading it on the Kindle as a resident dictionary is a must for me when reading Buckley!
First Last
Buckley's non-fiction is wonderful - his fiction, not so much. Like Hemingway's writing poetry, it's best ignored.
Blackford Oakes, the American James Bond, heads to England in this historical fiction. A great series.
Slow starting but once the stage is set (and you have everyone sorted out) it is very intriguing.
Jul 12, 2010 Dave rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spy novel fans
Cold war counter espionage procedural set in the 1950's when the US was developing the H bomb.

Nancy McRae
Read this when Buckley died and it was a little slow but entertaining.
This was a lot of fun to read. And I didn't know Buckley could be so risque!
A short mystery that I enjoyed. I don't normally like mysteries.
Mortimer Randolph
Well done but frivolous. Disappointing in its pointlessness.
more royalist fantasy by a citizen of this republic, oh well-
This book leads into the Blackford Oakes series. A plain good read.
The worst book I've ever had the profound misfortune to read.
Well written fun read. WFB can sure use the punctuation

Not bad for being written in 1977.
David Vanness
Feb 14, 2011 David Vanness marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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William Frank Buckley, Jr. was an American author and conservative commentator. He founded the political magazine National Review in 1955, hosted 1,429 episodes of the television show Firing Line from 1966 until 1999, and was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist. His writing style was famed for its erudition, wit, and use of uncommon words.

Buckley was "arguably the most important public int...more
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