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The Matarese Circle (Matarese Dynasty #1)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  25,565 ratings  ·  185 reviews
The Matarese killers will take over the world within two years... The No.1 bestseller from 'the world's most read writer' [GQ]
Paperback, 544 pages
Published August 19th 2004 by Orion Publishing Group (first published January 1st 1979)
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138th out of 2,022 books — 2,644 voters
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Best Robert Ludlum Books
4th out of 52 books — 46 voters

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Community Reviews

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Mar 11, 2012 Aditi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Adrenalin junkies and fans of Robert Ludlum
The Materese Circle was a first for me in many ways.

It was my first Robert Ludlum, the first time I fell in love with a spy, with Russia and with the world of espionage.

And what a world that was!

This book was originally written long before I was born, in 1979, so unlike the current crop of thrillers that have cutting edge techie stuff going for them (futuristic in case of James Bond), this book focuses more on the basic hardcore ways to survive, mutilate, escape or attack. The spies use their h
Anshuman Padhee
my favorite novelist.his novels were fast paced and suspenseful and the action was second to none.critics accused ludlum that his characters were paper thin in content and he relied on action a lot.i would say the critics should pay attention to the matatrese circle and the bourne series.the characters of these novels were memorable and had depth in them.
the matarese circle is fast paced and sets the tone from the first chapter.the suspense and action is top and the characters of the 2 protagoni
This is a re-read for me. I read this book when I was in high school when it was a new, current best seller. It's the book that made me a Ludlum fan. It's like an old friend, and I'm looking forward to spending time with it.

I"m finally done--it's an intricate plot and it took me a while to read. This is about as good as Soviet-Era spy fiction got; you have two "master spies"--action hero types, initially duking it out but then combining forces to combat an evil (the Matarese) that causes them to
Adam K.
I had previously read The Bourne Identity, and while it was diverting enough, I wasn't in love with it. I felt the same about the movies. The problem was that I didn't feel there was a whole lot at stake, that there was much I should care about. It was just a very intelligently plotted thriller about a man who has no idea who he is, why he's so deftly skilled, or why he's being targeted. The Matarese Circle was quite a different experience. In the early going, I felt very much for the characters ...more
A famous book, but not one which particularly appealed to me. The genre is James Bond, but unfortunately without the panache. The two heroes, respectively America's and Russia's top spies/espionage specialists, are sworn enemies to the death, but still see fit to team up to save the world (Mr. Ludlum doesn't do things by halves). That's right, the whole world is about to be subjugated by a shadowy threat which the Russian agent just happens to stumble upon. What's worse, they have to accomplish ...more
If you are ever planning on becoming a Ludlum fan, then read this book and be dazzled. This is the best follow-up book after his Bourne masterpieces. The interaction between Brandon Scofield, CIA operative and Vasili Taleniekov of the KGB is the best I have ever read so far. Their mutual hatred which turns to respect is unprecedented. I was never really present during the so called Cold War, but this book transcends you to those spy world days. The title was actually inspired by a steak house in ...more
Paul Lyons
It's tough to write about a book when you have strong, yet mixed feelings about it. There is a part of you that wants to expound on the good, and ignore the bad. Then, there's that other part of you that just wants to talk about the bad. With Robert Ludlum's 1979 complex, 600-page thriller "The Matarese," I found myself swaying from one position to another, with clear winner at the end. However, the cost of such as a position has not been forgotten.

In simpler terms, it took me a few hundred page
Bobby Underwood
Some spy novels get better and more relevant with age, and Robert Ludlum's fabulous The Matarese Circle falls into that category. What it lacks in literary aspirations it more than makes up for in sheer excitement and fun. Written decades ago, its story-line seems almost prophetic, the world finally catching up to the plot. A spy thriller this wildly entertaining isn't supposed to give you such pause afterward, as you look around the globe, yet it does. Riveting is a word too often used by publi ...more
Sebastien St. Vil
I was given this book by my dad whom had read it more than a decade ago; the french edition which was nonetheless spectacular. It starts in Russia but there will be no borders as you will be taken for a joy ride across most of Europe to America. As a spy book, the meticulous aspects it possesses are brilliant but essential (Settings and Plot). The very way that Ludlum uses his mastery of suspense is astonishing. I was given this book on a Monday but had already finished it by Weekend. I felt so ...more
Robert Ludlum, has the same general scenario in all books, an estranged spy fighting some international corporation. Not bad, entertaining if you haven't read too many of his books. Moderately fast, fairly easy read
The Matarese Circle is a decent ride , though I personally found the protagonists unengaging and disconnected. I was more intrigued and enthralled with the antagonists, the Matarese and the Sheppard's boy. I found it difficult to live and die with the good guys and found myself at times rooting for the bad guys.

Lots of twists and turns in the plot but the characters were a little thin for me. Ludlum was one of my favorites in the 90s , though ironically I was never into his Bourne series , th
Ben Coes
The first thriller I ever read. Made me want to be a writer. Great book.
It was thrilling. The book really explored the complexity of leaving the past. It is never just forgive and forget. The past changes you, molds you. It can corrupt, but it can also save. Another interesting point was the inheritors of the Matarese, they weren't always direct descendants but who was willing to get the job done. Guess, Power is stronger than blood,eh? It was wonderful filled with incredibly complex characters, and insights to international power plays, I really can't wait to read ...more
This is like James Bond, only better.
Gastón Nusimovich
I bumped into one of Ludlum's novels in the early 1980s, and I was hooked on in an instant.

After that, I read many of his novels in quick succession of each other, devouring each one of them as soon as I could get a hold of the next of his thrillers.

After the third novel, as far as I remember, I started getting a strange feeling of "deja vú", but I could not figure it out at the time.

It took me a while to realize that all of his novels that I have read were actually beautifully crafted variation
Lalit Sethia
The plot of a KGB and his CIA counterpart coming together to take down an evil organization, while naïve, could have provided with enough fodder for an entertaining fast paced thriller with really powerful characters.

"The Matarese Circle" loses on most counts. It has neither strong characters nor a gripping plot.

Both Agate and Serpent are more like cheap action movie heroes with some intelligence training rather than super agents (claimed on more the one occasion to the best). Scofeild love af
I read The Matarese Countdown many years ago during a boring summer vacation and it ended up being one of the favourite things i did the summer. Endless re-reads later it is still one of my favourite books.

The Matarese Cirle is the first book in this two part series. After searching for it quite a bit, i finally managed to get my hands on a copy. I've always wanted to read about the famous Bray Scofield and what actually happened all those years ago that were described so grippingly (is that a
R. Mailindra
Novel The Mataresse Circle yang aku punya boleh beli bekas di JaCC tanah abang. Buku ini memang buku lama karya Robert Ludlum. Dari halaman depannya tertulis buku yang kupegang merupakan cetakan ke-9—Dicetak Oktober 1981. Edisi pertamanya sendiri terbit Maret1979.
Kesimpulannya, aku percaya ini best seller.

Buku ini dibuat saat perang dingin masih berlangsung, saat cerita tentang KGB dan agensi-agensi dari Amerika masih merupakan topik yang sangat memukau. Ancaman perang nuklir masih sangat menak
David Roberts
I am reviewing the novel The Matarese Circle by Robert Ludlum which is an excellent thriller which I bought from Amazon. Ludlum has over 300 million books in print and is one of the most successful authors of all time. He was a film producer prior to becoming an author. He's probably most famous for the Jason Bourne series of novels. This novel is a standalone thriller about an American Army General who is murdered along the others in a high class brothel and at first they think it's the KGB. Th ...more
Carol  Roderick
This is a must read .. this the book that started the Bourne legacy. At least for me!! It is written by the author Ludlum and it is a true 'page turner'!!! Now the Ludlum books are written by Lustbader and he does a good job but really I urge you to read this Ludlum book .. you will see a difference immediately..
Probably the best book i've read in my life (so far),ex SAVAK and currently CIA spy agent-officer and soviet KGB professionalist must track down the group of people unknown organization to anyone only known by their acronym THE MATARESE,.......I DON'T WANT TO SPEAK WITH ANYONE WHO DIDN'T READ THIS BOOK
Jozef Mares
Old school cold war thriller. Characters little bit mono-thematic with a lot of pathos. Lack of high-tech is refreshing. Only phones and secret words. Weapons portrayal unrealistic but it is a good night story for boys in the end.
Tod Hamilton
One of his best. I went through a period where what he was writing was perfectly suited to my liking. During this period these books were read a few times over until they were falling apart.
Bob Conner
Ludlum is likely my most read and favored author. I love his ability to captivate you until you're exhausted (but then the wife gets pissed for ignoring her :-)
Feb 07, 2013 Al added it
The Matarese Circle are the Corsican Brotherhood. Terrifying killers, their power could plunge the world into chaos and destruction within two years.Only two rival spies - and one mysterious woman - can stop them. Brandon Scofield, CIA, and the West's most professional assassin, and Vasili Taleniekov, former KGB, now wanted by the Politburo. They share a genius for espionage - and a life of terror and explosive violence. Sworn enemies, Scofield and Taleniekov have vowed to terminate each other, ...more
Gabriel Salter
Another solid thriller novel by the talented creator of Jason Bourne, Noel Holcroft and James Matlock. It has suspense, it has action, and it asks an interesting question: are governments obsolete, and would it be better if corporations controlled countries?

Like most of Ludlum's books, this book is about an evil conspiracy group that's trying to change the world. Like all conspiracy stories, it's a little hard to believe a single group of people could wield so much power and accomplish so much,
Andy Cramer
This book is thrilling from start to finish and a classic. It's on my top 10 of all time. It's impossible to put down after 10 pages.
This book served me as a relaxation tool after work for a month.
Although it's not really congruent with my usual taste, i enjoyed it!
Max Watson
As with many of Mr. ludlum's books it begins slowly but you are soon drawn into a great story. Moves and counter moves. An excellent read.
Una obra maestra. Un poco en desacuerdo con la espontánea historia de amor y el repentino protagonismo que ocupa uno de los agentes. Fuera de ello, este libro te convierte en un devorador de párrafos, realmente vives junto a Brandon Scofield y Vasili Taleniekov esa desesperación por desenmascarar los rostros detrás del enigma de los Matarese. La habilidad de Ludlum para hacer fluir la información poco a poco durante varias páginas o tan precipitadamente en un sólo párrafo es admirable, sorprende ...more
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A new member of the five star club :-) 3 30 Feb 19, 2013 03:57PM  
A Fictional Masterpiece 3 20 Jul 30, 2012 10:57AM  
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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
More about Robert Ludlum...

Other Books in the Series

Matarese Dynasty (2 books)
  • The Matarese Countdown (Matarese #2)
The Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne, #1) The Bourne Supremacy (Jason Bourne, #2) The Bourne Ultimatum (Jason Bourne, #3) The Icarus Agenda The Aquitaine Progression

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