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The Road to Gandolfo
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The Road to Gandolfo (Road to #1)

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  4,037 ratings  ·  142 reviews
THE PRINCIPAL CAST: General Mackenzie Hawkins, legend, hero, rogue. Sam Devereaux, bright young lawyer from Harvard, now in the army, can't wait to get out. General Hawkin's four ex-wives, a quartet of incredibly endowed women who've formed a club: Hawkin's Harem.

THE PREMISE: Kidnap Pope Francesco I, the most beloved pontiff since John XX III.

RANSOM: One American dollar
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 1st 1992 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1975)
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Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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..
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)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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
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.
Thomas Strömquist
The almost legendary odd Ludlum, first published under pseudonym, is actually quite enjoyable. Taking the full advantage of not writing under his own name, Ludlum tells an outrageous and quite unrealistic tale with a large dose of black humor.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Kevin K. Gillette
This one is silly and fun, not the least of which because it begs the question: Should the Pope sing opera to himself? I'm thinking, "Yeah!", but that's one man's opinion. Lots of spirited and sexy nonsense in the tradition of "The Road to Omaha".
Ayeasha LovesBooks
I have found that this book is hard to read, as I only got half way if this book. I hope that his other books is not going to be this bad as I love the Bourne films
If you can imagine Robert Ludlum, author of 'The Bourne Identity' and master of international spy fiction, writing comedy, then you'd like this book. General McKenzie 'Mac' Hawkins has been set out to pasture by the US government because, after a lifetime of service, he is a scapegoat so that the US can get some advantageous trade concessions from a trading partner.

McKenzie is angry, and is determined to get some satisfaction--by kidnapping the Pope. The Pope goes along with the plan, and ther r
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Goodreads Librari...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Incorrect publication date 10 28 Jan 09, 2014 07:45AM  
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Michael Shepherd is a pseudonym for Robert Ludlum used only for the book The Road to Gandolfo. His reasons for writing under a pseudonym were that his publisher had told him it was bad marketing for an author to publish more than one book a year, so to publish another book he put it under pseudonym.
More about Michael Shepherd...

Other Books in the Series

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