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Tool of the Trade
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Tool of the Trade

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  231 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Nicholas Foley appears to be an ordinary American psychology professor. He is, in fact, a Russian spy, inserted into the United States after World War II, joining the American army, attending American universities, falling in love and marrying an American, but always in touch with his Soviet superiors. All he ever does in the way of spying is turn in the names of people wh ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published April 1st 1987 by William Morrow & Company (first published 1987)
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Tony Atkins
"Tool of the Trade" belongs to a sub-genre of SF that could be called "Simon Says".

What if someone had the power to make other people do what they wanted, if free will came with an asterisk? This is entertaining source material that's mined over and over again in comic books (1 2.

For the story to work, there have to be limitations on the power, a class of people who are immune, or some other reason why life isn't infinitely easy for someone who can just order people to do what they want. This
Haldeman's stories are generally variations on the theme of academics going to war. Usually, the outcome is peace, in so many different ways. In this case, it's a cold war novel, with our protagonist being a polyglot growing up in WW2 Leningrad, being trained as a KGB sleeper agent, who is installed as a psychology professor in Cambridge, MA to recruit communist sympathizers. (The author even jokes that this isn't hard, as anyone who's been to Cambridge will readily agree.) It's in the course of ...more
Chris Maguire
The characters weren't really believable, for me, but it was a fun read none-the-less. Some of ideas concerning the main premise were a little stretched, but not terribly so.
One of the better books I've read recently by one of my preferred authors. This one was a little harder to track down as I had to get it via inter-library loan. I suspect it's because one of the main forces in the story - the KGB - no longer exists.

Set in the mid-late 80s, this is a character driven story about a man who discovers a unique ability and then finds himself being hunted by both the CIA and the KGB. The scifi element of the ability aside, the fleshing out of the characters and their
Sean Randall
This is, without doubt, the best and most thrilling espionage story I have read in the last six months. not, perhaps, in the sense of a thriller in the traditional mould; after all, it's clear where the story is heading. The Humanity, the action, the backdrops both US and Russian and the sheer pace of the thing kept me turning pages until the very end.

Of course, should the leading nuclear proliferates decide to disarm themselves today, all it would take would be a single terrorist or even a trig
Rob Adey
Entertaining SF thriller, one part Len Deighton to two parts Harry Harrison.
David Cain
This is a pulpy, fast moving science-fiction espionage thriller. Although many of the characters are not well developed and some of the plot details are kind of ludicrous, this is nevertheless a really entertaining book. I guess the whole was better than the sum of its parts. The writing is solid and I recommend this as a quick and diverting read.
This is a pretty typical Joe Haldeman yarn - it's about the guy who has the power to change the world, and he does his damnedest to do the right thing. It hits a lot of the typical Haldeman tropes, but the tight storytelling makes this one a keeper.
This was a suspensful and fun book, bordering on scifi since we do not currently have (in the public eye) the technology it describes. It is also based on a land that no longer exists and makes the book all that more intriguing.
If you could control people's minds what would you do? Answer: start a night-life making pimps shoot themselves, and then combine it with your history as a spy to reduce the Soviet and U.S. nuclear arsenals.
One of my favorite books of all time. Every time I have read it (at least 4) I have been unable to put it down.
Ray Charbonneau
3-plus? It's lacking in characterization and the plot's mechanical, but it was good fun to read.
Dan Parsons
Awesome 1980s cold war spy / espionage + scifi thriller.
Terry  Austrew
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Brother of Jack C. Haldeman II

Haldeman is the author of 20 novels and five collections. The Forever War won the Nebula, Hugo and Ditmar Awards for best science fiction novel in 1975. Other notable titles include Camouflage, The Accidental Time Machine and Marsbound as well as the short works "Graves," "Tricentennial" and "The Hemingway Hoax." Starbound is scheduled for a January release. SFWA pres
More about Joe Haldeman...
The Forever War (The Forever War, #1) Forever Peace (The Forever War, #2) The Accidental Time Machine Camouflage Forever Free (The Forever War, #3)

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