The Tears Of Autumn
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The Tears Of Autumn (Paul Christopher #02)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  684 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Paul Christopher, at the height of his powers as a secret agent, believes he knows who arranged the assassination and why. His theory is so destructive of the legend of the dead president, though, and so dangerous to the survival of foreign policy that he is ordered to desist from investigating. But Christopher is a man who lives by and for the truth, and his internal comp...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 7th 2008 by Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd (first published 1974)
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Jeffrey Keeten
”There are dogs and kids, great books and great paintings and good music all over the White House,” he said. “It’s human again, the way it must have been under Franklin Roosevelt.”

 photo KennedyandJackie_zps248aef72.jpg

The power of John F. Kennedy didn’t just rest in his Hollywood good looks, or his youthful vibrancy or his beautiful wife or his inspiring speeches, but that he exuded this idea that anything seemed possible. Even something as crazy as landing an American on the moon. He was tougher than he looked. During the Cuban Mi...more
Nancy Oakes
I listened to, rather than read this book and it was so good that I rushed out and bought The Miernik Dossier (the first of the Paul Christopher series) and have plans to read each and every book in the series. What intrigued me was yet another JFK assassination theory. I'm not a conspiracy theory nut, but I am interested, and never did believe in either the single-bullet theory nor that of the lone gunman. And as much as I loved Oliver Stone's JFK, well, let's just say that it was a lot of theo...more
Lance Charnes
Sep 26, 2012 Lance Charnes rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of John LeCarre or Daniel Silva
McCarry – like John LeCarre and Daniel Silva – is known as one of those authors who “gets it right” with his spy yarns. The Tears of Autumn is his second novel and the second to feature his series character Paul Christopher, a CIA agent active during the 1950s and 1960s. In this installment, Christopher decides to solve the JFK assassination. Nothing like swinging for the fences, eh?

Even though Christopher flirts with super-agenthood – speaking multiple languages, near-photographic memory, dange...more
David
Not just one of the many fiction books that explores a theory behind the assassination of JFK, but one of the first. The theory can be explained in one or two sentences, so this book is more about the character of spy Christopher Paul trying to connect the dots to present a case that, as any astute reader can guess, will be covered up in the end. The biggest positives of this novel are that it is very readable, the action is good and shows almost no sign of being dated, which is good for a 1974...more
KOMET
"THE TEARS OF AUTUMN" is a compelling, well-crafted novel centered on Paul Christopher, a CIA Special Agent who has served in the Agency since the 1950s. When the story begins, it is October 1963 and Christopher is involved in deep cover work in South Vietnam. Weeks later, in the aftermath of President Kennedy's assassination, Christopher leaves the CIA and, on his own, armed only with his skills, a facility for languages, and a theory as to who killed Kennedy and why, pursues leads from Saigon,...more
Hayley Alexis
The Overlooked International Spy Thriller
If you have an undying passion for John le Carré (think: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), run directly to the bookstore and pick up former CIA agent Charles McCarry's Tears of Autumn. Originally published in the '70s and reissued in 2005, the book follows Paul Christopher—an American spy so cool and competent he makes James Bond look like a buffoon—through Vietnam as he pursues an unauthorized investigation into JFK's assassination.McCarry's writing is so v...more
Tom
I was introduced to Charles McCarry via recommendations about A.J. Quinnell. I found a copy of Tears of Autumn and very much enjoyed the espionage story about investigating the Kennedy assassination abroad.
McCarry writes authoritatively - having served as an intelligence officer doesn't make him want to describe how a watch is made when you want to hear what time it is.
I've already set aside Christopher's Ghosts.
Sandi
This was not a fast paced thriller but an excellently written spy novel that was filled with tension throughout and had one of the better fictional explanations for the JFK assassination. Listened to the audio version read by Stefan Rudnicki
Douglas
Fascinating theory on the Kennedy assassination. I enjoyed Stefan Rudnicki's performance on the audio book. On a road trip several years ago I listened to The Last Supper and recently started listening to it again. It is much easier to understand The Last Supper after having read/listened to this book.

I am quite enjoying the Paul Christopher series.
Heather Wiese
Wow, I finally freaking finished this book. Checked it out from the library, had to return it, checked it out again, finally plowed through it.

Good grief, it's not one of those fast reads because there is so much freaking information in it! It's one of those classic spy novels where the CIA agent hops from Rome to Vietnam to D.C. to the Congo and talks to Russians, Cubans, the French, the Chicago mafia, the Vietnamese, Africans, and men from Washington. I actually had quite a time keeping every...more
Brigham
I found this after listening to an NPR review of the best spy novels ever written. Charles McCarry is someone I'd never heard of, but was considered the best American spy writer. This book lacks a lot of the suspense and twist factor other writers enjoy hanging their stories on, and instead focuses on the dealings of how things are done. It's a bit Michael Clayton in the way it reveals the details behind plots, bribes, thefts and murders. The questions weren't as much 'why' throughout, but 'how?...more
Ryan
I've read a fair amount of Cold War era spy novels, and this one immediately jumps to the top of my list. An interesting, fast-paced, globe-setting novel that centers around the JFK assassination and the coming Vietnam War.

Paul Christopher, the main character, is an American spy who has worked all over the world, but is in Vietnam working against the Communists at the novel's start. When JFK is assassinated, he takes his knowledge of Vietnam and its inner workings and begins to formulate a theo...more
Moink
May 31, 2014 Moink rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: spy novel fans
Recommended to Moink by: father-in-law, who enjoys history
I'm a late comer to Charles McCarry's novels, but find them to be well-written, fresh, and intriguing. Promptly read as many others of the Paul Christopher novels as I could find, but this one is a sentimental favorite because I started at the beginning.

Throughout the novels, there is nice consistency and character development, as pieces of his history were revealed. I really enjoyed these.

These books are as fresh a read in 2010 as they probably were when they were published.
Janet Martin
Terrific take on the Kennedy assassination--set mostly in Viet Nam during late 1963 and filled with details of a complex political society on the brink of war. Although it starts with a terrific hook, the action for the next 20% of the book seemed undirected, although after things really get started it was more of an apparently inexplicable set up. Would have been 5 stars except for that, because once McCarry really gets started, no word is wasted and things move fast.
Mark Hepler
Charles McCarry’s frugal use of description makes The Tears of Autumn a quick read. He lets dialog tendrils propel you through the labyrinthine story’s unremittingly bleak landscapes.

While depressing—aren’t most espionage novels?—it feels authentic, and probably is, since the author is a former CIA operative.

The writer sows the book with compelling voices and insights, but mars it slightly by injecting a contrived, laundry-list-style ending.
Sebastien
Good book.

I'm loving McCarry's writing style; precise without being too concise and maintaining the poetry of words... but I didn't think this book was as good as The Miernik Dossier. Maybe that's because I'm not that into conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy Assassination (which is what the plot revolves around).

Overall the book was good but meandered at times. The love interest was a farce and really needless. The cast of characters... was great... there is a certain believability to t...more
Don
This is a good, well-crafted spy novel--kind of a classic.

It runs a very spare 276 pages. If this had been written by a contemporary author in the suspense genre, the book would be at least 600 pages, more than 1/2 of which would be pure padding. McCarry is the model of efficient writing. When the protagonist gets on a plane, he doesn't tell you about the food on the flight, or what the stewardess was wearing, or anything about the plane; the plane ride is merely a means for the character to get...more
Brandon Gryder
Picked this up again after reading Second Sight for the second time. I forgot how great this book is and what a fantastic writer Charles Mccarry is. He is a great author that just happens to tell stories about espionage. Do yourself a favor and read these books from the beginning.
Yvette
Feb 21, 2012 Yvette marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Tears of Autumn
By Charles McCarry
276 pages; Overlook

The Overlooked International Spy Thriller
If you have an undying passion for John le Carré (think: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), run directly to the bookstore and pick up former CIA agent Charles McCarry's Tears of Autumn. Originally published in the '70s and reissued in 2005, the book follows Paul Christopher—an American spy so cool and competent he makes James Bond look like a buffoon—through Vietnam as he pursues an unauthorized investigat...more
Ted
Charles McCarry comes highly recommended from friends and literary blurbs that call him a master of the (spy novel) genre and compare him to LeCarre. This is the first book in the Paul Christopher series, but likely my last.

The problem for me isn't the characters, although some were maddeningly one-dimensional, but the plot which bounces from a Thai family dynasty to defecting Russian agents to Fidel's Cuba to post-colonial Africa, Chicago Mobsters and even a midget super thief who breaks in to...more
Lucy
Liam on this very site suggested this book to me. I had never heard of it but was in the mood for a spy thriller and this one fit the bill brilliantly. Based on JFK and the mystery of who shot him, we meet Paul Christopher who is an American agent who feels he has to do something to get to the bottom of this mystery as he doesn't see anyone else trying.

The book is brilliantly written, you really get inside his head, see all his foibles and accompany him on his exciting travels from county to co...more
Ian Matchett
A good book with some interesting theories on the assassination of President Kennedy. Not as fast moving or as slick as more modern novels, but a nice read.
Raimo Wirkkala
It is always such a pleasure to "discover" an author that you have never read before. McCarry is a superb writer who happens to write spy novels. I am already planning to read the extensive backlog of "Paul Christopher" novels. Christopher is a flesh and blood character unlike caricatures like Blackford Oakes (Buckley) and Jason Bourne (Ludlum). Among his other gifts McCarry has a wonderful ear for dialogue. The conversations his characters engage in ring true and authentic. On top of everything...more
Perry
Exemplary spy novel with the exception of the JFK conspiracy nonsense. I'm certainly going to read more.
Michael Andreen
Hard headed spy writing, harder headed political writing. The question, who killed JFK, gets answered, and it's not frantic paranoid melodrama, but instead a culturally embedded logical act of retribution for betrayal and murder, done for reasons that make sense in a culture foreign to the political class of the US who militarily intervened without knowing about the place or the people. Have read late McCarry, now want to get to the meat of his work, because his clear-eyed, hard pragmatic style,...more
Joshua Lax
One of the best spy novels of all time.
Mary Miller
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination, you might want to read one of the better thrillers about it. Charles McCarry's book was first published in 1975 and reissued in 2005. It's premise of a CIA agent investigating the assassination and being shutdown is presented in a literate style that bears comparison to John LeCarre'. His theory of what happened is one that I have not encountered elsewhere and is very plausible. McCarry has written other CIA thrillers which are very goo...more
Wendybird
The premise for this spy mystery is entertaining and informative, and it does a remarkable job of weaving many JFK assassination issues into the story. The plot is skillfully built, with well-detailed scenes. It involves lots of characters from many nations, and I'd forgotten about a couple of them by the time they reentered the action. The entire novel is presented from the perspective of one spy. I never learned much about his non-professional thoughts aside from his past and present love inte...more
Brad Lyerla
In THE TEARS OF AUTUMN, McCarry's famous protagonist, Paul Christopher, solves the mystery of the assassination of John Kennedy and predicts the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. It's all pretend and grand entertainment. I enjoyed it immensely.
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McCarry served in the United States Army, where he was a correspondent for Stars and Stripes, has been a small-town newspaperman, and was a speechwriter in the Eisenhower administration. From 1958 to 1967 he worked for the CIA, under deep cover in Europe, Asia, and Africa. However, his cover was not as a writer or journalist. He is married with four grown sons. His family is from The Berkshires ar...more
More about Charles McCarry...
The Miernik Dossier (Paul Christopher #1) The Last Supper (Paul Christopher #5) Old Boys (Paul Christopher #9) Christopher's Ghosts (Paul Christopher #1o) The Secret Lovers (Paul Christopher #3)

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