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The Quiller Memorandum (Quiller #1)

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  1,280 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews

You are a secret agent working for the British in Berlin. You are due to go home on leave, but you are being followed-by your own people, or by the enemy. A man meets you in the theater and briefs you on a plot to revive the power of Nazi Germany. You do not believe him, but you remember that one of the suspects mentioned was a senior SS officer you met with in the days wh

Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 28th 1993 by HarperPrism (first published 1965)
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Apr 27, 2013 Feliks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre-thrillers
Adam Hall is the careful, meticulous, and patient author of the interesting character/spy, "Quiller". The series of unorthodox novels built around Quiller are extremely odd, as far as espionage fiction runs. 'The Quiller Memorandum' (first in the sequence) was published in 1966 and it was just not common at that time, for an author to make a point of flaunting his own genre's conventions. But his "Quiller" --a cynical and jaded free-lance agent--does just that. As rogue-ish as Len Deighton's 'Ha ...more
Jun 17, 2011 stormhawk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread
No gun.
No codebook.
No suicide pills.
No family.
No friends.
No name.
No flashy cars.
No ejector seats.
No hidden compartments.
No gadgets.
No remorse.

Next to Quiller, James Bond is a cautions old lady.

Originally published in the mid-1960s, the story is a product of it's time .. Berlin, The Wall, Cold War, still enough Nazis alive for war crimes trials to continue.

It's not written like a spy novel, though. It's more lyrical than the usual hard edges and steely glares that are strewn through adventur
Dec 11, 2014 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-thriller
The Quiller Memorandum is the first of nineteen Quiller spy novels written by Elleston Trevor under the pseudonym Adam Hall; Trevor was remarkably prolific, writing 58 other novels under other names (including his Flight of the Phoenix), a number of children’s books, stage plays and short stories.

Quiller is an “executive” (super covert agent) for the super-secret “Bureau,” an organization so secret that you fear they’ll have to kill you if you read the book. But not to worry!

Quiller is the an
Nov 06, 2013 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Berlin Memorandum, or The Quiller Memorandum as it is also known, is the first book in the twenty book Quiller series, written by Elleston Trevor under the pen name of Adam Hall. The Quiller series is highly regarded by the spy-fiction community, and as strange as it may seem – because I have had most of the books for years – I have never actually read them. I thought it was time to rectify that oversight, and start at the very top.

As the novel begins, we meet Quiller at the theatre. His eve
Apr 26, 2016 Dipanjan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: facebook-reviews
I can't NOT begin by saying, "This Is A MUST Read For Every Fan Of The Espionage Genre". The setting is the most shadowy "post WWII Berlin" with the master players lined up against each other - The Brits and The Nazi Heirs.

This book introduced Quiller and it's a treat. He works for an unnamed and elusive British Agency, dedicated to hunt down the war criminals. However, in this book, his mission is purely to infiltrate and expose. What took my breath away was the view of the world through the mi
Jul 22, 2010 Kdfrawg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read a few of these many years ago when they first came out. I recently found and purchased all 19 of the series in hardback and read them serially. The novels are esoteric thrillers, very cerebral and highly recommended.
Scott E
Jun 15, 2009 Scott E rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
aka: The Quiller Memorandum... the first in a series of 19 Quiller books.

The Quiller Memorandum is detail rich on what it means to be a (fictional) spy. While maintaining a strong narrative, Adam Hall also details such processes as how to deal w/ a tail (not just how to spot one, but how to lead one on, double back on said tail, etc.). Quiller also uses his training to determine what drugs are administered to him during an interrogation, which in turn allows him to know how long he's been under
Cliff Scovell
May 24, 2010 Cliff Scovell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A crisply written story that captured my attention from beginning to end. I was really surprised, because I don't usually like books written during the 50s or 60s. The protagonist, Quiller, is not a superhuman, like the James Bond types, nor does he have a satchel full of fancy electronic tricks up his sleeve. That makes the story much more believable, and Adam Hall's writing style kept me engaged. I read it in two evenings.

Cliff Scovell
Ashwin Athresh
This is first in series of long running Quiller series by Adam hall which would be followed by 18 other novels spanning a period 3 decades. Set in cold war Berlin, the Quiller memorandum concerns the enigmatic Quiller, an agent working for the ultra secretive "Bureau" based out of London who is sent to investigate the activities of a Neo Nazi organization with nefarious intent. Written as a first person narrative, Quiller Memorandum is an interesting read. However this is not the regular, generi ...more
I am listening to this on my ipod
Your name is Quiller. You are the hero of an extraordinary novel that shows how a spy works, how messages are coded and decoded, how contacts are made, how a man reacts under the influence of truth drugs, and that traces the story of a vastly complex, entertaining, convincing, and sinister plot.
This was an entertaining and interesting storyline and I enjoyed it very much.
Larry Loftis
Nov 28, 2015 Larry Loftis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I read on a spy genre blog that Adam Hall was the best. I agree. This book was amazing. Fast, tight, and spiced with a nice twist/reversal at the end. The prose is outstanding, although a bit unique and often tightly clipped. His spycraft is well done and the cliffhangers keep you turning pages. Loved it.
Mar 23, 2009 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an espionage series that started in the '60's and ran through the '90's. The Wall Street Journal said it was one of the best espionage/spy series of all time. This was the first book, and I liked it. The book is more focused on thinking as a spy and I found it to be very realistic. I enjoyed the book.
Jul 16, 2014 Gail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This spy novel about neo-Nazis 1960's Berlin seemed dated and a little stilted to me. But good enough to hold my interest till the end.
Jan 31, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#1 in the Quiller series. 1966 Edgar Award for Best Mystery; 1966 Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. This 1965 novel is one of the landmarks of Berlin-centric Cold War novels of the early-sixties, joining John le Carré's The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1962) and Len Deighton's Funeral in Berlin (1964).

Quiller is about to return to England after a mission in Germany exposing Nazi war criminals 15 years after the end of WWII. He is recruited to find one last criminal, Zossen, who's atrocitie
Ruth Feathers
Jul 01, 2015 Ruth Feathers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely dated, but still a fun read.
Alex Gherzo
Dec 07, 2015 Alex Gherzo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Quiller Memorandum finds itself somewhere in the middle of the Ian Fleming school of action, sex and danger and the John le Carre style of a bunch of people talking in an office while nothing much happens, and for the most part it's quite enjoyable, though I still prefer the more fun kind of spy novel. Quiller is a British operative working for a top secret division. He's about to come home from a long station in Germany mopping up escaped Nazis when he's asked by his superiors to investigat ...more
Keith Nixon
Sep 21, 2014 Keith Nixon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1965, writing under the pseudonym of Adam Hall, Elleston Trevor published a thriller which, like Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale before it, was to herald a change in the world of spy thrillers. The novel was titled The Berlin Memorandum and at its centre was the protagonist and faceless spy, Quiller.

The setting is Cold War-divided Berlin where Quiller tackles a threat from a group of neo-Nazis who call themselves Phoenix. Their aim is to bring back the Third Reich. Quiller works for the Bureau, a
Adam Hall (one of Elleston Trevor' many pseudonyms) wrote many classic spy stories, and this one is considered one of his best. Apparently, it was made into a classic movie and there is even a website compiled by Trevor devotees. He was the author of Flight of the Phoenix which became a really great movie. His Quiller books have been compared favorably to Le Carre' novels although the first was written before Le Carre' Trevor himself has noted the similarity but claims his Quiller is much less i ...more
Martin Hill
Nov 20, 2013 Martin Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quiller Memorandum

Twenty years after the fall of the Third Reich, West Berlin remains infested with ex-Nazis. Quiller, an undercover Nazi hunter for British intelligence, reluctantly accepts an assignment to uncover a Nazi organization called Phoenix and learn their plans for starting a non-nuclear World War III that would bring the Reich back to power. Two fellow agents have already died trying to accomplish this objective, and Quiller's superiors are quite certain he will be the third.

This is
Feb 26, 2013 Col rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, h
You are a secret agent working for the British in Berlin. You are due to go home on leave, but you are being followed-by your own people, or by the enemy. A man meets you in the theater and briefs you on a plot to revive the power of Nazi Germany. You do not believe him, but you remember that one of the suspects mentioned was a senior SS officer you met with in the days when you were working as a spy in Nazi Germany. The next day you make contact with a beautiful girl wh
Written in a minimalist style, but operatic in its events. Quiller is a black box character, a spy whose constant refrain, as he evaluates his back-against-the-wall options is "No go." Being shot at by Nazis? Need to get out the back way, but it's barred? "No go." Lady tries to seduce you but you know she's a double agent? "No go."

There's some gender trouble here, as you might expect from a Bond-James-Bond novel written by a man in 1965. There's also some very earnest Freudian-izing, which cont
May 08, 2013 Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent 60's spy thriller featuring cerebral British agent Quiller, that is sophisticated enough to have held up rather well after 50 years. This is the first in a series of about 20 books. Hall's writing style is a bit idiosyncratic and it takes a bit to get into, but once I did I found the style engaging in that everything is not spelled out for the reader, you have to pay attention and connect some of the dots yourself.

James Bond comparisons are inescapable. Quiller is far more cerebral than
Sean Brennan
May 12, 2014 Sean Brennan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
A genre that the British excelled during the sixties with Smiley, and Harry Palmer must also be added Quiller. What makes this book slightly different is that it explained the extradinary field craft employed by these exceptional people a marvellous tale.

The story itself concerned with the bringing to justice of Nazi's and the efforts taken to supress that most inhuman of ideologies is just as poignant today as when this book was written almost 50 years ago. Chilling.
Huw Collingbourne
Rather an awkward blend of gritty Cold War spying and all-action adventure. Think how James Bond might have turned out if written by Frederick Forsyth and you might get some idea of the mix. The novel started well but I began to lose interest when it introduced too many highly improbable twists and turns (and far too much plot exposition). Even so, I'm prepared to give this series another go and I've already ordered #2 (The 9th Directive).
It's hard to believe this book won the Edgar for Best Novel, against books by Mary Stewart, Len Deighton, Ross MacDonald, Dorothy Salisbury Davis, and H.R.F. Keating. It certainly held my interest, partly because it was set in Berlin and even mentioned the street I lived on several times. But the writing was sloppy and there was a wholly superfluous section on decoding a cipher, which wasn't even believable. It was interesting to me that in 1965 (when I also happened to be living in Germany as a ...more
Mike Jensen
This book pretends to be a report to his superiors by a British spy about his latest adventure in Berlin. I suppose it is appropriate to write such a report in bland and colorless prose. The problem is when an entire book is written in bland and colorless prose. I did get to the end, but I often wondered why I bothered.
Hella Comat
Mar 15, 2014 Hella Comat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book won best novel of 1966 - it's a spy story set in Berlin in the early 60s when the Nazis we're trying to regroup as an underground organization. It was a great insight into spy methods of that era with none of the technology of today. They relied on their memories and intellect and strategy.
Dec 31, 2014 Tiffany rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book is about spy-work in the post WWII Berlin. The main character is trying to weed out the remaining Nazis. It wasn't very exciting, mostly tedious. A lot of psychological elements. A lot of meandering around the city jumping into a dozen cabs & running into half a dozen hotels losing tags. A LOT of betrayals, thinking about how to proceed, how the enemy will proceed, how to deal with a character who's a double/triple/quadruple agent. Both sides try to out-think and outsmart each othe ...more
Jun 18, 2016 Alicat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Initially, this book is quite thrilling and exciting. It deals with a nazi war criminal Hunter in about the 1990s not really sure,. However towards the middle and the end, There are so many details about what the hero is thinking and spy craft that it begins to drag and gets quite boring.
Jan 16, 2013 Beverly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommend-highly
Published in 1965. Adam Hall is a pseudonym for a Bristish author who wrote some of the books in the series but some of them, I believe, were written by several authors.
This is an espionage series. It is gritty and hard, along the lines of LeCarre but without the complex plot and multiple deep characters.
Quiller is a a field Agent. He is tough, cold, fast, dependable as long as his Handler stays out of his way but covers his back.
One of the things that appealed to me was his description of his p
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SSG: Spy/Spec-Ops...: What Quiller should I read next? 5 8 Sep 07, 2016 10:44PM  
  • A Gathering of Spies
  • Assignment in Brittany
  • Charlie M (Charlie Muffin, #1)
  • Paris-Underground
  • Flesh Wounds (Inspector Troy, #5)
  • The Double-Cross System The Incredible True Story of How Nazi Spies Were Turned into Double Agents
  • The Night of the Generals
  • A Gathering of Saints
  • The Labyrinth Makers
  • What Bloody Man Is That?
  • Running Blind
  • The Constantine Covenant
  • The Light of Day
  • Zig Zag: The Incredible Wartime Exploits Of Double Agent Eddie Chapman
  • The Pale House (Gregor Reinhardt, #2)
  • The November Man
  • Beast In View
  • The Last Frontier
Author also wrote as Elleston Trevor.

Author Trevor Dudley-Smith was born in Kent, England on February 17, 1920. He attended Yardley Court Preparatory School and Sevenoaks School. During World War II, he served in the Royal Air Force as a flight engineer. After the war, he started writing full-time. He lived in Spain and France before moving to the United States and settling in Phoenix, Arizona. In
More about Adam Hall...

Other Books in the Series

Quiller (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Ninth Directive
  • The Striker Portfolio
  • The Warsaw Document
  • Tango Briefing
  • The Mandarin Cypher
  • The Kobra Manifesto (Quiller Series)
  • The Sinkiang Executive
  • The Scorpion Signal
  • The Peking Target
  • Quiller

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