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The Matarese Countdown (Matarese Dynasty #2)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  3,479 ratings  ·  59 reviews
CIA case officer Cameron Pryce thought he'd crushed the deadly cabal of powerbrokers and assassins. But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the Matarese dynasty is back. Now the countdown begins -- and Pryce is already running out of time. "The Matarese Circle, " Robert Ludlum's multimillion-copy spellbinder, introduced a treacherous international cabal of powerbrokers a ...more
Published October 1st 2004 by Orion Publishing Group (first published 1997)
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Jurassic Park by Michael CrichtonThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. TolkienThe Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
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27th out of 52 books — 46 voters

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Community Reviews

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Not because this book wasn't a nice thrilling read. It was. But as a stand alone. Compare it to Ludlum's fantastic, adrenalin-pumping prequel The Matarese Circle and it turns pale. Deathly, sickly pale. It doesn't hold a candle to it's predecessor.

It's like a Hollywood star kid who basks in the reflected glory of it's star parent but doesn't have the same charisma or talent. But he would have done okay if not for the shadow of the Genius parent.

I think I feel that way because the
Marija I
I was somehow disappointed which is uncommon for Ludlum's books... This one took a little longer to read and didn't necessarily keep me interested the whole way through... There were times I had to really force myself to keep going.

If you are picking up a Ludlum book for the first time, don't choose this one! Also if you have not read 'The Matarese Circle', which is book number '1' in this series, don't attempt this one. There is a lot of prior assumed knowledge and character development and pl
This was left behind in my hotel room by a previous guest and I picked it up when I ran through my own books. It's a spy novel from the late '80s and feels like a straight to DVD spy movie. Computers and technology we take for granted are almost magical devices that can do almost anything. If it weren't for the authors need to explain how wonderful these things were it wouldn't have been so distracting. I've read many spy/thriller type novels set before the ubiquity of computers that dealt with ...more
Bernard A.
This was disappointing. I had hopes for this story, given the reputation of the author. How did he get such a great reputation. His writing is stilted, bordering on purple, with such lines as, "Oh, I see what you mean," said the tall, attractive, and formidable Antonia,...," and, "Our?...Taleniekov is dead. He's gone!" "Not in my head, Cameron Pryce. He never will be."

This last leads me to another point, his character identification. Cameron Pryce is sometimes Cam or Cameron or Pryce or Cameron
Rick Ludwig
Just okay. A bit of a disappointment considering how much I enjoyed the Matarese Circle.
Tomaz Bercic
His butler did it.
Adam K.
Not quite as fun as the original, but to be fair I got interrupted in my reading of this one by a binge of GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire. That aside, I think what dampened the effect of this one a bit is that you're already well aware of the scope and depth of the Matarese conspiracy. Ludlum seemed to know this, however, so the attention in this one is more on the interplay and banter between Brandon Scofield, the old spook, and Cameron Pryce, the young one. However, this friendship lacks the de ...more
This is the first Robert Ludlum book I've read and I went into it with somewhat high expectations considering how well known he is. My expectations were not met. The story is okay but his writing style; particularly his dialog, really just didn't feel right to me. None of the dialog between any of the main characters seemed believable. For example, at times one character would say something and the initial response would be heated and angry but then, almost immediately, the angry character would ...more
CIA case officer Cameron Pryce thought he'd crushed the deadly cabal of powerbrokers and assassins. But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the Matarese dynasty is back. Now the countdown begins -- and Pryce is already running out of time. "The Matarese Circle, " Robert Ludlum's multimillion-copy spellbinder, introduced a treacherous international cabal of powerbrokers and their hired assassins. More than 20 years ago, the top CIA and KGB agents joined together to insure that, in an explosive ...more
Sep 14, 2009 Marc rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: fiction
Wow. This was cheese. Other reviewers have probably said it better but this was way off the mark for the work of Robert Ludlum. A number of years ago I read almost all of Tom Clancy's books back-to-back during one summer of reading. This may have disguised what I later noticed to be a "dumbing" down of his work. Campy dialogue, impossibly perfect characters, and useless repetition of important plot lines became the norm in Clancy's work (maybe it was there all along, but Rainbow Six was the majo ...more
I always enjoyed all the Ludlum books but, this sequel to the 1960s-70s published Matarese Circle, albeit definitely vintage Ludlum...intrigue, good character development, etc., could have been at least 50 pages shorter.
I don't know what happened here. I've read a lot of Ludlum books before but when I started this one, there was just something off about it that I can't put my finger on. I wondered why. It bugged me for days on end. A few years ago I saw this again while cleaning my dad's bookshelf and decided to do some research.

Well the general consensus was this doesn't look like Robert Ludlum's work. Was disappointed at that, although I really have no way of knowing if it was true. Probably a ghostwriter? H
Robert Ludlum never fails to disappoint. I didn't realize that this is a sequel to the Matarese Circle, but that didn't seem to matter too much - it was easy to keep up with past events. However, the format of the book seems to follow the Bourne series closely, sometimes it seems that only the character names are changed.

The plot involves current and former CIA agents trying to stop a secret organization (the Matarese) from dominating the world's economy for their own personal financial gain. I
Mike Philbin
In Ludlum's follow-up The Matarese Countdown, a much slower (tedious) book published in 1999, Brandon Scofield is dragged out of self-imposed exile on some Caribbean island to once again foil the rising phoenix of the Matarese inheritance. As I've said, I was rather disappointed with the narrative events of this sequel. Circle was fraught with narrative dead ends and 'how can he survive this' while Countdown just happened, scripting by numbers. It was the all-too-smooth routing of the remaining ...more
This sequel to 'The Matarese Circle' doesn't quite match the original story in intensity nor conflict. It comes off as Ludlum by the numbers. Put protagonists in harm's way, let protagonist avoid harm, and then wash, rinse, and repeat for 500+ pages. There is too much of the 'charming, almost over the hill' operative. The first book thrived on the solid premise of sworn enemies working together for something greater than themselves, but the threat of Ludlum's revived Matarese comes off as cliche ...more
Typical, far fetched, lots of italics, lots of fun .
Not Ludlum's best, but not his worst either. Formulaic like Ludlum's other books, however this is set 30 years after the Matarese Circle, with some of the worst characteristics of Ludlum's worst novels, and only glimpses so far of his best work. Ludlum is the master of the chase and action sequences and tangled webs of anti-government conspiracies, and while this novel is chock full of the latter there sure isn't much action so far. There is just a ton of buildup, with shocking (not) revelations ...more
One word says it all...
Nov 01, 2014 Peter rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: spy
Have read before a good read.
The cure for insomnia.
Muzaffer Bayraktar
İlk kitap kadar yoğun ve sürükleyici değildi. Sonunu iyi getirse de kitabın önemli kısmı çok kalıplaşmış ve can sıkıcı üçüncü sınıf casusluk filmlerinden çıkan diyaloglarla örülüydü. Sonunu iyi bağlamasa ve yer yer vites arttırmasa çok amatör bir kitap olarak kalacakmış. Sanki kitabın yarısını Ludlum'dan başkası yazmış. Son Çember'i sevdiyseniz karakterlerin uğruna 530 sayfayı okumak isteyebilirsiniz benim gibi.
Actually read the original 1997 hardcover as I continue to finally read my old books. This was a sequel to The Matarese Circle which I read shortly after publication a long time ago but it's story came back while reading this. Typical Ludlum fast read about world-ending or dominating plot. About this time in his career his stories starting getting too predictable. Still worth reading if you like the genre.
I've read almost every book Ludlum has written and this was by far the worse. In fact, I found it written so poorly, that I have a hard time believing he actually wrote it. The characters were two-dimensional and the dialog was cheesy. Put the story into an outline, and it's great... but whoever developed this outline into a novel did a poor job. If you're a Ludlum lover, stay away from this book.
Samuel Singh
Aug 06, 2008 Samuel Singh rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
The interesting factor in this book is that it brings back one of the more interesting of Ludlum's characters, Brandon Scofield back into the forefront. I would love to see this made into a film with Sean Connery as Scofield. The only thing I DON'T want to happen is for the script to stray from the stories like it happened in the Bourne movies.
Happy Canto
I realize I didn't finish this book, but as a long-time fan of Ludlum (and having read so many of his books) I can safely say that this is not his finest work.

It doesn't do the saga justice.

The dialogue was forced, un-believable and cliched. The first installment, "The Matarese Circle" is so much better.
I have my doubts that Ludlum actually wrote this work; it reads more like one of the Van Lustbader-Ludlum franchise works. Maybe it was a tryout for the future to keep the Ludlum franchise bringing in the cash. Thin and lightweight in comparison to Ludlum in his heyday.
I've read this book atleast 50 times now, simply because its been there when I was done reading all the new books. Every read has been just as exciting.
Captivating this one is - to me atleast
Jeremy Wood
horrible, absolutely horrible...i gave it one star, but i couldnt even finish it. any book that tells its story through jilted and horrible dialogue isnt worth picking up.
Sushrut Borgaonkar
Beowulf Agate at his best. But the book disappoints. Vasili Taliniekov is sorely missed. And the Matarese Circle's awe, mystery and awesomeness disappears. Sad end.
Sequal to Circle set some two decades after the elimination of the Matarese Circle. New players but an old hunter. No great, Not bad.
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Never Disappoints! 1 8 Sep 26, 2013 02:23AM  
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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...
The Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne, #1) The Bourne Supremacy (Jason Bourne, #2) The Bourne Ultimatum (Jason Bourne, #3) The Matarese Circle (Matarese #1) The Icarus Agenda

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