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The Road To Gandolfo (Road to #1)

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,834 Ratings  ·  163 Reviews
In this wickedly funny novel, Robert Ludlum combines the explosive pacing of The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy with a bitingly witty send-up of everything from government bureaucrats and pandering military men to the mob, the law, and organized religion.

War hero and infamous ladies’ man, General MacKenzie Hawkins is a living legend. His life story had even bee
315 pages
Published (first published 1975)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
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.
Jun 15, 2011 Tejas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 22, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 04, 2010 Gunner1956 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nancy Brady
A disgraced general, MacKenzie Hawkins, decides to kidnap the Pope for ransom. He enlists his four ex-wives, a reluctant attorney, Sam Devereaux, and an international cast of characters in this crime. One dollar for every Catholic in the world is his goal as he commands and plans his way. All Sam wants is out without causing World War III, but Hawk is in charge. Can he pull off the kidnapping, or will Sam circumvent it? This is a madcap scheme with wild situations.
David Roberts
Mar 06, 2014 David Roberts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 17, 2014 Barry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-misc
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
Sreedevi Viswambaran
The Road to Gandolfo by Michael Shephard (a pen name used by Robert Ludlum), Finished Reading on 1st August 2009

1CGeneral MacKenzie Hawkins is a living military legend, a hero and a rogue. Sam Devereaux is a bright young ex-Harward lawyer, now in the army, and he can 19t wait to get out.
When the Hawk gets kicked out of the army for conduct unbecoming of an officer, his options are limited 13 but not for long. He has a plan 13 a plan so ambitious it will shock the world and make him a ve
Charles Spencer
Jun 10, 2014 Charles Spencer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 17, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-shelf, adult-humor
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.
Sree Devi
Don’t get deceived by the name of Robert Ludlum. It is not a Jason Bourne or covert-one adventure. Its a just another bland novel, which you can afford to skip anytime. No action, no nerve breaking suspense, just a detailed narration of an attorneys globe trotting with few blondes. Nothing more. I struggled to finish it off.

There is no story as such to talk about in this book. Just a dangerous embarking of a retired military general to make money, with the help of an attorney who hardly like thi
Dec 21, 2015 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, humor
THE ROAD TO GANDOLFO is a rare comedic turn from Robert Ludlum, a guy not exactly known for his amazing sense of humor. It's the equivalent of Tom Clancy trying to do comedy. Or Ken Follett. Dial Press (Ludlum's publisher at the time GANDOLFO was written) was initially so pleased with the manuscript, they forced Ludlum to publish it under a pen name.
If a book has to tell you over and over again on the cover just how amazingly hilarious it is, you can bet your life it will fail to deliver. And if
Aug 10, 2012 Karyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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..
Jan 08, 2015 Kevincl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 27, 2011 Athornton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 07, 2012 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mackenzie Hawkins is awesome.

Not only does he cause a ton of trouble for the US government in the 1st third of the book, he then hatches a plan to kidnap the Pope so as to get $400 million in ransom.

Sure there are plotholes big enough to fly a plane through but just by reading the back of the book you go in knowing this won't be an award winner. Still, for a 324 page novel, it took longer than it should have to get through it.

Not sure when I'll get to reading The Road to Omaha but I do look forw
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
Dec 29, 2010 Connie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
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
Some amusing moments - but just too dated for me. Bad-ass Army general gets upset with the US military and hatches a plot involving a downtrodden Army lawyer and his four voluptuous ex-wives. Was probably funnier in 1970. We don't talk about women and Arabs the same way now - thank goodness! Many, many descriptions of the "charms" of the ex-wives. Tedious.
Jan 27, 2016 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my all time favorite Ludlum books because it was so different from everything I had read by him up to that point.

I thought this would make a brilliant movie with Peter Graves as General MacKenzie Hawkins and Ernest Borgnine as the Pope.

I can't say too much without creating spoilers, but this is one of Ludlum's most entertaining books ever.
Jan 22, 2014 Erwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 09, 2015 Oliver Rabacal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Sep 03, 2013 Samuel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 20, 2015 Paul rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Didn't make it too far into this one. Just way too much macho stuff, military, foul language, crassness, etc. I can find a title elsewhere which will be more positive and uplifting. Maybe later.
Laura Muthappa
Jan 07, 2015 Laura Muthappa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Tim Potter
Aug 04, 2015 Tim Potter rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Unfortunately, this is a book that does not stand the test of time. Upon its original release the review could be quite different.
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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
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