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Le fil rouge

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  184 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Parsifal, virtuose du K.G.B., tueur à gages infiltré aux États-Unis, «hiberne» ; il attend les ordres.
Finn, l'ancien météorologiste des Forces spéciales américaines, esquinté par la guerre du Golfe, veut repartir de zéro, prendre le large. Le fil rouge court entre espionnage, thriller et western. Expert en détournements, Robert Littell, le John Le Carré américain, réactiv
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Paperback
Published May 1st 2001 by Gallimard Education (first published May 1st 1997)
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Charles Moore
I liked this story. It is imaginative, well written, and something besides the same boring black-ops-spy story. It did take just about half-way before we had ignition but after that Littell blasted off straight up! I like the assortment of characters. I like the setting. I like the swap of time frames. I also liked his avoidance of romance as a diversion. Rather what little romance there is really seems to fit the story and the characters. One side effect of the considerable treachery built into ...more
Nigel
Oct 31, 2014 Nigel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Marvelous post-Cold War spy thriller about Finn, an Iraq 1 veteran whose hot air balloon lands in an Indian reservation and Parsifal, a long-dormant Soviet assassin revived for a new series of wetwork operations. Someone is shaking down the Indian's casino and anyone who tries to do anything about it meets with an accident. Finn looks into the shakedown and Parsifal receives instructions to off him. But why is a Soviet agent doing hits for what appears to be a Mafia operation?

Littell has been c
...more
Mar
Dec 30, 2015 Mar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Walking back the Cat is a term for retracing the order of events (going backwards) to see where things fell apart. In this novel, a KGB cell is "reactivated" in North America, but agents begin to question who is in control/giving the orders--has the cell been compromised?

Okay beach book thriller, but there are better ones.
Spencer
With a 3-star review, I would put this as "very good" and also in Graham Greene's "an entertainment" category: not too heavy, but well written and very chewable. Like spy/espionage thrillers? CIA yarns?? Dig it. This time, Robert Littell uses a seemingly unlikely recipe to concoct a quick-moving blast of post-cold war ink-and-paper cinema. Here he uses:

A KGB wet-work team and hit-man
A discharged Gulf War vet
A hot-air balloon (that's right, a dirigible!)
An indian reservation


Sounds weird, right?
...more
Colby Coombs
May 06, 2016 Colby Coombs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: espionage
Littell is a master, among the pantheon of espionage-writers. Once again, he has produced a delight: prose so slippery that the pages flow; plot so gripping that meals, even ciggies, go ignored. Treat yourself!
Kak
Aug 07, 2014 Kak rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read
Chet Mclin
Nice tight reading novel. A quick study and a quick read. Pleasant arm chair reading.
Darwin8u
Jul 03, 2011 Darwin8u rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
There is nothing straightforward about Littell's spy stories. I don't think I'd want them any other way. It was a little predictable and the characters were almost cliched, but the story was fresh, addictive and enjoyable.
Amy Pelletier
Jul 09, 2009 Amy Pelletier rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't finish it. The two main characters are trying to find out who sent one of them to kill the other, and I just didn't care who did it. Oh well, I liked all of the other books of his that I read.
Phil Hodge
Dec 16, 2012 Phil Hodge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I disagree with the NYT comment "the American LaCarre". Littell is FAR better than LaCarre. OK, brand me as a heretic, but I often have trouble finishing LaCarre, while I had trouble putting this down.
Mr. Pe Mr. Pe
this is a great book and i recommend it to everyone
Robert Platter
May 23, 2008 Robert Platter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable, but the ending was a little too smooth.
Kevin Jolly
Walking Back the Cat by Robert Littell (2008)
Olivier
A very nice novel.
Jordan
Apr 09, 2008 Jordan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Stupid
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An American author residing in France. He specializes in spy novels that often concern the CIA and the Soviet Union. He became a journalist and worked many years for Newsweek during the Cold War. He's also an amateur mountain climber and is the father of award-winning novelist Jonathan Littell.
More about Robert Littell...

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