The Loo Sanction
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The Loo Sanction (Jonathan Hemlock #2)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  1,029 ratings  ·  40 reviews
A First-Rate Thriller from a Legendary Master

Jonathan Hemlock, the art professor and mercenary who first excited readers with his daring exploits in The Eiger Sanction, returns in an even more masterful adventure in The Loo Sanction, Trevanian’s second thrilling spy novel. Hemlock has gone to England to rest, but his vacation is interrupted when the head of British Intelli...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published August 23rd 2005 by Crown (first published 1973)
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Hali Sowle
A reread of this book and I have to say it didn't quite live up to my memories and it definitely doesn't live up to the billing of it's more well known prequel - The Eiger Sanction.

Jonathan Hemlock is in London doing a series of lectures, he has cut ties with CII, the spy organization that had supported his art habit by hiring him out to do "sanctions". But as most of us know we can never fully leave our past behind. Hemlock is drawn into the spy and killing game again but this time by a Britis...more
Everyone is no doubt familiar with the movie "Eiger Sanction" based on a book of the same name by Trevanian, pseudonym for a university professor who wrote a series of very popular genre novels. Miffed that critics and many readers did not get the spoof intended in the Eiger Sanction, he wrote the Loo Sanction which is not only a very successful spy thriller but a broad lampoon of British (and American) academia and the espionage community. The puns surrounding the word "loo," the name of the Br...more
Hmm. Probably should be a 3.5 Sometimes, a sequel is not a great idea. The Eiger Sanction is a dandy thriller with a slight sideways twist to it that manages to satirize the genre while also playing it pretty much straight. Something curdled between that book and this one, though, as its tone is more caustic without being sharper--it often just seems bitchy rather than witty. The first third, especially, is a bit of a chore to get through, though as the book proceeds the action begins to compens...more
The followup to The Eiger Sanction is a competent but off-putting piece of work, and for the unlikeliest of reasons -- it's too good for its own good. Too conscientious a craftsman to be satisfied with simply recycling The Eiger Sanction, Trevanian tried to deepen Jonathan Hemlock's character while darkening the spy skullduggery (drawing inspiration from the Profumo scandal). The chief villain, while still over-the-top, is a figure of genuine menace whose soul-deep corruption leaves the reader l...more
Trevanian's 1974 thriller is not bad, written as the 42 year old author's second book and followup to the '73 Eiger Sanction. Dr. Jonathan Hemlock, art historian and CII assassin, must deal with pain and loss in addition to James Bond-esque escapades, sexually dominant women, and London car chases in his subsequent adventures involving corruption at the highest levels of the British government, a very skillfully evoked very evil villain, and gunplay amidst the art world. this is not a "will chan...more
Ellen Jaffe
I discovered Trevanian (one of this author's several pen-names) when I was Google-searching Rod Whitaker, whom I knew as a theatre-director in a summer theatre on Long Island in 1962. He went on to become a novelist, as well as (at one time) a teacher and critic of films; he also lived in England and then in Basque country of France until his death in 2005. Many of his books have spy themes, set toward the end of the Cold War. I found The Loo Station gripping reading, but it is a very dark, "edg...more
Johnny Waco
I enjoy a good spy novel now and then, but I'm not a huge fan of the genre overall. As I read The Loo Sanction, I felt that this was truly a novel for those who devour everything in the genre. The novel's not bad--far from it--but neither is it exceptional. The plot of the nefarious Mr. Strange to secretly record the perverse sexual acts of Britain's most powerful people (apparently they're all consumed by their perversions) and to use these tapes for blackmail is clever enough, but many of the...more
It was just ok. The main character was just not that believable as an MI5 operative. Somewhat entertaining, I just felt like the story was disjointed. The ending was a disappointment as well.
Chris Ellis
Enjoyed it - good for a lot of laughs. This is essentially a spoof on James Bond type spy thrillers as evidenced by the title. It is nevertheless a good quick read with a smooth main character and plenty of interesting action.
This book is a lot of fun, it's well written and the characterizations are interesting--especially The Vicar. I picked it up because I had seen "The Eiger Sanction" (the movie) back in 1975 (and many times since) and wanted to know more about the further adventures of Jonathan Hemlock, assassin and teacher/collector of fine arts. Trevanian didn't disappoint me. I had to pick up "The Eiger Sanction" halfway through "The Loo Sanction" and will read it down the road.
This goes on record as one of the most horrific, traumatizing, pointless books I have ever read. Trevanian is a skilled writer; he couldn't have created such a nightmare of a book if he wasn't. But he is also a huge mysogynist. This is one of those books I wish I could go back in time and stop myself from reading. It is an extremely disturbing testament to human ugliness. I continue to have nightmares about it.
George Stankow
I miss Trevanian. He was never a prolific author, but each of them was a perfect little jewel. Even this one, his only sequel, is a knowing wink toward the very idea of the thriller sequel. While not approaching the deconstructionism of "Incident at Twenty-Mile," the second Sanction book shows that same sense of understanding the heart of the idea. Read this between more po-faced spy novels as a palate cleanser.
Jonathan Lu
Trevanian seems to have abandoned satire following the Eiger Sanction... this 2nd Jonathan Hemlock novel not only skips out all of the vivid climbing detail of the 1st, but is a legitamite spy book. Moderately interesting story with twists and turns that would do Ian Fleming proud. A good quick and mindless read that I'm surprised never was made into a film.
Okumak işkence gibiydi benim için. Sibumi nasil akiciysa bu kitap da o derece durgundu. Asil karakter aktif görevinden ayrılmış bir ajan. Yalnız aktif görevinden ayrilmisken karakterimizin zaten heyecan ve merak uyandirmayan kurguda hiç aktif olamayisi kitabı sıkıcı bir hale sormuş. İleride akılda kalabilecek hiç bir kurguyu barindirmayan bir kitap diyebilirim.
Joe  Noir
The parody is broader here than in The Eiger Sanction and that may be why it's less "edge of the seat". It's still a good, fun, read. There is an art theft in this novel, and according to, after the Italian version of this novel was published there was an art theft in Milan using the method described in this book.
Dr. Rodney William Whitaker is great for the little details that you catch here and there, and want more of. I think you can see him working through, developing his "spy" novels as you go through Eiger and Loo and maybe he got where he wanted to in Shibumi. It's not James Bond, that just wouldn't be Trevanian.
Started this and loved the writing style, but failed to realize until I started it that it wasn't the first in the series. Going to get the first book first.

Reminds me of Bond books, but I actually like it a bit better (I only got about 20 pages in, though).
Joshua Mark
I liked The Loo Sanction but not as much as The Eiger Sanction. It seems to me to lack the progression and pacing of Trevanian's other works. Still, I'd recommend the book. It has some really great moments and, of course, Trevanian's wonderful style.
Not as good as Shibumi, but still very good.
Trevanian is much smarter than most. Every word is said half-jokingly, but a lot of folks don't get the joke. If you do, you will enjoy Trevanian's other books too.
The W
W rating: solid B

Much better. This book is an excellent sequel to The Eiger Sanction. More character and plot development throughout with an exciting build. Gruesome death in the beginning.

Briar Sangiuliano
second in the sanction series- not quite as good as the Eiger Sanction, but well written and same artistic detail. If you like Dan Brown, you will love Trevanian, plus he is more eccentric!
"A masterpiece�." � New York Times

Listen to The Loo Sanction on your iPhone, desktop, or smartphone.
If you read this novel, which I can recommend if you enjoy the cold-war espionage genre, you will never experience a typical 'waiting room' in the same manner.
The plot structure was pretty similar to the Eiger sanction. Just substitute art for mountain climbing. So, not as interesting to me. But it was ok.
Diego Andrés Sanabria
Excellent novel. I liked this one more than the Eigel's sanction. The final chapters are just a tragic downward spiral but in a good way.
John Sheehan
Ridiculous and entertaining. A quick read that will boost your vocab. And yes, the "Loo" in Loo Sanction refers to toilets.
Jonathan Hemlock's sarcasm was fun in the Eiger Sanction, but in the Loo Sanction, he's become whiny and it's not attractive.
If you enjoy spy/action books, Trevanian is a brilliant writer. However, I'd recommend Shibumi before the Loo Sanction.
I love Trevanian. Some of my all time favorite spy thrillers. I liked this one better than Eiger, but they were both great.
Jim Flanagan
Enjoyable follow-up to Eiger Sanction. Worth seeking out if you want to know what happens to Hemlock post-CII.
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"Trevanian" was the pen name of American author Dr. Rodney William Whitaker (12 June 1931-14 Dec 2005). He wrote in a wide variety of genres, achieved best-seller status, and published under several names, of which the best known was Trevanian. From 1972 to 1983, five of his novels sold more than a million copies each. He was described as "the only writer of airport paperbacks to be compared to Zo...more
More about Trevanian...
Shibumi (Nicholai Hel, #1) The Eiger Sanction The Summer of Katya The Main Incident at Twenty-Mile

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