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Topaz

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  3,548 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
The hero of Topaz is a diplomat of the contaminated Power: made privy to the entire plot, he is torn by demands of loyalty to his country and the conviction that his own service harbours a great traitor. His refusal to carry out orders to spy on the allies forces him to run for his life, but not before he has proof of the communist conspiracy.
Paperback, 0 pages
Published May 21st 1980 by Bantam Doubleday Dell (first published 1967)
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Dave
Apr 04, 2013 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember Leon Uris as a very good novelist. His Mila18 in the early sixties introduced me to the horrors of Nazi anti-semitism. Although I forgot the story line years ago, the general viewpoint Uris provided has colored my attitudes ever since. I don't recall reading any other Uris novels until a few weeks ago when I picked up Topaz. I first thought I was simply getting a fictionalized version of the Cuban missile crisis. I was okay with that, but I was generally familiar with the circumstance ...more
Carol
This is my third Leon Uris book and I am never disappointed. This takes the reader into the world of post WWII espionage. As with the his other books, Uris does a lot of back stories on the characters. When I read the summary of this book it stated it was about the Cuban Missile Crisis. But it really it is more about espionage between the US, France, Cuba and Russia. How did the information on the missiles reach our government, who were the people who collected and moved the information. I could ...more
Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
Some of us have been longing to read something like this. Alas! We've had tbe opportunity through Leon Uris' novel'Topaz'. It is an old book, but the contents are as interesting today as the day it was first put on paper.

Espionage! Espionage! Espionage!

America: They think that Russia is shipping offensive missiles into Cuba.

Russia: A reluctant former KGB operative defects and claim tbat he has very important information that could help America and her NATO counterparts in subduing the Soviet
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David
Aug 10, 2010 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What was the worst part of this book? The one-dimensionally cliche spy-novel characters? The unrelenting misogyny? The wistful yearning for the Batista days in Cuba? It's no accident, I guess, that even as a Uris reader I have never heard of this book. EXODUS, sadly, seems to have been the exception, rather than the rule. To believe these characters, the only greater threat to mankind than Communism is women, and how horrible they are that they dare to express their unhappiness when their men ha ...more
Hartungt
Oct 25, 2015 Hartungt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I want a good old potboiler, there are a few good authors upon whom I can rely. Leon Uris is one of them. In Topaz he manages to combine stories about the Cuban Missile Crises, Soviet infiltration of French intelligence agencies and some WWII history into a well told tale of Cold War drama. Actions and events are Uris’s forte. He recreates the tension and intrigue of the times very well. The book is fast paced and fairly linear with only a brief flashback to WWI to flesh out the main charac ...more
John
Oct 19, 2009 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very interesting book on a variety of levels. The story line sits around and wanders back and forth through the history of the Cuban Missile Crisis. But while Uris does a decent job of reconstructing the basic facts which finally led to the showdown between Russia and the Kennedy Administration, he also gives the reader great insight into why there consistently seems to be so much tension between France and the United States. He does this in numerous ways starting before WWII and after ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
عنوان: توپاز؛ اثر: لئون اوریس؛ ترجمه: سیروس پزشک؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، امیرکبیر، ، در ص، موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان آمریکایی – قرن 20 م
رمان است اما حوادثی که نویسنده در آن به تصویر کشیده واقعی هستند، کانال سوئز و ... ا. ش
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Murray Moore
For a long time I've wanted to read Topaz Mainly because it was an Alfred Hitchcock film, I'd give it 3 3/4 to 4 stars . Parts of the book I really liked mostly the spy stuff, and the world war 2 flashbacks were pretty good, I could have done with out some new of the soap opera stuff, I think I like the film version better though. Overall it was ok , I did,enjoy the parts about the Cuban missile crisis.
Susan
Nov 25, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been years since I read a Leon Uris novel. I think "Mila 18" was the last one I read. Great writer. There is a certain " black and white TV era" feel to this novel that I really liked. Early 1960's, spies, the Cold War. Still a couple of Uris novels I have on my list to read. He's just a terrific writer.
Sierra
Sep 07, 2015 Sierra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
understanding diplomacy through Topaz

What a refreshing reread. I first read Topaz more than forty years ago. But it was not until now that I was able to put the events into perspective, to better understand the confusing and frightening intrigue associated with our intelligence services. In current news Israel and the U.S. Admit to accepting they spy on one another but the USPresident berates Israeli intelligence for revealing its findings to the U.S. Congress! How ironic is that. Uris Writes ab
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Linda
Jul 17, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Uris is an excellent author. I read this book several years ago, and technique, mechanics, grammar were excellent. His earlier books are better than the later books, in my opinion. Still, I am sorry that he is not alive to write more books.


Mr. Uris is one author that I read and re-read. Louisa May Alcott being the other. He has such great ability to address hot spot topics. The troubles in Ireland, mental illness, the homeless Jews, TVA are but a few. My favorite Uris book is THE HAJ. The bo
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Ed Mestre
Nov 03, 2014 Ed Mestre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A spy novel that is neither Ian Fleming nor Le Carre. I was about a third of the way through before realizing this had been made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock. Written in the sixties & set during 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis with flashbacks to WW II. It made me realize that they were closer in time to WW II than we are today to the Vietnam War, Thus, it acted as a time machine for me to the attitudes & concerns of the time. There are a couple of things setting it apart. It's told mainly ...more
Lee
I had forgotten how much I have enjoyed the works of Leon Uris until I picked up Topaz for the June 2013 challenge. It was a bestseller the week that my middle son was born in 1968. The story takes place during the tense period of the Cuban Missile Crisis and involves the French, American and Russian Secret Services. The tension is maintained throughout the book and kept me turning the pages. It was written during a time when stories didn't need a lot of language and violence even during a viole ...more
Nicholle
A globetrotting Cold War-era spy yarn that doesn't quite stand the test of time. There is a lot of foundation building to reveal a Soviet spy ring infiltrating France as well as Cuban missile crisis maneuvering. There is a lot of ground to cover and the story gets bogged down. I give it a thumbs up for interesting story locales- Havana, D.C., Paris, London, Spain, Algeria, Denmark, and for insight into the French perspective on post WWII politics. The most engaging part of the book for me was th ...more
Steve Woods
Airport reading! Not a lot to get your teeth into but some interesting observations about the French, both during the shame of WW2 and the aftermath. Their arrogance, lack of gratitude and inflated ideas about their place in the world being primary among them. The effort to preserve, or more pointedly to redeem French honor has been the catalyst for at least two of the bloodiest chapters in world history during the second half of the last century. Their deplorable record in what were their Afric ...more
Janice
Sep 01, 2014 Janice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel focuses on French-American relations leading up to the Cuban missile crisis. The details describing intelligence gathering were interesting, but this novel shows its age and feels very dated in a number of ways. Portrayals of females and male-female relationships are male fantasies. The women live to please men. The book is also very "Rah, rah America" to the point of being jingoistic, especially in Uris's portrayal of some of the foreign characters. For instance, the Russian defector ...more
Jeff Crosby
This is an engrossing cold war tale that reflects its time and place. While the ending is somewhat ambiguous, the politics are not. Uris wrote a novel that was harshly critical of French politics and actions in the 1960s. His fictional president of France was a thinly veiled Charles de Gaulle.

Built against the backdrop of the Cuban missile crisis, this novel is essentially a mole hunt within French security forces. While it doesn't contain of the classic elements as defined a few years later in
...more
Gerald
Leon Uris is masterful author. Topaz weaves a terrific tale of suspense and intrigue which both underlies and incorporates the factual circumstances surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis. A French patriot, serving in the #2 position in the French Embassy in Washington, helps thwart a Communist conspiracy and infiltration of the very highest levels of the French government and at the same time playing an integral role in obtaining information of the nefarious activities of the Soviets in Cuba.

I mo
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Bodosika Bodosika
When I saw the title "Topaz"the first thing that came to my mind was precious stone but on a closer observation i find out it was about espionage.
I normally refer to the like of Leon Uris,James Clavell and some few others authors as the 'Old Masters of the Craft,
They hardly disappoint you;Leon Uris painted a picture of a high level espionage between world powers and in doing this he weaves the story believably with suspense and a flow that will make the reader want know what happened next or per
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Sue Kraft
Mar 11, 2015 Sue Kraft rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great novel

It's been a long time since I've read any of Uris's books. I don't know why I stopped. This one is really good. It seems so real and so believable that I wonder if he isn't the author mentioned at the end? He really does a masterful job with all of the characters. I can still remember that evening when Kennedy spoke to the nation. I was in junior high school and my best friend called worried that we were going to war and that this might be our last chance to talk. She scared the carp
...more
Armin Hennig
Mar 19, 2012 Armin Hennig rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cold-war
As a spy novel the book is embarrassing, if you have seen 13 days you wonder how little history is in this book.
Read it after Mitla Pass, which told a lot about the ups an downs of his first marriage 30 years later or so.
In Topas Uris wrote the end of his marriage somehow in real time, he was divorced in 1968, the book was finishid 1967 and his hero Deveraux is also a philandering husband with at least one great love on the side.
Noa
Feb 09, 2010 Noa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In my mind, this book didn't share the great literary heights of Uris's other workd, like Mila 18 or QB VII. It was a fun and somewhat informational book, but it pretty much ended there.

What really ruined the book for me was when, at some point in the book (won't say when) Leon Uris mentions HIMSELF as the teller of the tale, (I don't remember the exact quote, but it was something like: [I:] am a rather corny author, but with a future.)
Håvard Bjørnelv
Under hele den kalde krigen var det en egen sjanger innen krim og spenning som var svært populær, nemlig spionromanen. Topaz er etter min mening blant det ypperste for denne gruppen. Handlingen i Topaz spinner rundt Cuba-krisa på begynnelsen av 60-tallet og framstår som en fantastisk dog troverdig rekonstruksjon av hvordan det k u n n e foregått. Leon Uris har lenge vært en av mine favorittforfattere og Topaz styrker den oppfatninga. Anbefalt! :-)
Surreysmum
May 29, 2010 Surreysmum rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1981, thrillers
[These notes were made in 1981:]. A thriller in the "secret-agents-run-the-world" category. Central character is a Frenchman whose chief loyalty is to the Americans, and his wife/mistress/daughter are all part of the plot. A step above Harold Robbins in that we're not subjected to soft-core sex scenes, but it still didn't grab me in the way that QBVII did, perhaps because the subject matter (spy rings, etc.), although equally sensationalistic, is less humanized.
Colin D. Ciley
Feb 14, 2015 Colin D. Ciley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vive la France .. or whatever

Leon Iris is a marvelous author and a fine historian.
Although I have read many other of his books, I had missed Topaz, and was unknowingly deprived until now. Although he challenges his reader with great detail as he develops the characters and their environment, his story expands encouraging his reader to travel with him.
Go now, relish the feast that has been set for you, and be engorged by this Master writer.
Judy
Aug 17, 2014 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading stories that shed light on a time or place in history that I know little about. and from that perspective, it held my attention ... mostly. I felt that most of the characters were fairly two dimensional and had a hard time caring about them.

the story dragged here and there, lost in endless descriptions that seemed to give little cookie to the plot our the character
Joey
Oct 01, 2013 Joey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure why I choose to go through with reading such difficult books, except that maybe it reminds me of being in college. This was not a bad book, but it was incredibly hard to get through. Andre was a sympathetic character but there were whole chapters about his life I just didknn not need to know.
Kim
Jul 27, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful writing! While this book is older than I am - yep, true - the novel is a great read today. The novel deals with timeless concepts set in a (then) contemporary setting. It was pretty interesting to read how word choices, acceptable phrases, cultural norms, etc. have changed since this was written. Look forward to reading more of his work!
Jan Derksen
Aug 09, 2012 Jan Derksen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Niemand, zelfs geen der topfiguren, wist van het bestaan van Topaz. De president der Verenigde Staten was woedend en ontzet over wat hij hoorde. Hij schreef eigenhandig een uiterst vertrouwelijke brief aan de president van Frankrijk. Binnen een uur was een speciale koerier aan boord van een razen...


more...
Paul Thiel
Apr 13, 2016 Paul Thiel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating fictional history. Suspenseful, with a surprise ending. Analysis of Cuban, French, and American governmental relationships corresponds with conventional wisdom. Devastating characterization of Charles DeGaulle-type French leader. Uris gets a bit carried away with his deification of all people, things, and systems American.
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19708
Leon Marcus Uris (August 3, 1924 - June 21, 2003) was an American novelist, known for his historical fiction and the deep research that went into his novels. His two bestselling books were Exodus, published in 1958, and Trinity, in 1976.

Leon Uris was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Jewish-American parents Wolf William and Anna (Blumberg) Uris. His father, a Polish-born immigrant, was a pa
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“Pride is a fool's fortress” 13 likes
“Prologue Summer, 1962 MARSH MCKITTRICK’S BUICK WAS passed through the gates of the vast Government complex outside Langley. He eased onto the turnpike, then sped toward Washington, touching his briefcase nervously and looking into the rearview mirror. Two cars filled with heavily armed guards followed closely. Sanderson Hooper beside him and Michael Nordstrom in the rear seat remained speechless.” 1 likes
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