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The Parsifal Mosaic

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  6,375 Ratings  ·  142 Reviews
Michael Havelock’s world died on a moonlit beach on the Costa Brava as he watched his partner and lover, double agent Jenna Karas, efficiently gunned down by his own agency. There’s nothing left for him but to quit the game, get out. Then, in one frantic moment on a crowded railroad platform in Rome, Havelock sees Jenna. Racing around the globe in search of his beautiful b ...more
Paperback, 704 pages
Published February 1st 1983 by Bantam (first published 1982)
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Nov 27, 2014 Seth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: espionauge
This novel was published in 1982, and it is the direct follow up in Mr.Ludlum's career to his legendary Bourne Identity novel. In future years, Mr.Ludlum would seemingly forget how to write character depth, but at the time of this novel he remembered to include depth for most of the stories characters. Some of the sequences are "cookie cutter" for this author, the first 200 pages of this book seemed so similar to the first 200 pages of Bourne Identity that I was debating if I was wasting my time ...more
After the disasters of 'Holcroft Covenant' and 'Chancellor Manuscript' Ludlum is back to somewhere near his best. This book is good because Ludlum sticks to what he does best - spies and their strategic games; leaving aside tedious politics and economics. The story is essentially just strategies, traps, moves & countermoves devised, executed and subsequently taken apart by the best of the spies in the Consular Operations and the VKR (a right-wing part of the KGB).

Micheal Havelock, our hero a
Dec 2014 Reread.
STill love this a million times over. Admittedly there are things I skim when I'm reading something for the 20th (or more) time. But I love these characters, I love the clever espionage, and the mystery here is completely unique.

OLD: My very very very very favorite Ludlum book. I read these over and over again in high school and college, raiding my parents' library. I eventually had to start buying my own copies. This is definitely my favorite.
Josh McClellan
Oct 12, 2014 Josh McClellan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a big time Ludlum fan, I walk into any Ludlum book with high expectations. I think this is a good book, but it was bit of a roller coaster for me in ways that other Ludlum novels weren't. At moments I was confused and a little frustrated, and at others I was captivated. By the end, overall, I was impressed with the scope and the detail of the story.

The story is layered and complex, more so than any of his other stories I have read. It felt confusing and convoluted at times in the midst of it,
Oct 14, 2016 Kym rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindled
I loved this when I was a teenager and I still do. Ludlum's plot questions the power behind those in power and he creates a cast of characters that weave about so much it left me wondering who would end up being the good or the bad guys. It's an intense read - so if you like fast-paced and fabulous, I'd highly recommend this.
Trevor Denning
Feb 01, 2015 Trevor Denning rated it it was ok
Third time was the charm for plodding through this conspiracy thriller. Cold War spy Michael Havelock wants out after killing his KGB double agent girlfriend Jenna. After a few weeks' retirement, where he is approached by spooks on both sides (making me wonder how great of a spy he could have been, if everyone knew him by sight), he catches a glimpse of Jenna in a train station. What follows is a chase from Europe to the US to find his true love.

The questions begin to stack up: Who wanted Micha
Sep 10, 2015 Kannan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now, this was my first book of Ludlum that introduced to me all possible intricacies that can exist in the world of espionage.

The fact that Ludlum remained king of espionage thrillers was mainly due to the fact of tragic loving reminsces that the protogonist experiences. The emotional struggle of Havelock for the lost love takes second seat when he faces the dilemma – the living conundrum of his mentor Anton Matthias' mental state.

International dealings, God knows whether they happen the way L
Apr 03, 2008 Laurie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this was one of my top 2 favorite Robert Ludlum books. He is an awesome writer! Keeps me reading till my eyes are red and the sun is coming up!
Stuart Dequincy
Mar 24, 2016 Stuart Dequincy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't have time to write a full review and do this fine novel justice. I intend to return to this review and write one worthy of this brilliantly complex spy thriller which I believe qualifies as some of the authors finest work. That's right I said finest and this definitely qualifies for top three status amongst the authors impressive body of work. I first this in jail in 1992, I proceeded to read most of the authors back catologue and although they were all very good this, the Holcroft Coven ...more
Jun 02, 2015 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 23, 2016 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Too long, more complicated than need be, too wordy, etc. etc. About 1/4 of the way into this story I found myself speed reading, and wishing that I could read faster. Of the 600 pages, at least 200 are not needed. I admit a like/hate relationship to Ludlum's novels, but this one was too drawn out. I'm giving it a three, but just barely.......I look at my books to read and see five more resting there, several thick one's to boot, and almost dread picking the next one up......maybe 6 months or so ...more
Mar 03, 2016 Kelanth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spionaggio
Il mosaico di Parsifal, in originale "The Parsifal Mosaic", è un romanzo di spionaggio scritto nel 1982 da Robert Ludlum. Sembra che Ron Howard è stato contattato dalla Universal per dirigere l'adattamento cinematografico di questo libro. Il mosaico di Parsifal è il romanzo di Ludlum che si concentrata interamente sulla guerra fredda , e sulla possibilità di una guerra nucleare . Altri romanzi come "Il circolo Matarese" e "Aquitania" usano la guerra fredda come sfondo, ma non si basano su di ess ...more
Tim Healy
Oct 06, 2013 Tim Healy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this first when I was in High School...maybe 16 years old. I read almost all of Ludlum's library while I was in High School. My mother liked them, so they were always around. This was one that made a strong impression on me at the time.

Some of Ludlum's work has not held up terribly well. It is too deeply rooted in a geopolitical climate that no longer exists. I put The Bourne Identity in that column. This one holds up better. While it does live in the Cold War era of Soviet-US-China relat
Matt Crumpton
Apr 27, 2011 Matt Crumpton rated it liked it
Shelves: spy-thriller
Well i am glad I finally got this book read. It has taken me 4 or 5 times to sit down and read the entire thing. Well what did I think.......

In one word....CONVOLUTED! This book is so confusing. Really, when you get to the end and you have some idea what the story is about, you seem to think gee I could have made it much more coherent for the reader. The plot is so simple, and in my opinion a little weak. There is just so many words, and subplots and verbal beatings around the bush. I just felt
Tod Hamilton
Dec 06, 2014 Tod Hamilton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Story tellers of Robert's calibre do but come along once every few generations - and to me this, along with the Rhinemann Exchange were among his best. I went through a period where what he was writing was perfectly suited to my liking. During this period these books were read a few times over until they were falling apart.
The only thing I can say is once you've read one of this era of books, if you like them, you'll read the entire collection.
Jun 09, 2016 Manoj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of excitement and suspense throughout. A smart plot hatched, to pull out Michael Havelock from the field, using Jenna Karras, his only solace, by turning her into a double agent. The plot works and Havelock quits but only until he sees a woman her believes to be Jenna and the race begins. He is put beyond salvage an the mystery is unearthed slowly. With the splendid twists and turns Robert captivates us to keep goin on. Well written book. I would recommend it.
Shannon Kirk
I absolutely love when Ludlum includes strong female characters - he's very good at making them believable - self-sufficient and powerful, but not inhuman.

I won't lie - this one confused me a lot of the time, and I found myself having to flip back to check names he had mentioned before - keeping a list of characters might not be a bad idea!

But overall, yet another fantastic, edge-of-your-seat (er, couch) espionage thriller with the unexpected at every turn. Read it!
Robert Ojok
Aug 26, 2014 Robert Ojok rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the great books of espionage. The story line could easily fit into today's geopolitical manoeuvrings by the super powers vying for not just military and political might but financial too. It's an insightful story into the mucky world of espionage where things are never quite what they seem and even enemies can find a common cause for survival...
Mar 28, 2015 Amit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always found it difficult to read Ludlum, like Le Carre, and prefer their cinematic adaption. It's the verbosity and biased towards Ken F that probably skews reading pleasure. Still - not many authors can write 'Spy' as Ludlum. Extremely complex plot that unravels well over the pages. It will definitely make a great movie..
Akul Sahariya
May 12, 2016 Akul Sahariya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was no work like this one for a long time after I read it during my college days.

The storyline keeps one confused in the opening chapters and gradually reveals the plot set in the European backdrops. It is many things in one, gripping to say the least.

The end builds up and sometimes you may want to skip but don't.
James B
Well worth reading. Though similar to the Bourne novels, here the plot line is flipped and changed to such a degree that even an avid spy novel reader will second guess themselves. My only advice is the slow beginning can make you want to put it down, don't. The only reason it is not rated higher is it gets a little over the top in places.
Nov 10, 2008 C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, intrigue
Good book. Really a 3.5 for me.
Lots of action with twisty-turny plot. I found it difficult to get into, but was into it by page 200 - yes, at 200 you're only just beginning and it continues to page 684, but was an enjoyable read and I found myself wondering what was happening when I wasn't reading it.

(For a summary of the book read the publisher's blurb.)

Enjoyed the characters, specially the bad guy Arthur Pierce. The whole scenario of Russian agents integrated into American society from birth
I don't want to say I didn't like it, but I was certainly hoping for more. It seemed like many of the plot solutions were too easy and therefore not that interesting. The love interest was very unrealistic and too strained for my tastes.
Rupesh Goenka
The beginning of the 700 page story is painfully slow & lack of pace will try your patience. Even so, the complex espionage & political drama unfolds many surprises which in turn makes this thriller a worthwhile read.
Randy Grossman
It was okay...I hadn't read a Ludlum book for several years and was initially excited to read it. It had several rather drawn out and somewhat boring discussions trying to get to the point of the story that I speed read through. But it still was overall good. It also didn't have as many "surprises" that I recall from other Ludlum books....I knew a good bit of what was gonna happen before it did...but NOT everything! I will still be looking for other Ludlum books that I haven't read yet.
Joel Margolese
Re-read this after about 25 years. Yikes! It's still a page turner, but I had forgotten how complicated it was. At one point, the characters spent 10 pages explaining the plot to themselves! And then they did it again. perhaps Ludlum felt that it got more complex then he had anticipated. It also took me a while to realize that the Secretary-of-State character with a God complex could perhaps be modeled after Henry Kissenger. At first I thought it was interesting, almost quaint to go back and see ...more
Jun 22, 2014 G.M. rated it it was amazing
This is my all time favorite book ever!!!! I want to write a book like this that makes readers feel what I feel every time I read it. I've read it at least 20 times and it never gets old.
Julius Gewarges
Apr 05, 2011 Julius Gewarges rated it it was amazing
Michael Havelock, a U.S. spy with a tortured past, finally finds some happiness with a fellow spy, Jenna Karas aka Jenna Karasova. Unfortunately, he discovers that Jenna is a double agent, and watches her die for her betrayal. Preparing to abandon his agent-life and retire to become a teacher, he catches a glimpse of Jenna, alive, at a chance meeting in Europe. The chase is on, as he tries to track down Jenna and figure out why she's alive, and who was deceiving who.
Loved the book a lot and enjo
The Ropers
Nov 18, 2015 The Ropers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still exciting

Ludlum brings it again, another great read with the character dept you expect from this master word smith. Don't miss out, read it now.
Stephen Orth
Classic Ludlum, with a convoluted plot and intrigue at the highest levels of government. Note: the Kindle edition downloaded Oct 2014 was so filled with typos that portions were nearly incomprehensible.
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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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