Anne (Booklady) Molinarolo's Reviews > Six Days of the Condor

Six Days of the Condor by James Grady
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's review
May 19, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: classics, spring-2012, suspense-intrigue, thriller-suspense, permanent-library, good-fiction
Read on May 18, 2012

5 Stars


In the quiet Washington D.C. neighborhood near the Capitol is a pristine townhouse. Its plaque reads American Literary Historical Society. The headquarters ostensibly is for literary analysis, advance and achievement, but no one gets passed the front desk. Unless of course proper clearance is shown and verified. The Society is actually a Company Department Office. The research analysts read mystery and thriller novels and pass any scenarios that are too close to the mark of past and or present operations. An analyst finds discrepancies in book deliveries and has questioned all of the researchers. All is not right in RD.

Upon his arrival with his colleagues lunches Malcolm, codenamed Condor, discovers his friends butchered in a blood-spattered office. He realizes that an oversight by the assassins has saved his life. He contacts CIA headquarters through the Panic line for assistance and direction. But the attempted rendezvous goes horribly wrong. Malcolm quickly learns that he can’t trust anyone and disappears into the streets of the Capitol, hoping to evade the killers long enough to unravel the conspiracy. But will that be enough to save his life?


1.) It’s hard to believe that 38 years have past since Condor was 1st published and then rushed into film. I can’t separate Redford from Malcolm, nor do I want to. Another amazing fact is James Grady was only 24 when he wrote this sleek taut novel. His writing is succinct building the suspense by tightly threaded event sequences that quickly spin out of control. We are treated to 3 distinct POVs: Malcolm’s, the agents who want to save him, and those shadowy ones who don’t.

2.) Grady departs from the usual spy thrillers of that time. Malcolm is not a super-hero with fancy gadgets. His only weapons are his analytical intellect and the will to survive. When Grady’s characters get hurt, they hurt. No miraculous healing powers in his world.

3.) Written before Watergate, the shadow government and it’s insistence that loose ends are swiftly and permanently cut worked in 1974 as they do today. Malcolm’s CIA department ignited readers’ imaginations and those of the KGB. In his Author’s Notes, Grady says he was surprised that the Soviets actually thought theCondor’s RD section existed and quickly formed their own equivalent to its fictional counterpart. Does that RD section now exist in the CIA? I wouldn’t put it past them.
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05/18/2012 page 187

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message 1: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Another one to add to my TBR. Thanks Anne!

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