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The Mordida Man

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  200 ratings  ·  17 reviews
When a legendary freedom fighter is kidnapped, his close friend the Libyan dictator angrily blames the CIA. In retaliation, the Libyans kidnap the U.S. President's brother. Enter the Mordida Man--an independent fixer and bribery expert who must find and free the President's brother . . . without causing an international incident. ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 245 pages
Published March 1st 1983 by Berkley (first published 1981)
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Marty Fried
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This was a great story. Typical Ross Thomas - a complicated story with lots of humor mixed in. Interesting characters, but I had trouble remembering who some of them were. And sometimes it's hard to even know who are the good guys and bad guys.

As usual, a whole lot of cheating going on, with some musical money that nobody knows who will get it, or where it will go.
Mal Warwick
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A former one-term Congressman named Chubb Dunjee takes center stage in The Mordida Man. Dunjee is one of those larger-than-life characters who found their way into the novels of Ross Thomas. Once a captain in the Special Forces as well as a Congressman and UN official, he later became a cab driver. Later still, he hired himself out to take on “special projects” overseas. A stint in Mexico, when he spread around enough bribe money to spring 62 Americans from jail, earned him the moniker in the no ...more
Aaron Martz
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book reads like a Tom Clancy thriller with all the fat cut out and a sense of humor put in its place. Thomas's writing is so polished and taut, it would be difficult to edit out a single word. This globe-spanning political kidnapping thriller comes off as wholly authentic, especially in its skewing of under the table political maneuvering. It's plot is as timely today as when it was released 33 years ago, thus proving once again that nothing ever changes in the Middle East. That this book h ...more
Craig Pittman
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over the course of this year I've been working my way through all of Ross Thomas' old thrillers from the '60s, '70s and '80s and this one has the best plot yet. The set-up is simple: An international terrorist backed by the Libyan regime is kidnapped, and so the Libyans -- believing the CIA is behind it -- retaliate by kidnapping the president's politically savvy brother. The president, instead of relying on the unreliable CIA to resolve all this, turns to "the Mordida Man," who earned that nick ...more
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
The names are a bit too ridiculous (Chubb? Delft Csider?). And the casual racism is annoying. Otherwise, this is another good read from Ross Thomas, who knows how to write a witty, engaging political thriller.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have read a significant number of Ross Thomas novels at this point and during the first few two of The Mordida Man I was convinced it would be one of his lesser works. I was wrong. Mr. Thomas took the typical trash-read spy novel format and turned every single part up to eleven. From the super-genius villain to the repeated mentions of the guy being tossed out of a plane to the oilmen-from-Oklahoma version of John and Bobby Kennedy to the Libyan ninjas every single element is larger than life ...more
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My second Ross Thomas, the first I bought (in Cork city, Bridge Street Books as it was then, don't care what they changed it to, it's always Bridge Street Books to me, even if it was only called that for about a week.) My copy vanished, but I have now acquired a replacement, and it was so long ago and I was so callow and ignorant of the world that it's like reading a Ross Thomas book for the first time all over again! Yay for the callowness of youth!

The usual whipsmart plot sees a terrorist nabb
Rob Smith, Jr.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2017
This book is a rollicking good time. All of the foreign intrigue thriller writers of today should note Ross Thomas' writing of 'The Mordida Man'. The fun, humor and similar ridiculous circumstances portrayed in current same-genre novels, but with this one's sense of tongue-in-cheek.

This also works both ways. It's too bad Thomas didn't see what writers, like Vince Flynn, recently did with the genre and he might have grounded his book a bit more involving the action part, certainly the weakest wri
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book sat on my bookshelf unread for far too long. Entertaining thriller about the kidnapping of the President's brother by post-Quadaffi Libyans (the book was written in 1981) and an ex-Congressman, fixer brought in on the sly by the President to recover his brother. ...more
Nathan Willard
Jul 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Absurd characters, political intrigue and gory murders. The Ross Thomas trifecta.
Sam Reaves
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ross Thomas's classic political thrillers are among the few books I re-read regularly; they are gems of concise storytelling, rooted in the real world, cynical with regard to politics but with a core of personal integrity, told with wit and irony.
The plot of this one (published in 1981) is a little more complex than most of his books, with multiple competing agendas and layers of deception. The U.S. president, Jerome McKay, has a rough-hewn brother named Bingo (despite the real-world echoes, the
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for Ross Thomas books. I was reading this while suffering from a cold/flu and I was getting lost at the start juggling a number of characters but held on. Seemed to be more clever for the genre with the writing style and characters and a complicated plot. ...more
Sean O
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really admire Ross Thomas. He writes tight crime/spy/thrillers with winning characters and page-turning plots, and a couple of twists thrown in.

They never last very long (this one I finished in two days) but they're always worthwhile.

The President's brother is missing, and the Libyans got him. Chubb Dungee is a negotiator. He doesn't have any leads, but he's got his wits and some luck.

Guess starring: Criminal Bill Gates, an international terrorist cell, two African ambassadors (one good, on
Jun 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
A re-read. Nicely convoluted plot, as usual with RT, with clever characters and psychology. This particular one interests me because of the Libyan connection, as I lived there for a couple of years before Qaddaffi took over.
Apr 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Good but I've enjoyed his other books more. It might be slight Ross Thomas fatigue on my part, though I still love his work. ...more
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fantastic thriller. Ross Thomas is one of the best political thriller writers ever. Mordida Man is his best book and I've read almost all of his novels. This is a captivating entertaining read. ...more
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Not his best but a good read with some wonderful writing.
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Ross Thomas was an American writer of crime fiction. He is best known for his witty thrillers that expose the mechanisms of professional politics. He also wrote several novels under the pseudonym Oliver Bleeck about professional go-between Philip St. Ives.

Thomas served in the Philippines during World War II. He worked as a public relations specialist, reporter, union spokesman, and political strat

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