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The Ghost

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  10,310 Ratings  ·  1,066 Reviews
From the bestselling author of Fatherland and Imperium comes The Ghost, an extraordinarily auspicious thriller of power, politics, corruption, and murder. Dashing, captivating Adam Lang was Britain's longest serving -- and most controversial -- prime minister of the last half century, whose career ended in tatters after he sided with America in an unpopular war on terror. ...more
Paperback, 412 pages
Published August 19th 2008 by Pocket Star (first published October 23rd 2007)
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Will Byrnes
This is a fast-paced thriller, centering around a ghost writer assigned to revise and complete the first draft of an autobiography prepared by his predecessor, another ghost writer, recently deceased. The subject of this is a Tony Blair stand-in, a former British PM who had served American foreign policy needs with more attention than he gave to the wishes of his own people. The ghost is also under great time pressure from his publisher, one month to fix over a hundred thousand badly written wor ...more
Tim The Enchanter
Posted to The Literary

It's All about the Finish - 3.5 Stars

This book had the misfortune of being read after Robert Harris' far superior An Officer and A Spy . Regardless, The Ghost is a great novel in its own right. While it does not contain the fullness of what I consider to be a better novel, it is compact and straight to the point. It is filled with conspiracy which leaves you guessing until the end.

Plot summary

Our main character is a Ghost, or more appropriately, a profess
Sep 26, 2016 Hana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining thriller with a cleverly twisty plot and an engaging narrator--a professional ghostwriter hired to revise the draft autobiography of former British Prime Minister, Adam Lang.

Our ghostwriter (who doesn't seem to have a name) mostly pens autobiographies for aging rock stars and football players who can't string three words into a sentence. He seems an unlikely choice as the voice of Britain's most famous PM since Margaret Thatcher but the publishers are getting desperate. Lang's auto
Lance Greenfield
Jun 29, 2012 Lance Greenfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the most part, this is a story which will draw you in and keep your attention, but I felt that it petered out a bit towards the end.

I don't know why there is any discussion amongst readers about whether any parallels can be drawn between this fictional world and real world politics. The basis for the story is so blatantly obvious. Adam Lang is, beyond doubt, a parody of Tony Blair. Ruth is Cheri. And so on.

The story is narrated in the first person by the ghost writer who is commissioned to
Dennis D.
To me, a good thriller can be like a colonic...something breezy and unsubstantial to flush the system out, especially if one has just finished something bloated and ponderous (I'm talking about YOU, Tree of Smoke)!

"The Ghost" is a good thriller. A recently retired-from-office British Prime Minister hires a ghost-writer (duh- because the story is written in the first person, I never noticed that the name of the narrator/protagonist is never supplied) to help him write his memoirs. Our hero is the
Sean Peters
Another first read author for me, I guess Robert Harris most well known book, as well as a film, I think realised in the USA as The Ghost Writer.

Britain's former prime minister is holed up in a remote, ocean-front house in America, struggling to finish his memoirs, when his long-term assistant drowns. A professional ghost writer is sent out to rescue the project - a man more used to working with fading rock stars and minor celebrities than ex-world leaders. The ghost soon discovers that his dist
Aug 01, 2008 Susy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I supposed this was a roman a clef since Harris was –as mentioned everywhere- a former friend of the Blairs. It’s just a thriller with enough links with what we think is the reality of politics to feel as fact. And he wields a scalpel on them with finesse and venom. An ex British PM is “writing” his memoirs with the help of a former aide who is found drowned in an apparent suicide. Enters a professional ghost-writer, the first person narrator of the novel, whose name we never found out. And then ...more
Mar 23, 2008 will rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

The Ghost by Robert Harris.

A roller-coaster of a book - and not in a good way.

I like Robert Harris books and I loved his last one - Imperium. I loved it so much that I was really looking forward to the next in the series (neil h. informed me that it was part of a trilogy). Therefore I was a little meh about the fact he had taken time out to write The Ghost. Damn writers and their need to write a story instead of the one I wanted to read! However, there was branch of Borders shutting down t'other
Dec 15, 2016 Jeanette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a splendid, exciting, and enjoyable read. 4.5 stars with the tension, pace, linear continuity to our narrator's experience of being the ghost writer for a former British Prime Minister's memoir. This prime voice/mind/"eyes" of supreme dilemma/sprightly traveling plot is never given a full name during the entire book. Robert Harris has Adam, the center of this world and the book, just calling him "man". As in, "hand me that, man" or "thanks, man". What a superb insight! Although he (our ghos ...more
Apr 14, 2015 Marian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The Ghost, an extraordinarily auspicious thriller of power, politics, corruption, and murder. Dashing, captivating Adam Lang was Britain's longest serving -- and most controversial -- prime minister of the last half century, whose career ended in tatters after he sided with America in an unpopular war on terror. Now, after stepping down in disgrace, Lang is hiding out in wintry Martha's Vineyard to finish his much sought-after, potentially explosive memoir, for which he accepted one of history's ...more
The Behrg
Sep 30, 2015 The Behrg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Ghost," or "The Ghost Writer" is a political thriller that dives into a ghost writer's journey in penning the autobiography of former prime minister Adam Lang. Along the way there are conspiracies, murders, and a lot of uncovering of the truth. I found this read pretty engrossing while not quite "thrilling." Loved the way Harris revealed Lang's past and present, with the constant underlying question of who this man really is. The supporting characters were each fully realized and the "ghost ...more
Sep 30, 2016 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook: I like Robert Harris and have read several of his books, many of which have an historical grounding. As this was promoted as being different, I avoided it, but one day started up the audiobook and I was hooked. The premise is quite interesting. A ghost writer, never identified by name, has been hired to complete a famous ex-prime minister’s memoirs after the apparent suicide of the former “ghost.” There’s a very short deadline, and he’s dismayed to see the 600 pages left by his predec ...more
Mike Kimera
Mar 15, 2010 Mike Kimera rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
"The Ghost" is well written. The comments on writing and what it means to be a ghost writer resonate as truthful. The metaphors are a little fanciful sometimes but fit well into the text.

Unfortunately, the book disappoints for four reasons:

The central premise of the book - the mystery which I will not share here - is clever and cleverly managed but, in many ways, the secret this British PM who went to war with Iraq is hiding is much less shocking than the behaviour of actual British Prime Minis
Ana M. Román
Esperaba mucho más de lo que ha acabado resultando. Se puede resumir en: una historia de suspense sin suspense y una resolución que deja bastante que desear, de lo único de lo que tiene mucho es de descripciones que no aportan nada salvo eternizar la lectura.

No creo que vuelva a leer nada del autor aunque no descarto ver la película. Me pregunto si habrán podido rescatar algo del libro o si será tan aburrida.

En definitiva, la frase que aparece en su portada "Robert Harris, el maestro del thrille
Asghar Abbas
Nov 21, 2015 Asghar Abbas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I remembering watching the movie and liking it. The book was the same.
James Schubring
Jul 25, 2011 James Schubring rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Ghost by Robert Harris is the first book about a writer that I can remember getting excited to read, glad to trumpet, and eager to put on my 'must read again' list.

It's tough to write a novel about a writer. Most of writing is, unfortunately, solitary and tedious. Write a line, hate it, delete it, rewrite it. A lot of bad literary fiction treats the writerly life, as stumped writers write about what they know: writing badly. This novel is about a ghostwriter who specializes in doing fast mem
Feb 16, 2009 MD rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is a topical thriller with a British Prime Minister politically based on Tony Blair (I have no idea about the personal stuff). At the beginning of his career he was nearly as popular as Obama. At the end, he was reviled as a puppet of the US. He is writing his memoirs, and naturally everyone wants to know the truth about the War on Terror--except, of course, those who don't want their secrets revealed. As thrillers go, this one is fairly low-key--more psychological than action. I really lik ...more
The Books Blender

Per la precisione: 3 e

La recensione è presente anche sul blog:

Seguiamo il protagonista (che, non avendo un nome, d'ora in avanti sarà solo P.) nell'isoletta sperduta - solo d'inverno, perché d'estate è presa d'assalto da circa centomila turisti - di Martha's Vineyard mentre la situazione diventa sempre più ambigua a ogni passo: un tassista sordo come primo interlocutore, una guardia di sicurezza che lo accoglie «in questa gabbia di matti», l'attraente as
The Ghost is famous for being a roman à clef about the life of Tony Blair following his tenure as prime minister. It's told from the perspective of a nameless ghostwriter of celebrity autobiographies who is drafted in to edit the memoirs of the Blair figure, ex-PM Adam Lang, after the apparent suicide of Mike McAra, an aide who was assisting with the book. Lang is holed up in a mansion in Martha's Vineyard, surrounded by security and a host of associates, including his wife Ruth (a Cherie Blair ...more
Johan Radzi
Jul 07, 2012 Johan Radzi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ghostwriter atau Penulis Hantu adalah penulis yang menulis dibelakang tadbir. Mereka biasanya menulis autobiografi, novel, artikel, dan seumpama bukan untuk menerima sebarang kredit, tetapi hanya sekadar penulis dan tidak lebih dari itu. Adalah kebiasaan bagi mereka untuk diupah oleh selebriti dan Ahli Politik untuk "membantu" mereka dalam menyiapkan memoir.

Disini, seorang narrator yang tidak bernama, atau aku lebih gemar memanggilnya disini sebagai "Penulis Hantu" telah ditugaskan untuk menulis
Jacquelynn Luben
Sep 16, 2011 Jacquelynn Luben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With serendipitous timing, my book circle read ‘The Ghost’ by Robert Harris, this month. Serendipitous, because the main character of the book is someone engaged to be the ghost writer of the ex-Prime Minister of the UK, who resembles to a certain extent our own ex-Prime Minister, Tony Blair. In the novel, he is accused of crimes relating to extraordinary rendition, which, of course, has been in the news again quite recently. In addition, we have just observed the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the ...more
Feb 15, 2017 Hilary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Strange to come back and read this book several years on, when the politics it refers to are not so immediately relevant. Interesting to read a great writer's comments about ghost writing.This deserves more comment and I will return later.
Apr 17, 2011 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I purchased this paperback somewhat accidentally. It was a quick impulsive purchase enticed by a thinking error that Robert Harris was the author of the Hannibal series and now was writing British political thrillers! Silly me.

I have tried over the past two years to read and listen to this novel but could never quite get much of anywhere with it. That is until recently. Somehow, maybe it was because I had nothing else to read, i allowed myself to become hooked onto the audiobook. Exactly one wee
In many ways, this reminded me of Steven Pressfield's The Profession. Both Pressfield and Harris are better known for their historical fiction - classics like Gates of Fire and Killing Rommel (Pressfield), or Officer and a Spy and Fatherland (Harris). However, with both Ghost and Profession, the authors switch things up as they tackle more current, politically-focused stories where first-person, "underling" narrators go up against charismatic and powerful world leaders. And both books are good - ...more
A taxi driver (ghost-)writes

Wotcher been to see then guv? The Ghost? Yeah, saw it yesterday with the missus. Makes yer think, dunnit? I mean, not saying I believe it, but then I don't not believe it neither if you catch my drift, yer know? Questions what oughter be addressed, right guv? Don't mind saying I laughed a few times, that bit with countries what don't recognise the International Court of Justice, yer know? America, Iraq, North Korea, right guv? You ask me, best way to deal with them wa
Dec 23, 2011 Jennie rated it did not like it
Call me crazy, but I like my thrillers to be...thrilling?

This book started off interestingly enough, with a great first line and a premise with potential: ghost writer called in to finish writing an ex-Prime Minister's memoirs after the first writer dies suddenly.

That's where the "interesting" ends, unfortunately. Instead of a taut thriller, Harris gives us 400-odd pages of "Martha's Vineyard is cold and wet in February, and I'm gonna have all the characters call the narrator 'man' and 'you' bec
Grace Tjan

Decently written, if somewhat predictable in its conclusion. Adam Lang is an ex British PM whose policies were so pro-US that he must have been a CIA puppet --- and yes, it turns out to be literally true (DUH!). And the said handler is no other than the former first lady herself (GASP!), who was recruited before she even met him. Somehow, Lang has been married to her for more than a quarter of a century without ever finding out about it (HMM, REALLY!?). Apparently the CIA is so mu
Kathleen Dixon
A successful ghost-writer is suddenly asked to complete the ex-British Prime Minister's memoirs. Against his better judgement he says yes, and finds himself in Martha's Vineyard in the winter, among a group of highly stressed people (the ex-PM, his wife, a PA, some secretaries, the security team) who are having to deal with fall-out from the collusion with the US in the "War on Terror" and torture of prisoners.

Our ghost-writer notices a few strange things, but bumbles along notwithstanding, unti
Susan Johnson
Oct 25, 2014 Susan Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I had Pierce Brosnan firmly in my mind as I read this, it was still an interesting read and kept my attention. The story involves a professional ghost writer who is brought in to finish the "autobiography" of a former British Prime Minister. The former ghost writer recently died and there is a publishing deadline looming.

There is an investigation of some of the former leader's activities and the action becomes fast paced and dangerous. The players seem to fit the stereotypical roles
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
An enjoyable thriller. I decided to read The Ghost after seeing the film and finding out it was based on a book by Robert Harris (I loved Fatherland).

I'm glad I watched the film first as the book is packed with many more details (as is almost always the case) and was actually quite surprised that the ending is so different. The book in itself is an entertaining read and Harris is a great story-teller. The plot is fast-paced, the characters interesting (not as two-dimensional as they are in the
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Final twist 10 92 Mar 09, 2014 03:14PM  
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ROBERT HARRIS is the author of nine best-selling novels: Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii, Imperium, The Ghost Writer, Conspirata, The Fear Index, and An Officer and a Spy. Several of his books have been adapted to film, most recently The Ghost Writer, directed by Roman Polanski. His work has been translated into thirty-seven languages. He lives in the village of Kintbury, England, with his ...more
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“Of all human activities, writing is the one for which it is easiest to find excuses not to begin – the desk’s too big, the desk’s too small, there’s too much noise, there’s too much quiet, it’s too hot, too cold, too early, too late. I had learned over the years to ignore them all, and simply to start.” 55 likes
“A book unwritten is a delightful universe of infinite possibilities. Set down one word, however, and it immediately becomes earthbound. Set down one sentence and it’s halfway to being just like every other bloody book that’s ever been written.” 17 likes
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