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The Columbus Affair

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  10,792 ratings  ·  1,076 reviews
No one knows when he was born, where he was raised, or how he was educated. No true portrait of him exists. He was an experienced seaman and expert navigator, but wasn’t trained as either. No firsthand account of his legendary exploits survives. Even his grave remains a mystery, as his bones have never been found. He was called by many names—Columb, Colom, Colón—but most ...more
Kindle Edition, 610 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by Ballantine Books
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  10,792 ratings  ·  1,076 reviews


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Karen Brooks
I usually love Steve Berry books. I grab them off the shelves and read them quickly because they're genuine page-turners and damn interesting. The Columbus Affair, however, wasn't quite either of these. I turned the pages more to get to the end and it was only interesting in parts.
Basically (without spoiling the story) this novel follows the adventures of a journalist, Tom Sagan, who as the book opens is about to commit suicide. He discovers he’s “the Levite” a keeper of a special Jewish
...more
Matt
Oct 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Another great book by Steve Berry that blows traditional views of the 'founder of the Americas' out of the water and leaves me wondering how much was truth and what might have been fiction. Even reading the author's note, I am left wondering if Berry used his amazing abilities to paint a picture of Columbus that may leave American students rushing back to their history books.

Berry balances what we know about Christopher Columbus and spices it up with much that was never known to me. I wish not
...more
Jacqui
I like historic fiction and thrillers, so Steve Berry's The Columbus Affair (Ballantine Books 2012) seemed perfect. Not only did it cover a segment of history I've spent virtually no time at all thinking (much less reading) about, I'm always looking for new authors (I read 1-3 books a week) and Berry has thirteen out. Thirteen! That would get me through over a month!--if Columbus Affair worked out.

This is the story of a damaged Pulitzer Prize winning journalist moments from commiting suicide
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Ricky
Okay. Um, what the hell happened to a story with such great potential?

Steve Berry is normally a very good thriller writer, just like James Rollins and Clive Cussler. But some way, somehow, he really dropped the ball on this latest novel.

Basically, it's another kind of "historical conspiracy" story in which the life and times of a popular figure get toyed with and fictionally subverted. In this case, Christopher Columbus. In the present day, a controversial journalist, Tom Sagan, is swept into
...more
Ashley
Five stars? Absolutely. This book was amazing and without a doubt one of the best books I've read in a very long time. I have never read a book by Steve Berry prior to this one and I am thrilled I won this one through the GoodReads First Reads giveaways. I will definitely be purchasing more books by Mr. Berry.

I do not understand the criticisms of this book that other reviews have mentioned. I had absolutely no problem with the momentum of the plot. As far as I was concerned every character,
...more
Richard Gazala
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the second Monday of every October since it became an official federal holiday in 1937, Americans celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus' first arrival in the Americas in 1492. Similar official holidays commemorate the event in Latin and South America, and in Spain. Unofficial remembrances of Columbus' feat predate by hundreds of years the official holidays. But as Steve Berry amply demonstrates in his engaging new thriller, "The Columbus Affair," no one really knows much about the ...more
Pamela
More like 2.5 stars, but I'm feeling generous tonight, so this one gets rounded up.

Berry is best known for his Cotton Malone/Magellan Billet novels (I think all of his previous ones except The Amber Room are part of this series), and while The Columbus Affair does have some familiar names in it, it's really a stand-alone novel. Which is nice, actually. There are only so many secrets super-agent Cotton Malone can uncover.

I must say that Berry is very good at hooking the reader and creating a
...more
Book Him Danno
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
This is a very good book, fast moving and the action never stops. Although, putting my prejudice of loving everything Steve writes aside, he weaves a story that could be entirely plausible. The book also draws upon the interplay between a daughter and her estranged father, that won’t resolve itself until near the end of the book.

The 1st chapter introduces us to Tom Sagan, a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, now disgraced and accused of fabricating a story. We learn in the 1st chapter, that he
...more
Seeley James
My wife loves Steve Berry and the historical tidbits that litter his thrillers. She asked me to review it. Normally I subscribe to the ‘if you can’t say anything nice…’ policy. I am and I am not a fan of Steve Berry. I like his stories, his settings, and many of his historical elements. I find his writing annoying. Really annoying. Maybe Ballantine is paying by the word, but in my estimation, Mr. Berry is in dire need of an editor.

More on that later. First, let me state the positives. There are
...more
Suspense Magazine
When Steve Berry announced last year that his popular character Cotton Malone would be taking some time off, fans were worried. What they didn’t take into account was that Steve was still going to write, just use another character. What was the outcome; One of Steve’s best books to date, “The Columbus Affair,” with new character Tom Sagan.
Tom is a man that has hit bottom. Winning awards for his writing while working at the Los Angeles Times and now working as a ghostwriter, where many of his
...more
Verce Hristovska
Like always I was amazed by the intriguing and fantastic mix of the world of history and fiction
Isharaque Aornob
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very nice historical thriller.. As a historical fiction it's very nice. A lots of information about Columbus, his voyage, discovery, controversy and the Jewish religion. But as a crime thriller it's quite normal. A nice read.
Julie
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why but I LOVE these kinda books! And Steve Berry delivers a good one :) He is my latest addition of authors to read.
Monnie
May 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the start, this book reminded me of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, except instead of a renowned symbologist fighting off bad guys to find the secrets of the Holy Grail that could change the world for Christians everywhere, we have a disgraced Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter fighting off bad guys to find secrets of treasures that could change the world for Jews everywhere. And instead of secrets surrounding Mary Magdalene, the focus is on secrets of Christopher Columbus and his visits to the ...more
Dani Shuping
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC provided by Goodreads Giveaway

Former Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Tom Sagan is ready to end his life. He’s been called a fraud, his career has ended, his daughter won’t speak to him...what’s left for him? And then...a stranger shows up on his doorstep saying that if Tom doesn’t help him, his daughter will be killed. And Tom is pulled into a whirlwind adventure to solve a mystery dating back to Christopher Columbus and a lost treasure that has been missing for over 2,000
...more
Albert
May 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a long time Steve Berry fan. His novels are full of action and intrigue with a good dose of historical intrigue to tantalize and well as teach. The adventures of Cotton Malone and the Magellan Billet are fast paced and thrilling.
The Columbus Affair is a departure, but not too far away, with the Magellan Billet making a brief appearance. The premise in this novel is an intriging premise, that Columbus was actually not Italian or Spanish, but actually of Jewish descent and the voyage that
...more
Kim
It's been seven years since Steve Berry last did a standalone book. Was this as good as a Cotton Malone book? Well I have to say no to that. I really enjoy the Malone series and at times this felt like a weaker version. But once I got pass the idea of no Malone I started enjoying this a lot more.

A two-fold adventure one storyline centers on Jamaican Bené Rowe who is searching for a hidden mine to help out his people, the other on US ex-journalist Tom Sagan who is pulled into a web of conspiracy
...more
Sarah
Jul 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy the way Steve Berry inner weaves historical facts with a fast moving thriller to create a satisfying read. At the end of each book he fills the reader in on the historical facts and where he took liberties for the story.

This was an interesting book the combined Christopher Columbus, Jamaican history and the lost Jewish temple treasures.
Angela Risner
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know, I know, a lot of you gave me heck for my last couple of reviews of the Cotton Malone books. Well, I am happy to announce that I have found out why those books were less than worthy: Cotton Malone.

I am sure that Steve Berry loves the character of Cotton Malone; he's the character that put his writing on the map. But I submit that Cotton's stories are becoming more difficult to write as it's harder to make them fresh.

In any case, this book is back to the standards set by Berry's earlier
...more
Paul Pessolano
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Columbus Affair” by Steve Berry, published by Ballantine Books.

Category – Mystery/Thriller

Steve Berry is one of the best writers today that incorporate historical fact and fiction so well that it is very difficult to tell the difference between the two. This is largely due to how well Barry has researched the subject of his book.

In “The Columbus Affair”, there are certain aspects of what we have all been taught about Christopher Columbus that are questioned.
Was Christopher Columbus
...more
Pam
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: berry-steve
Wow! Another fantastic book by Steve Berry (who is tied with James Rollins as my favorite author).

As you might gather from the title, the story of Christopher Columbus plays a large role in this book. But, as with all of Mr. Berry's novels, he has woven a tale comprised of equal parts true current events, historical fact, and some very convincing imagination on his part. The story begins Florida with a disgraced journalist, Tom Sagan, and his nonexistent relationship with his daughter. It then
...more
Jeff
Aug 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Steve Berry rolls out another historical drama -- this one spanning the globe -- Florida, Jamaica, Prague, Vienna. Missing are Cotton Malone and Cassiopeia Vitt, and the Magellan Billett and Stephanie Nelle make only token appearances.

As usual, the historical intrigue is ever-present, and fact & fiction are deftly woven into a plausible tapestry. But while Berry's prior efforts are almost uniformly five-star material, this one falls a bit short.

Without his anchor characters, Berry seems to
...more
Skip
Oct 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, e-books
A disgraced reporter is about to commit suicide when his daughter is threatened to make him exhume his dead father's body and obtain an envelope buried with him. In the envelope is a key to finding the key artifacts which survived the destruction of the Jew's Second Temple, supposedly brought to the "New World" (specifically Jamaica) by a converso Jew named Christopher Columbus. I got fatigued after they explained this for the fifth or sixth time as I understood it the first time. The Magellan ...more
Matt Halpern
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a little slower than his other books that I have read, but it was a welcome change of pace to not have to be enthralled in action the entire time. I really enjoyed the slower more methodical pace of this story.
Fran
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Columbus Affair
Author: Steve Berry

The circle of life does not always follow the round path that we hoped it would. At times the circumference might bear some jagged rips and turns leading us in many different directions and veering on an entirely different course. Christopher Columbus took three journeys and hoped that each would bring him the riches and recognition promised him by those paying his way. But, falsehoods, deceits and lies were told and the end result was Columbus lost more
...more
Victoria Adams
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I took a weekend off just recently and read a novel. Something I haven’t managed in several months. It was a bit irresistible; I happen to really like Steve Berry even if I don’t always agree with his hypotheses. This one was quite an adventure; a different point of view on the motivations and goals of the celebrated and denigrated mariner, Christopher Columbus.

Just a little background is in order at least in part because those things we are most familiar with we often know the least
...more
Michelle Palmer
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
I was extremely surprised to pick this book up and start reading and not find my favorite character (Cotton Malone) in it. However, it was yet another well written and engaging thriller from the mind of Steve Berry.

As always with Berry, history is turned on its head. What if the store of Columbus is not what you were taught? Why did his family want control of Jamaica after his death?

Berry is a master of blending history with fiction. He is so good at it that you WANT to read the author's notes
...more
Jaime Boler
The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry (Ballantine Books; 448 pages; $27).


"In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue." The simplicity of this rhyme belies the true nature of a man and a myth. You think you know Christopher Columbus, but you know so little of the story. Even after 520 years, much about him remains a mystery. And that makes him good literary cannon fodder for Steve Berry.

Novelist Berry is best known for his books featuring the heroic protagonist Cotton Malone. Whatever the
...more
Bill Powers
Enjoyed the historical aspects, but this was not one of my favorite Steve Berry stories; it just didn't flow like most of his stories and the alternating between character first name and last name was awkward.
Nostalgia Reader
2.5 stars.

A good story, but it was bogged down by the constant repetition of many of the facts and theories.
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Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of nineteen novels, which include: The Warsaw Protocol , The Malta Exchange, The Bishop’s Pawn, The Lost Order, The 14th Colony, The Patriot Threat, The Lincoln Myth, The King's Deception, The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson Key, The Emperor's Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The
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