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The Talbot Odyssey

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  5,280 Ratings  ·  175 Reviews


For forty years Western intelligence agents have known a terrible secret: the Russians have a mole -- code-named Talbot -- inside the CIA. At first Talbot is suspected of killing European agents. Then a street-smart ex-cop uncovers a storm of espionage and murder on the streets of New York, while
ebook, 544 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1976)
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Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy
Ripped from the headlines - a group of retired spies uncover a plot by a rogue Communist government to end the USA using an EMP. Their ragtag band features the children of greatest generation and some additions from MI-6 and other intelligence services.

The 'twist' is that this book was originally published in 1976 and the crazy communists were the USSR and the spies were OSS agents. In addition to trying to save the world the 'good guys' are trying to discover which of their agents is Talbot a t
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love Demille, but I didn't love this one.

Having essentially completed the Demille canon, I was disappointed with The Talbot Odyssey after my family promised me it was a "really good" one. The first 100 pages required two readings and I was still unsure what was going on and where the book was going. There are too many seemingly-unrelated incidents, story lines and characters that don't make a whole lot of sense until you're half way through the damn book. This hide-the ball approach does pay o
Sep 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's funny, rating this. I would describe this book as "OK" but if I give it two stars it would give the wrong impression. This is "OK" for a Nelson DeMille book. But that just means it isn't his best - and, like pizza, even when it's not the best, "It's still pizza man! And who doesn't love pizza? Right?" My point is that Nelson DeMille is awesome and bits of his sarcasm and humor and wit and smarts and sly political statments and laughing at bureaucrats and such are on display here, but not en ...more
Brian Rueger
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another one of those books for which I wish there was a fractional rating system. This is a great story but does not rate a "5" nor does it rate a "4" I would give it a 4.6.

This story starts out slow - in fact, I thought about discarding it through the first 100 or so pages. Then it really picked up and I could not stop.

Another great plot from Demille.
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well structured but dry as chalk dust in the desert. The gigantic cast gets overwhelming and requires a flow chart. If this was my first DeMille book, I doubt I'd have read more but a decent example of how a writer can grow and become far more just didn't happen yet for this example.
Samuel Gombe
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Toby Abrams, an ex-cop, has been with the O'Brien, Kimberly, and Rose law firm of New York for just a little over a year. Having the protection of a rather mundane, unobscure job, he suddenly finds himself in a swirl of intrigue, wondering who, when, where and how. Time seems to be of the essence as people start dying or disappearing rIght and left. The Russians seem to be out to destroy America, but the questions are how and when. With the help of Katherine Rose (lawyer), an acne pocked teenage ...more
May 25, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the John Corey novels (Plumb Island, The Lion's Game, Night Fall and Wild Fire) first. I enjoyed them so much that I went back and started to read all of DeMille's other novels. Tony Abrams really reminds me of John Corey, with his witty smart-assed comments. The book was a bit uneven. There were parts that dragged, and other parts that I couldn't wait to turn the page. The agent, double agent, triple agent scenarios seemed a bit contrived. I never felt that I was bought in to the motives ...more
Aug 12, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: public-library
The plot trailers showed great potential...then pfffftt. The first 100 pages was so slow and complex that I was unsure what was going on and where the book was going. Then, there are too many seemingly-unrelated incidents, story lines and characters that don't make a whole lot of sense until you're through the book. The gigantic cast gets overwhelming. I gave up about half way through and skipped to the end -- very unsatisfying and I still don't know who "Talbot" is.
May 15, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Nelson DeMille book that I read. People claimed I would like him, but they were very wrong unless this is a bad example of his writing. The book went from being unrealistic with characters that were undeveloped to being completely absurd with characters that I wished would die. The good thing about this book was that it was not terrible, just bad.

I have another book by DeMille and will give him a second chance as good authors sometimes produce stinkers.
Perry Mowbray
I really like Nelson DeMille's sense of humour.

The credibility got a little stretched toward the end, but the plot was well worked and intricate: we thought about the ins-and-outs for days after finishing. If was refreshing having a book that tied up all the lose ends, but still left room for digging.
DeMille is so good that even his so-so books are highly readable. I'm not a fan of stories that involve fictional presidents of the United States or ordinary schnooks who find themselves in save-the-world-from-catastrophe situations but DeMille makes it work as well as anyone could.
Feb 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read. Set in Russia. I could see all of it happening before me.
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Non-Le Carre Cold War spy books: its like they are from 150 years ago... I won't even get into Tom clancy's late 80s material!
Mar 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
pick any this is were i started

Hildy Peterson
Boring. Got to page 2xx and realized I couldn't care less about any of the characters or how it ended. Quit reading at that point. Too slow and laborious with little to show for slogging through.
May 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of intrigue. Double and triple agents. Torture, mayhem. gotta' love it.
Dec 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A real page turner.
Amanda "Freckles"
Dec 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 90s
My favorite of his books. I've read it many times.
Russell Olson
Nov 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
My first "potboiler." It was ok. Not fantastic, but ok.
Jan 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read!
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fast, frightening, fantastically foreboding

Consider this a timely read in 2017. Had I read this long ago the psychological impact would have had far less an affect. DeMille, like a good friend, reminds me why this genre has been the most satisfying. If you desire to be taken away on a wild ride, w racing heart into frighteningly plausible plot, look no farther. If you, reader, have never experienced DeMille start with his first and grow into the knowledge he will never disappoint.
Oleg Moskalensky
Awesome Cold War intrigue, with some unpredictable twists.

Nelson DeMille has a talent for opening up info about other countries like few others I've read. He did it with the books on Vietnam, same here about the Russians, even though the events take place in the USA. Add to that his great job of 'painting' the characters, his inimitable humor and it's another very entertaining, always educational book that's worth your time.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book starts out slow, but reading further, I became intrigued with the characters. There are lots of twists and turns in this book which kept me riveted. There are many story lines involving the main characters, and though it was difficult at times to keep things straight, I'm glad that I didn't give up. The John Corey series is much easier to follow, but this book gave me a lot to think about.
I’ve read several DeMille books and have loved them all until Talbot Odyssey. The character development in the first quarter of the book is haphazard and difficult to follow. You just have to push through it. It does come together eventually though if you are able to hang in there long enough. I’ll definitely continue reading DeMille, but not because of this novel.
Hard to rate. He opens this book confusing and slow. Way too many characters. But his ending is spectacular action. If it wasn't a summer read, I wouldn't have kept it up. Early DeMille, some growing pains as a writer. Cool idea of EMP very early (1984).
Bill Breen
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spy vs Double Spy vs Triple Spy...former Cop now becoming a lawyer, Tony Abrams, called in. Time running out as the Cold War comes to the brink of a mutual nuclear destruction. Great writing and superb narration, as always, by Scott Brick!! Very enjoyable.
John Grazide
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this one. A little dated "feel" to it. But with some snappy dialogue and a last minute twist that I really didn't expect made it fun.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Old but current in so many ways!
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very predictable, but still an entertaining read! No big twists or suprises, but the story moves along quickly and keeps you engaged.
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Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23, 1943 to Huron and Antonia (Panzera) DeMille, then moved with his parents to Long Island. He graduated from Elmont Memorial High School, where he played football and ran track.

DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army where he attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a Lieutenant in the United S
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