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Killing Che

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  177 ratings  ·  30 reviews
A rich, complex historical novel in the spirit of Graham Greene and John Le Carre, Killing Ché is a personal and political thriller that pits history's most infamous insurgent against a conflicted and world-weary CIA officer.

The year is 1967; Vietnam is in flames and half a world away few realize that a firefight on a jungle road in Latin America is the beginning of a new
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Tantor Media (first published January 1st 2007)
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Average rating 3.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  177 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is a well-balanced view of the last days Che Guevara. This fictional story is well-written and compelling. The main character, Paul Hoyle weaves through historical figures as the action does not stop. Characters are well written and I cared about what happened to them. It's a big book, but I could not stop listening.

After I finished the book I researched what was true and what was not. Reality was sadder. Strangely, Chuck's fictional book helped me understand the politics and the backgroun
Cbricephd brice
Aug 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Former Navy SEAL, Chuck Pfarrer, has produced a beautifully written and exhaustively researched historical novel that follows a barely fictional CIA contract agent, Paul Hoyle, on his mission to engineer the killing of Cuban revolutionary hero, Che Guevara, during his 1967 insurgency against the American backed regime of President Rene Barrientos in Bolivia.
After being disciplined for his complicity in the murder of a British journalist in Vietnam, Hoyle (the infamous “Larry S” of other histori
Josh Steimle
I can't recommend this book, although I found it somewhat interesting for what I learned about a portion of recent history I knew next to nothing about. But since it's fiction based on history I didn't know what to trust and what to regard as mere speculation.

As far as the writing itself, it wasn't too bad although man, talk about overuse of cheesy metaphors. My eyes are sore from rolling them so much.
James Davenport
May 30, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book based on the promotional comparisons to Graham Greene, an author I really love. Unfortunately, after reading, I found the similarities are only superficial at best. Yes, it is a novel of espionage set in an exotic locale during a time of historical crisis. But that's it.

What makes Greene's books so interesting, at least to me, are the characters that he sets in these situations. They are deeply flawed, interesting individuals, with prejudices and problems, who have to navigate t
Anuranjan Roy
This book does have some pretty significant flaws, yet it was worth reading.

The lead character Paul Hoyle's overbearing white saviour complex in 'poor & hopeless' Bolivia, two extremely shallow love stories and run-of-the-mill spy thriller cliches did test my patience but the book was redeemed by what I thought was a very believable fictionalization of Che Guevara's inner thoughts.

Both irredeemable murderer and immortal symbol of hope, the conflicted nature of Che Guevara's significance has be
Jan 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a bad story, per se... but the author spent way to much time with the whole Hoyle/Maria thing. Without all the squishy Harlequin love story bull crap it might have been a semi-readable novel. As it is, it’s merely tolerable.
Tom Huggins
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really is a fantastic book, I've read it several times and am still compelled by the drama... and even more it's a real story
Adarsh Sreekumar
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was really good to read this book and gave the feel of watching a Hollywood movie.
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing!!
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite the boring beginning of the book, it deserves 5 stars even for the end result Book shows clearly what the war meant for both sides
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rossrn Nunamaker
I finished reading "Killing Che" by Chuck Pfarrer a fictional account based on Che Guevara's final revolutionary attempt in Bolivia. The book is Pfarrer's first fictional novel, but he did write a non-fiction book and was a screenwriter for several movies including The Jackal, Hard Target, and Navy SEALs.

The book is set in Bolivia in 1967 at a time when the US fears a country by country communist revolution in South America. When a Bolivian army unit is eliminated by guerrilla's the CIA sends in
Jan 18, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first novel I've ever read that is both very good and very bad. It's uncanny. I've read pretty much all of Chuck Pfarrer's books and have thoroughly enjoyed them. When he writes non-fiction he is articulate, clear and has great pacing, it's a joy to read his books. This fictional novel though... Not so much.

When he's in his element, the book is great, for example when he is describing battles or military equipment, things Pfarrer is intimately familiar with, you can picture everythin
Julia DeBarrioz
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I devoured this book when it first came out some time ago, and enjoyed listening to the audio telling again just now. It's a sad and courageous story told with great detail and feeling by Chuck Pfarrer. Che is portrayed well without being made the villain or overly romanticized. He was a great man and a revolutionary with a dream, who bit off too much in the end. Even though I knew historically how the book had to end, Pfarrer's story is gripping and I still found myself hoping Che would win. :) ...more
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It reminded me of a younger (and less weighty) Clancy novel. It had all the military action I enjoy from Clancy, and it had decent characterizations. But there were some things that were missing, and some other things that were oddly placed. I don't typically want my masculine male heroes to say something like "it made him want to cry like a baby." It's okay if the male characters get emotional--that's not the problem. But they shouldn't think that they want to cry "like a baby." Why not somethi ...more
Feb 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting novel. it takes place in 1967, following Che's goals, beliefs, and lifestlye through the perspective of fictional CIA agent Peter Hoyle. Lots of suspense and danger through firefights in the bolivian jungle and on-road guerrila ambushes. Very well written as it details Che's goals in a very admirable way rather then criticizing them, and shows the reader the true hero in Che. Even if you dont agree with him politically, by the end of the novel Pfarrer will have you saluting Ch ...more
Jul 09, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I wanted to like this book, I really did. I mean, it's about Che, South America, US spies, so it sounds good, right? Well, then the writing was crappy. And his facts were wrong. And to top it all off, there's those annoying Quiet American references, where Pyle was his friend and Fowler, who "was an enemy," shot him. So I had to put it down and try to forget about the fact that I'll never get back the time I wasted on this.
Apr 14, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I suppose I now have a vague idea of how Che came to his demise in Bolivia, and this went pretty quickly as an audiobook. However, this book could have been one-third its length. The writing was often painful, especially where the author put thoughts into the heads of Che and the CIA operatives chasing him. And really, the "love" story was highly unnecessary.

It also didn't help that the narrator couldn't do accents. Que venceremos!
Oct 21, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was BS. I couldn't get into it at all. The writing style wasn't so great and the facts were twisted. Seems a weird subject to write a fictional account of. There is too much emotion when it comes to Che, either you love him or hate him. To try and write fictional account just wasn't a good idea, maybe he thought the title would sell.
It was a very difficult book to get into in fact I put it down for a couple months and went back to it. The novel does have some facts in it, but it is a story of fiction. Many people are spies for each other and they don't know till towards the end where their loyalties lie, there is blood, war, hate, politics, and a couple love stories all woven into one.
Donald Plugge
Jan 25, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I couldn't get all the way through this book. It was interesting due to the details of the geography and the portrait of the times, however I got too much of a black and white feeling from the narration. The author was obviously beguiled by the bandit and made him out as a caricature of a real person. I couldn't buy in to the tale.
Oct 15, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As far as actual skill is concerned, the author does a masterful job creating a fact-based account of the dealings of Che Guevara. Unfortunately, I felt uncomfortable wading through the obscenities and illicit relations. It’s a shame. I really wanted to know more.
Dewayne Stark
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 11, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: never-finished
Couldn't get past page 40
Jan 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
guilty pleasure with a few historical facts...worth the read.
Good story, fast paced, and a page turner, maps were pretty good as well. At times I felt like it was me humping those trails.
Mar 01, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fiction
Interesting story which is told decently, but the characters are flat and predictable.
This was a random find at the library. I tend to like historical fiction so I thought this might be interesting.
rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2015
Beth Hom
rated it it was ok
Apr 15, 2017
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Chuck Pfarrer is a former assault element commander of SEAL Team Six. He has written op-eds for The New York Times and the Knight Ridder syndicate, and appeared as an author and counterterrorism expert on C-SPAN2, NPR, Alhurra, IPR, Voice of America, Fox News, and America Tonight. Pfarrer serves presently as an associate editor of The Counter Terrorist, the American Journal of Counterterrorism. Pf ...more

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