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The Nearest Exit (The Tourist #2)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  4,984 Ratings  ·  422 Reviews
Milo Weaver has nowhere to turn but back to the CIA in Olen Steinhauer’s brilliant follow-up to the New York Times bestselling espionage novel The Tourist.
The Tourist, Steinhauer’s first contemporary novel after his award winning historical series, was a runaway hit, spending three weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and garnering rave reviews from critics.

Now fa

Hardcover, 404 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Minotaur Books
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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Hunt for Red October by Tom ClancyThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
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Walter Cohen
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
On it's face, an awfully good read. The story line is complex. The writing is equal to the story. And then there are the moral and political ins and outs. Not a straightforward international thriller.

All that said: it was Alyosha (Brothers Karamozov), among others, who asked (something like) if you could achieve the just world on taking the life of one innocent child would you do it. That's the central theme of this book. The child is murdered (and you learn that early) in service, you think, to
Jan 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
This book was as just as good or even better than "The Tourist." Lots of violence and shocking, shifting realities in this one as well as some morally objectionable assignments. How can one be "good" when one's superiors confuse patriotism with concealing the bad behavior of officials. Yours not to reason why but to execute without questioning. This book is all about knowing when to disobey orders. The plot is Ludlum like with many twists and turns and nothing is as it seems. It initially appear ...more
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
A moral vision much like Le Carre but without the modernist sensibility. This is a grunt's-eye view of espionage. There is no James Bond allure to this world, no clarity of good vs evil but a shifting blur of bad, worse and worst. Its a world of moral opacity, where field agents are grunts to be used and discarded; a world in which villain and hero are indistinguishable; where death is cheap and life cheaper. It's a world of edges, of the margins where ambiguity, shifting allegiances and despera ...more
Aug 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
A little better than the prequel, The Tourist, which I thought was the new Clooney vehicle, which apparently is something else--a Martin Booth novel. Looks like the same basic thing, though. This is a snazzy post-Le Carre spy thriller, and Steinhauer works the mechanics better than in the first book, where one character who is deeply involved in the various conspiracies gets tied to a chair and helpfully lays them out for the reader and the hero. I mean, I know spy novels like this are devilishl ...more
Jul 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
I gave Steinhauer a chance, but somehow, these two Tourist books lack a moral center. Categorically, the comparisons by other critics, who have put him on a par with Le Carre, are to be dismissed. One gets the feeling that the author wishes us to believe that he finds the actions of his fictive CIA black ops problematic; but one never feels it in one's spine, as Nabokov might say. It seems a "put on" theme and, as a result, the books make one wish for Milo Weaver, the main character, that he had ...more
Lewis Weinstein
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Complex action-filled plot abounding with moral questions. Well done.
Mar 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This is the first book I have read by Olen Steinhauer. I am a fan and can't wait to get my hands on another of Steinhauer's books.

Milo Weaver is a "Tourist" that has served time in prison, worked in administration, and tried to work through problems with his wife. He is asked to return to the field and he agrees, even though it is the root of his problems. At the beginning of the novel, Weaver is given a series of vetting assignments that culminates in an impossible test: the abduction and murde
Olen Steinhauer again has a ridiculously complex book with The Nearest Exit. Milo Weaver is back as a Tourist in the understaffed CIA Department of Tourism, being vetted for bigger and bigger jobs. Suddenly, he gets a job that is too big for him to morally handle.

As a reader, you need to be on your game to follow what is happening in a Steinhauer book. Miss a line in a conversation? Oh well, guess that scene later in the book makes no sense. Then again, I like that in a book. This is a very soli
Quentin Feduchin
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Well thought out, real 'cloaked' feeling. The Tourist was the first in the series and was a truly off-beat European style spy novel 'a le Carré' vintage.
This follow up continues the theme. Our hero, having screwed up his family life due to the secrecy he has to maintain as a CIA operative, rejoins active service as a 'tourist' again.
He is 'tested' for his loyalty, since nobody seems to trust him; even his father isn't sure..; and a final test is too much so he has to fudge it.
It's really good, t
May 15, 2010 rated it did not like it
Just couldn't get into this book. There was so much dialogue and the story did not seem to be going anywhere. I quit after 120 pages. Perhaps you had to read his other book on this theme to understand what was happening.
Nov 29, 2013 rated it did not like it
More bad writing, stnch of artificiality. I guess it IS pretty hard to write a good spy thriller...makes one appreciate tinker, tailor and the like even more...
Jul 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The Nearest Exit is a thriller with a twist or two, which is my cup of tea. Take an obscure but vital secret societal branch of the US government called the Dept of Tourism, add a few sleazy and a few not-so-sleazy characters and mix well with an absolutely astonishing plot and you have a great read. The characters are not lacking in dimension, which often happens when so many are involved, but truly move the story along.

It starts with a slow, steady pace yet picks up quickly and does not fail t
Heather Fineisen
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Spy novels just aren't what they used to be. So when I come across one that has an obese German Snickers-eating, excess- wine-consuming female agent with a moral code of her own my heart skips a beat. And she's not even the main character. I haven't read Steinhauer' s other Tourist books, but this one was slick enough to pique my interest.
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Nearest Exit is about the escapades of Milo Weaver, a sometimes spy, sometimes administrator, sometimes prisoner of the CIA. To say that his life has had some ups and downs is a dramatic understatement. Weaver was introduced as The Tourist in Steinhauer's earlier book of that name.

As a tourist, Weaver is a CIA spy without a fixed base or set of colleagues. Tourists work independently with direction from and contact only with their department head in NYC. In this episode, Weaver's assignment
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book recently won the Hammet Prize for best thriller in North America. I can see why. This is the second book in the Milo Weaver trilogy (The Tourist is the first, the third, American Spy is due out in 2012) and it has all of the elements of the Tourist. A spy questioning the morality of his work, a multi-layered conspiracy, complex characters and lots of intrigue.
It begins with Milo Weaver, back in the Department of Tourism, again working as a tourist. He's given simple missions (for him)
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I had forgotten how much I loved spy novels until I read The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer and then I remembered why I had preordered it from Amazon immediately after reading The Tourist the previous book in the Milo Weaver trilogy. Milo Weaver is a tourist, a kind of roving spy who is called upon to do everything from theft, and procurement to kidnapping and assassination. A Milo Weaver book means fast paced excitement that won’t be over until the book ends.

I commend Steinhauer for crafting T
Robert Intriago
Jul 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: espionage
I gave this book a 5 star due to the fact it is sequel to his first Milo Weaver book: "The Tourist" The combination of the two books would make the whole story a 4 Star. This book enhances the first book and I do not recommend reading this book as a stand alone, it will confuse you. The two books deal with a secret section of the CIA that operates secret agents known as Tourists. These Tourists are managed by analysts, in New York City, known as Travel Agents.

The story has a lot of twists, but t
Jul 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I took this book with me camping over the weekend, but it's a good thing I didn't have time to start it, or I would have never put it down. This sequel is every bit as good as the original.. maybe even better. Milo returns to being a Tourist, which is right where we want him. He is cunning, ruthless... and moral? And that's what we love about him. He is a killer spy who has limits. Has a family. Just wants his marriage and his life back.
One thing this book offers is lots of twists. Each time I t
Jun 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spy
This outstanding follow-up to The Tourist was a little slow at the beginning, especially since I had trouble remembering how the first book ended. However, Steinhauer fills in the details the reader needs and the action begins to unfold. The plot has many layers and I enjoyed watching it unfold and untwist. The main character, Milo Weaver, is a spy in the ultrasecret U.S. Department of Tourism, a specialized department in the CIA. He shows the real-life, gritty, sometimes unpleasant world of spy ...more
May 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of Steinhauer and was really looking forward to this second book in the Tourist series. I usually read them in ARC format before they are released but I have been so busy that I actually bought this one weeks after it had been released.

It was great as I expected an intelligent and literary thriller. This one seemed even more focused on the psychological (Milo's marriage, what it means to be a Tourist, etc.) even as it explored the complicated world of Post Cold War espionage and f
George Henry
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Promoted by major reviewers as being "among the best of spy thrillers", "a compelling level of freshness" and the protagonist a "richly imagined creation", I found it more run-of-the-mill than anything new. Due to its lack of pace and dull plot, I almost stopped halfway through to read something else. I haven't read "The Tourist" but I found this sequel peppered with formulaic, cardboard characters (even the obese get parts) to be by turns interesting, tedious, overly complex and lacking credibi ...more
Matthew Wilson
Mar 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Keeping in mind I'm stingy with 5 ratings, I want to give this 3 1/2 stars. I really enjoyed his Yalta series and can't quite get the same traction with the Tourist series. The scenes in Europe are great, but I found myself waiting out the domestic scenes in the U.S.. I know, you don't have to tell me--they are key to Milo's, but I just can't get into them. Yet there are moments when his writing is so good in this one. I especially like the Erika Schwartz chapters (Mr. Steinhauer, this is my req ...more
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Steinhauer’s Milo Weaver is a richly imagined creature with a scarred psyche and a complex back story (the son of a former K.G.B. agent and an American member of a Baader-Meinhof-type gang who hanged herself in a Munich prison, raised by adoptive parents) that elevates him above the status of run-of-the-mill world-weary spook. This volume explores questions about the price extracted from individuals in the pursuit of the so-called greater good and the innocents who become collateral damage.
Why d
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to say that Steinhauer has again "knocked one out of the park." The convoluted life of "the tourist" is a true joy to behold in his story. My only complaint in this work is the narrator; who for the most part did a fine job. BUT.... some small amount of research may have helped him do a better job placing the story if he had only pronounced some German words more accurately, like Hauptbahnhof (came out hapbahnhaf), the hungarian apertif/medicince Unikum, (came out yunicome) - minor compla ...more
Maryclaire Zampogna
Jul 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer makes you look twice at where you book your travel. The mystery of the covert operations of the Tourist's has you all over the globe. The governments of China, Germany and the US are always working under the radar. False identities of the memembers of the CIA having you running the globe with their lives. The characters of the book have you wondering who really lives next door. It is an intense mystery about the tradecraft of espionage.
May 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
This sequel to the Tourist was much easier to follow as far as plot and characters are concerned. I still like the human aspects of Milo Weaver and his attempt to leave his governmental employment. The last few chapters in the book go off the rail as far as I am concerned. But I plan on reading the third one in the trilogy just to see if he makes it.
Michael Moore
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read The Tourist last year and liked the tongue in cheek style and the witty plotting. The Nearest exit is the second book to feature Milo Weaver the reluctant tourist. Both books are a cut above the genre and require a bit more thinking than say a Jack Reacher or Dave Robicheaux. The author who comes closest is Charles McGarry. If you are looking for an entertaining
glenn boyes
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a while I love a good "spy/espionage" book. This is the second of the Tourist Series that I have read, and again it didn't disappoint. Btw, I enjoyed being on the beach reading it as well. ;-)
Jul 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller, spies
Disappointing after the first book in the series. I never felt like I was really into it. The main character had few redeeming qualities in this one and it was hard to root for him. Still an ok read if you like espionage.
Aleisha Z Coleman
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
loved this series! thanks to my friend krista who recommended them! the main character is sympathetic in his family values but believable in his tough guy job. recommend them to all who like spy genre;)
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Olen Steinhauer grew up in Virginia, and has since lived in Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Massachusetts, and New York. Outside the US, he's lived in Croatia (when it was called Yugoslavia), the Czech Republic and Italy. He also spent a year in Romania on a Fulbright grant, an experience that helped inspire his first five books. He now lives in Hungary with his wife and dau ...more
More about Olen Steinhauer...

Other Books in the Series

The Tourist (3 books)
  • The Tourist (The Tourist, #1)
  • An American Spy (The Tourist, #3)

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