Nancy's Reviews > An American Spy

An American Spy by Olen Steinhauer
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's review
Mar 07, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads

. . . Ten pages into An American Spy and I was dazed and confused. I pondered how I would ever be able to comment on this book and then it hit me: Olen Steinhauer was leading me through a muddled maze that was carefully constructed to confound me at every corner. The only way I could personally travel through this spy vs. spy story was to passively surrender myself to the action.

I just let it wash over me;

I didn't try to figure it out (it was literally driving the protagonists crazy trying to piece out the puzzle so why would I want to do that to myself?);

I started enjoying the excruciating complexity of the spycraft.

Somewhere I'd read a comment comparing this author to John Le Carre (probably a publisher's blurb) and it is an apt comparison. There is a Machiavellian political environment. The good guys do evil things and the bad guys have some heart. I never figured out if the hero was brilliant or befuddled, but I settled on not worrying about it because I'd succumbed to being befuddled myself and totally enjoyed it.

I was happy to be introduced to this author through a First Reads advance reader's copy of the book and now I am busy mentally casting the characters for the PBS mini-series it deserves to become.
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Reading Progress

March 7, 2012 – Shelved
March 7, 2012 – Shelved as: first-reads
March 14, 2012 – Started Reading
March 22, 2012 – Finished Reading

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