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Extraordinary Powers Hardcover – Feb 15 1994

4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 449 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (Feb. 15 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345386213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345386212
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 907 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #795,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Although the plot creaks a bit, Finder's ( The Moscow Club ) pacing, wit and style make this thriller a standout. In a long manuscript delivered to a reporter, Boston patent lawyer and former CIA operative Ben Ellison tells of an adventure that started with the accidental death of his father-in-law, CIA director Harrison Sinclair. After his first wife was killed by the KGB, Ben had shunned his previous employer but when a retired CIA deputy chief approaches Ben with proof that Sinclair was murdered and circumstantial evidence that he had been involved in a huge gold scam with the KGB's last boss, Ben agrees to a plan to clear Sinclair's name. Ben, who already has an eidetic memory, discovers during a high-tech lie detector test that he can also read minds. He hides his new-found power but when his second wife Molly (nee Sinclair) is kidnapped and he himself is almost killed in a Back Bay shootout, Ben sets off lickety-split for Italy, Switzerland, France and Canada. The reunited Ben and Molly outfox unknown foes, uncover numerous secrets that lead to the Very Big secret and a satisfying twist of an ending. The phlegmatic (yet occasionally crazy) Ben is a fine narrative voice, a bit like a Louis Auchincloss character telling an Eric Ambler story. Perhaps because of the CIA's old-boy tradition, Molly doesn't quite ring true but few readers will mind in this whiz of a yarn. 100,000 first printing; 100,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-A sci-fi espionage caper filled with explosive action. A former CIA agent, who became a patent attorney following his wife's brutal murder, is sucked into the spy business again after an especially powerful MRI turns him into a mind reader. After many fake deaths, double and triple agents, and lots of economic and political sabotage, the story ends with small news clips that hint at the well-being of all major characters (the ones who appeared to have been blown away earlier). In an intriguing end note, Finder relates an interesting historical tidbit about "a fortune in Soviet gold [that] remains missing to this day" that the story is based upon. He also mentions that psychic research has long fascinated the CIA, the U.S. Department of Defense, and Soviet intelligence, leaving readers with ponderable issues to muse over.
Bunni Union, Geauga West Library, Chesterland, OH
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Extraordinary Powers is the second in Finder's collection of four (to date) outstanding novels which, upon investigation, reveal some of the most enlightening political info and predictions of our time. His first book, Moscow Club, accurately predicted the Soviet coup just before its occurrence. His second, Extraordinary Powers, accurately predicted the exposure of a high ranking CIA mole. His third, Zero Hour, explains the pitiful security of the world's finance system (and thank God it hasnt come true yet!), and his latest High Crimes pre-dates by three years a remarkably similar tale as the one recently uncovered concerning former Senator Bob Kerrey's command in Vietnam. A truly informative and knowledgeable man with a knack for fantastic presentation, Finder's books are some of the finest around. Pick them up, and you won't ever want to put them down.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am not going to bore you with the details of this book. All I will say is… this book keeps you guessing all the way until the last page. Some of you know of Finder’s works and know how good he is, but for those of you who do not… then there is no time to waste. Mr. Finder’s work, and he only has written 4 books, are becoming hard to find. This book was first published a while ago and reissued. My good reader you must not hesitate, and you must rely on my good faith as a reviewer that this guy is good… real good. I have ordered his first thriller, The Moscow Club, from old book dealers on the web. There are even rumors that Mr. Finder has a new thriller upcoming, but I have no knowledge of this. There are many people waiting for a Finder thriller, including me.
I recommend all of Mr. Finder’s work; ZERO HOUR, HIGH CRIMES. Also, when you see his books, buy it. You will be surprised at how good Joseph Finder’s books are. Please be assured that these books will be some of your best reading at anytime. Check my other reviews [...]
You will not be disappointed
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Extraordinary Powers is an amazing book that tells a plausible story with likable main characters. And it makes your palms sweat, the clarity with which he describes frantic chases, gun fights and emotions.
The greatest triumph of the novel is its unpredictability. Admittedly, the beginning gave me what I had anticipated but from then onwards, every thing that goes is never what you expect. Just when you settle down for a respite from the intense action, Finder slaps you in the face and keeps you turning pages at ten pages a minute with another chase, more mind-reading and more uncovering of the conspiracy. A very well-crafted work.
That is where the story succeeds, in capturing your attention and keeping you reading on. The novel is utterly well crafted, the conspiracy completely probable and the action searingly hot. Most notable is the ending which is satisfying and better then at least half of the other books availible. Just when you least expect it, the dazzling suspense starts boiling again.
Like every other book, this one has its flaws, namely the fact that the dialogue is unconvincing. Every one talks in exactly the same way! Finder also tends to occassionaly drift away and end up overwhelming the reader with TOO much detail.
All this aside, Extraordinary Powers is one HELL OF A READ.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was the first Joseph Finder novel I had ever read, and within four months I had read every other novel he had written, including his latest, High Crimes. He's a terrific writer. This particular work is what might conceivably happen if Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth and Nelson DeMille wrote a book together: it has a Ludlum-like wild plot hook (a CIA operative-turned -lawyer who develops the ability to read minds), extensive Forsythesque research (on parapsychology, patent law, computer games, the gold market, firearms and how to sneak them into Senate hearing rooms), and a credible, witty protagonist, Ben Ellison, who narrates the novel in the first person, like DeMille's heroes in The Gold Coast and The General's Daughter. Finder's genius is to avoid going over the top; he keeps all the action, conspiracy, espionage, mind-reading and, yes, sex within the limits of reality, and yet just fantastic enough to keep you turning pages. Better still, you can always follow the plot, without being able to predict its twists or having to scratch your head in confusion. A fine book that I regularly recommend to friends and neighbors. 20th Century Fox is supposed to release a film of Finder's techno-terrorism thriller The Zero Hour next year, but I'd much rather see Extraordinary Powers at the local multiplex. It'll work great on screen.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Two things caught my attention when I first picked up this book: First that it seemed to be a standard espionage thriller, treading a well-worn path; Second that it obviously isn't.

The difference is the sci-fi slant that the novel takes, whereby the hero (Ben Ellison) acquires the ability to read minds. It introduces a welcome break from the standard fare and gives the book an interesting twist, without which it might not have been quite the entertaining read it turned out to be.

If I have one critisism of Finder, it's the annoyingly explicit detail he goes to in describing a scene or event. You are bombarded with line after line of irrelevant detail that seems to do little to build characters or locations.

This aside, 'Extraordinary Powers' is an exciting read, with the pace and plot building up steam as the story progresses. As you near the end of the book you'll find it becomes irresistable, demanding that you finish it to iron out all of the plot's wrinkles.

An enthralling, captivating read with a clever plot and engaging characters. Highly recommended
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