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THE PARSIFAL MOSAIC Hardcover – Feb 12 1982


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House; Book Club (BCE/BOMC) edition (Feb. 12 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394521110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394521114
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.5 x 4.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 816 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #796,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for Robert Ludlum and The Parsifal Mosaic
 
“[Robert] Ludlum’s narrative imagination is a force of nature.”The New York Times
 
“As fast-paced and absorbing as any he’s written.”Newsday
 
“The suspense never lets up.”The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
 
“A crackling good yarn.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

"Mr. Ludlum's narrative imagination is a force of nature."--The New York Times.

Michael Havelock's world died on a moonlit beach on the Costa Brava. He watched as his partner and lover, Jenna Karats, double agent, was efficiently gunned down by his own agency. There was nothing left for him but to quit the game, get out. Until, in one frantic moment on a crowded railroad platform in Rome, Havelock saw his Jenna alive. From then on, he was marked for death by both U.S. and Russian assassins, racing around the globe after his beautiful betrayer, trapped in a massive mosaic of treachery created by a top-level mole with the world in his fist--Parsifal.

"Massive melodrama... Ludlum does know how to put on a show."--Chicago Tribune.

"A crackling good yarn."--Los Angeles Times Book Review.

"The suspense never lets up."--Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"As fast-paced and as absorbing as any he's written."--Susan Isaacs, Newsday --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
I'm a big Robert Ludlum fan, and love the spy / mystery type of novel. The Parsifal Mosaic is very involving and complex, and in general great fun.
Without giving away the inner layers of the story, Michael Havelock is a US spy with a tortured past, who has finally found some happiness with a fellow spy, Jenna Karasova. Unfortunately, he is shown that Jenna is a double agent, and watches her die for her betrayal. Preparing to abandon his agent-life and retire to become a teacher, he catches a glimpse of Jenna, alive, at a chance meeting in Europe. The chase is on, as he tries to track down Jenna and figure out why she's alive, and who was deceiving who.
There are a variety of interesting locations, from the docks of Italy to meeting rooms in Washington DC. The characters each seem to have an outward 'mask' plus an inner 'motive', and Michael moves from scene to scene trying to unravel it all. There are twists and turns as he gets closer and further away from the truth.
Maybe it's because I've read so many mysteries and thrillers, but I do have to say that a few things disappointed me. First, many of the situations were extremely staged and obvious. There were many things that I guessed long before the characters did, and with the lead characters made out to be extremely intelligent and quick, it was hard to believe they were still muddling through something for chapters after it had been made obvious. For example, Michael recognizes one of the guys killing Jenna - Michael knows he knows him but doesn't remember WHO he is. Throughout the rest of the story, while trying to figure out what is going on, he never bothers to try to track this guy down.
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Format: Paperback
I was introduced to Ludlum in the late 70's by my brother who claimed that if I thought Clive Cussler was a good author, I needed to check out somebody who could really plot a story well.
I started off with The Bourne Identity, which I still rank as one of the most original stories I have ever read. I waited quite some time before attempting 'Parisfal', and by the time I finally got around to doing so, it didn't take long to realize that I had cheated myself out of quite an adventure.
I was going through my library here not long ago fixing up my book shelves when I ran across my old copy, and decided it was time to crack it open yet again. I was amazed at how well it has held up over the years, and just how REALLY GOOD it really is. I won't attempt to go into the details of the plot, because quite frankly, Ludlum puts just too many twists and turns into his average novel that just to attempt to summarize 'Parsifal' in such a short amount of room would be incredibly disrespectful to the memory of Robert Ludlum (in my opinion). No, instead I would rather go into what makes his novels so darned fun...
Ludlum will never be confused with what some consider 'True Literature' but what he lacks in major character development, he more than makes up for with the sheer speed of his plots and how his stories seem to be several plots all going at once on a runaway train with no brakes...yet he manages to keep control at all of the crucial moments and never gives you more peeks into what is really happening than you absolutely MUST have, and yet you still have a grasp of what is going on, without knowing what is going to happen next. Is someone going to die in his books?
Yes...
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Format: Paperback
When Michael Havelock saw the face of a woman he loved in a Roman train station, the same woman whom he had killed several weeks before, out went his plans for quitting the world of espionage and clandestine operations, and he was thrusted back into the realm of shadows where nothing was what it seemed to be.
Determine to find her, and why he was led to believe she was a double-agent, Michael triggered a series of reaction from spymasters of Washington and Moscow to find him, stop him and kill him.
A true plot within plot, the decision-makers in the background found themselves mere pawns in a greater, more sinister conspiracy by masterminds whose existence no world leader nor government could afford to acknowledge.
Michael Havelock found himself victim of his own government's plottings, only to discover his government was also at the mercy of Parsifal, whose machinations could cast the world into an all-out nuclear war.
The first half of the book was focussed in Europe where Michael raced across the continent to track down the woman who was supposed to be dead. A trail of dead bodies marked his passing as he grasped the flimiest clue that would led him from one place to another. Certainly, it was the better part of the novel where reader can admire the tenacity and brilliance of the would-be-retired-agent.
The later part of the book tracked the conspiracy to its source, but this part is less well-written as convoluted details were rambled and readers get lost in data overload. Also, Michael's jogging through his memories became more confusing for readers.
Character wise, there was little to be criticised, though dialogues were a little stilted. But otherwise, each character was clearly distinguishable with a fair degree of realism.
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