The Osterman Weekend
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"Shattering. . .it will cost you the night and the cold hours of the morning."—Cincinnati Inquirer
"A complex scenario of inventive double-crossing."—Chicago Sun-Times
"Powerhouse momentum. . .as shrill as the siren on the prowl car."—Kirkus Reviews
From the Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
"Shattering. . .it will cost you the night and the cold hours of the morning."
"A complex scenario of inventive double-crossing."
"Powerhouse momentum. . .as shrill as the siren on the prowl car."
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Another reviewer gave it a negative review by saying that the book was dated. Well. Duh. Again - it was written in 1972. He was expecting cell phones and the internet somewhere in the dialogue. And the reviewer who said the plot was silly and stupid. I doubt he got past grade 6 reading.
You know what. Read the book overview on the back - if it sounds interesting. Read it. If it doesn't - then don't. Osterman Weekend may or may not be Ludlum's best but its good - they did make a movie of it. But don't be influenced by these stupid reviews written by some people who don't seem to to know the difference between 1970 and 2016. Just read a book for the entertainment of it. Anyway. That's it.
This year, I decided to go back to his early books. I found the second book he ever wrote, The Osterman Weekend, in a used bookstore. The book tells the story of John Tanner, a TV news executive who is summoned to Washington one day and told by a CIA operative that one or more of his best friends, the Ostermans, the Cardones and the Tremaynes is a traitor. They are all gathering for the weekend at Tanner's house in suburban New Jersey and Tanner's job is to get the traitors to reveal themselves so the CIA can swoop in and deal with them.
On its own, the book is probably worth three stars. It is a quick and easy read, the suspense grows and the reader has no idea where the plot will lead although double-crosses seem likely. However, until the last few chapters, it doesn't really grip you.
However, the book shows flashes of the greatness Ludlum achieved later. An ordinary person is thrown into extraordinary circumstances and must get by on his own wits. Ludlum is a genius at making the ordinary person seem believable and scared and yet be the hero who saved the world. The action in the last few chapters is a foreshadowing of the wall-to-wall action that will be Ludlum's trademark in other books. The insight this gives the reader into Ludlum's evolution as a writer was worth an extra star to me.
A weekend gathering of 4 couples - husbands all successful financially in their careers, hosted by John Tanner has the making of a classical who-dun-it. Beneath the normally jovial relaxing surface are strong undercurrents that each member of the party knows that things are not what they seem - one or more among their number knows a deadly secret and threatens to expose it or utilise it for self-gain. The CIA operation recruited John Tanner to expose Omega, a Soviet mole who holds numerous influential people in the US hostage. Omega has a time-table when he will squeeze these hostages to do as he bid, resulting in financial, social and economic catasthrophe in the Western world.
Action is seen much through the eyes of John Tanner, a man trapped by the CIA, who has no choice but to see his family at risk to catch the Omega.
But Omega seems to be on the game, leaving a bloody trail of hints and attempts on Tanner's family.
The good thing about this novel is you never know where the author will take you next, the twists and turns are more of classical mysteries rather than a thriller.
Ludlum did a fair job, but he could have done better if he had concentrated more on the suspense and leaving of clues. Instead, he gave the settings and characters of a mystery, the plot of a "save-the-free-world" thriller, and the between both worlds, he was unable to maintain a proper pace in either.
Most recent customer reviews
I read this over 30 years ago and it holds up extremely well despite no cell phones etcPublished 5 months ago by Lynda Jenkins
There is only one Ludlum novel I like less than this and I've read about half of his works.
This premise of spys in your neighborhood is a good one. Read more
This is the first Ludlum book I ever read and it still remains my favorite. For sheet storytelling, suspense and convoluted plot resolution, it remains supreme. Read morePublished on Aug. 22 2003 by Avid Reader
Not much to this novel at all; might provide an easy diversion, but that's about it. A good thriller should have a complex plot and memorable characters - The Osterman Weekend has... Read morePublished on July 9 2003 by mackattack9988
This book is good, considering the time period in which it was written. In 1972, this was probably the ultimate in thriller novels; however, by 2002, it's a little light. Read morePublished on Nov. 9 2002 by J. Peterson
The book starts off as a decent read, not great. The the following flaws are encountered:
1. A very DUMB idea for a conspiracy--ooh, Omega might blackmail businessmen around... Read more
Being a Ludlum reader I have hear of "The Osterman Weekend" for years. The book was not what it was cracked up to be. Read morePublished on March 19 2001 by Melvin Hunt
A great story which concerns Jack Tanner, a TV journalist who is drawn into a CIA plot to uncover the clandestine Soviet OMEGA group. Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2000 by Mr N Forbes-warren