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The Osterman Weekend [Library Binding]

Robert Ludlum
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1984 1417650567 978-1417650569
John Tanner is looking forward to a weekend party with his closest friends, the Ostermans, the Tremaynes and the Cardones. But then the CIA tell him that they are all suspected Soviet agents: fanatical, traitorous killers working for a massive Communist conspiracy. Tanner cannot know who are his friends and who are his deadly enemies.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Review

'Superb... pace and tension are stupendous, the solution devastating... compulsive entertainment.' Sunday Express 'Acutely suspenseful... nobody is quite what they seem and there is a concussive finish.' Observer 'Reserve this thriller killer for your next reading weekend and you will take a fresh look at your friends and neighbours.' Sunday Telegraph --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

"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.

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Ludlum's Early Work July 14 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After Robert Ludlum passed away, I decided to read several of his books, having loved The Bourne Identity when I read it several years ago, but having stopped reading his books when The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum disappointed. I started with The Holcroft Covenant, reported to be one of the classics, which I really enjoyed. Then I read the final book he wrote, The Prometheus Deception, which I enjoyed more than most.
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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An average read for an average weekend. April 9 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Osterman Weekend doesn't live up to the promise that Ludlum would normally offer for a weekend thriller read. John Tanner's plans for the weekend are disturbed when he is confronted by CIA agent Fassett. Fassett tells Tanner that some of the three couples who are coming over to spend the weekend with the Tanners as long-time friends are actually part of a huge international conspiracy code-named Omega. But Fassett needs Tanner to help uncover which of the couples - the Cordones, the Tremaynes, and the Ostermans - really are part of the Omega conspiracy. So when the friends of the Tanners visit, the weekend is anything but ordinary, as the various couples hold varying suspicions of each other in a rather icy atmosphere. It is only in the last quarter of the novel that the action and intrigue really heats up and all hell breaks loose. For most of the novel, the reader is just as confused as John Tanner, and the last pages really fly by as you try to discover who is really part of the conspiracy. It's a complex web with various double crossing and threats on all sides. But until the last few chapters, the book is quite easy to put down, and neither gripping nor convincing, although heavily dosed with profanity. For a good weekend read, Ludlum has produced much better gems than The Osterman Weekend. For a more enjoyable weekend, re-read your dog-eared copy of The Bourne Identity or The Matarese Circle.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Ludlum Who-Dun-It May 22 2001
By snowy
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A refreshing change of Ludlum's thriller, instead of a globe-trotting hero who speed through Europe escaping mysterious gunmen, this time, the action is much confined to the small élite township of Saddle Valley, though the catasthrophe still threatens the entire the free-world.
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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good second effort Feb. 9 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A major step forward from the disaster that was The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Osterman Weekend is a fast-paced tale of intrigue that may surprise even Ludlum fans. Being one of his earliest works, he was still developing his style and finding his niche, and this book clearly shows that.
Gone (or, not yet arrived) are the mammoth chase sequences, the far reaching conspiracies (this conspiracy is on a somewhat limited scale), the beautiful but strong-willed women who only want to help their men, but aren't sure if they can trust them. Instead, we have a family man who finds himself threatened no matter which way he turns.
Large portions of the book are written with dialogue only. The book is already his shortest, and the combination makes for a very fast read. However, those used to large narrative sequences from Ludlum will feel a bit out of place, and rightfully so: there are many places where a little bit of narration would have come quite in handy.
On the whole, though, I recommend it to suspense fans. It is by no means Ludlum's best book, but it is a good book, and well worth the limited time it takes to read it.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Hasn't passed the test of Time
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
Published on June 11 2011 by J Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the lot - Perfect
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 more
Published on Aug. 22 2003 by Avid Reader
2.0 out of 5 stars not much to this one
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 more
Published on July 9 2003 by mackattack9988
3.0 out of 5 stars a look back
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 more
Published on Nov. 9 2002 by J. Peterson
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh please!
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
Published on Sept. 10 2002 by Matthew Rouge
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Up To The Hype!
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 more
Published on March 19 2001 by Melvin Hunt
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced early Ludlum classic!
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 more
Published on Aug. 19 2000 by Mr N Forbes-warren
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather dated
This was probably a good book in its time, but it's pretty dated. It has a strong 70s feel, and the central themes - the government may be spying on us! Read more
Published on Aug. 8 2000 by jerseymca
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ludlum surprise but a great read
This one is pretty impressive! Ludlum scales down his scope and tightens up the suspense! You should not pick up this book if you need sleep. Read more
Published on July 10 2000 by Jared Garrett
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK!
The story line alone was worth the reading of this book
Published on Sept. 27 1999 by daniel_murphy@hotmail.com
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