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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.

Product Details

Product Description


'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
2.0 out of 5 stars Hasn't passed the test of Time June 11 2011
By J Reader TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. However, the way the story plays out is dissappointing to say the least. Way too many plot holes. Implausable events not properly explained and a Grisham type ending in its level of dissappointment.

It's still Ludlum so it has a good level of suspense and action, unfortunately the story falls short.

I would not recommend this. There are too many great Ludlum novels out there.

Check out my other reviews for more Ludlum hit's and misses.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the lot - Perfect Aug. 22 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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.
It is characterization that drives this book - much more so than the movie - and particularly the interplay among the various guests. This is vintage Ludlum before he became Ludzilla, the author of sagas of immeasurable length. This is also the typical formula that Ludlum uses in his best books - a lone guy gets involved in nefarious activities involving the government and both people and events are not what they seem.
The moment when he awaits the arrival of the agent, when the agent walks up and we all hold our breath - the revelation is simply stunning! This is a classic.
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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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2.0 out of 5 stars not much to this one July 10 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 neither.
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3.0 out of 5 stars a look back Nov. 9 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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.
The Osterman weekend is a weekend when 4 couples gather to hang out. The Ostermans are from California, and seem to be the glue that holds all of this together. John Tanner, one of the group, is approached by the CIA stating that the Ostermans are really involved in organized crime, as are the other members of the group.
The story if full of miscalculations, deception, and cross-betrayals. By the end, you just want a list of who is actually involved in the nefarious group, and who isn't.
but then again.....
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1.0 out of 5 stars Oh please! Sept. 10 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 the country and create a depression! Better to try it in 2002, not 1972, heh heh.
2. A very STUPID plot, which just isn't believable. EG, if your family were gassed with ether and left in an abandoned railway depot, would you just keep following the advice of this one CIA guy who was your only contact? I think not. And in the end, none of it makes any sense at all.
3. Ludlum is no master dialog writer. His adults mumble, grumble, fix each other drinks, smoke cigs, and try to act like good 1970s grownups, but it's just silly, just plain silly.
4. Corny, off-key elements that make the book seem even dumber: a dog's head is severed, etc.
In short, this book is flat-out FOOLISH. The recommendation must therefore be DO NOT READ. Thanks for reading this review.
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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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