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The Defection of A. J. Lewinter Hardcover

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395154812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395154816
  • Parcel Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,096,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From Publishers Weekly

The reissue of this 1973 Cold War gem comes on the heels of Littell's recent hardcover thriller The Company. Set in the early 1970s, the spy thriller-cum-black comedy begins when A.J. Lewinter, an eccentric American engineer specializing in nose cones for ballistic missiles, decides to defect to the Soviet Union. Such a high-level defection is unprecedented, and each side suspects the other of something fishy. A hilarious contest ensues as they try to outconnive each other. On the American side is a coldly libidinous intelligence agent named Diamond (when a mistress asks him what he would have done if she hadn't passed a security background check, he says, "I would have taken you to bed-but I wouldn't have talked to you"). His KGB analogue is the nervous Pogodin (self-described as "one-quarter Marxist, one-quarter humanist, and one-half bureaucrat"), who knows too well the consequences of any mistake. The book paints a bleak view of both sides of the Cold War divide: the socialist dream has given way to a police state plagued by chronic food shortages and ruled by an elite oligarchy that gets the few decent cars and apartments in Moscow, while on democracy's home front, race riots and antiwar protests multiply. Concise, smart and funny, this novel turns Cold War spy cliches on their head. Though the ambiguous ending no longer terrifies, this book still packs a punch and seems prescient to boot. Those who only know Littell's more recent works should enjoy this fast, fun trip into the past.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Robert Littell was born, raised, and educated in New York. A former Newsweek editor specializing in Soviet affairs, he left journalism in 1970 to write fiction full time. Connoisseurs of the spy novel have elevated Robert Littell to the genre's highest ranks, and Tom Clancy wrote that “if Robert Littell didn’t invent the spy novel, he should have.” He is the author of fifteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller The Company and Legends, the 2005 L.A. Times Book Award for Best Thriller/Mystery. He currently lives in France.

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Top customer reviews

July 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover

Most helpful customer reviews on 3.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews
5.0 out of 5 starsAbsurdity of the spy game
May 13, 2015 - Published on
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One person found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsThis could have been a true story
December 19, 2013 - Published on
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2 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsTop-Notch Cold War Tale
September 1, 2010 - Published on
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One person found this helpful.
Richard Martin Trank
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent Read!
November 28, 2015 - Published on
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One person found this helpful.
1.0 out of 5 starsterrible plot and
February 6, 2015 - Published on
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