- Mass Market Paperback: 412 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Books; Media Tie In edition (March 23 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1439130477
- ISBN-13: 978-1439130476
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.3 x 17.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 222 g
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #271,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Ghost Writer Mass Market Paperback – Mar 23 2010
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“Packed with seduction, power and manipulation. . . .”
“The Ghost has got the goods.”
About the Author
Robert Harris is the author of Pompeii, Enigma, and Fatherland. He has been a television correspondent with the BBC and a newspaper columnist for the London Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph. His novels have sold more than ten million copies and been translated into thirty languages. He lives in Berkshire, England, with his wife and four children.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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1. The story involves a former British PM hiring a ghost writer to complete his memoirs by a certain day. The reader does not have to guess that the PM in question is none other than Tony Blair trying to get on the record before new revelations come to light over his sanctioning of torture of Al Qaeda prisoners. Right from the outset, the reader knows that the bases for this narrative is based on an actual historical chain of events involving real people;
2. The triggering event in the novel is the mysterious death of the PM's earlier ghostwriter. His replacement, the narrator of the story, steps in to to complete the writing do his own sluething while he quietly goes about probing for answers while guiding the lengthy memoir to its conclusion;
3. The story continues to mount in intensity as murders and disappearances pile up in conjunction with the ongoing investigation of McAra's death. It is during this time that the Hague Court charges the former PM with war crimes. This causes the ghost writer to begin questioning the evidence as to how it will all fit into his compiling of the story;
4. As usual, Robert Harris deals with main characters who don't always make the right choices, even when faced with a mountain of evidence to the contrary;
5. What the protagonist discovers in his internet reseach and from his important contacts is that the man, whose life he is trying to reconstruct on paper, is leading a double life;
6. The character development is both thorough and believable. The new ghost writer, for instance, is someone willing to put his life at risk in the search for the truth about his boss's nefarious activity, but is seriously restrained by his sense of loyalty to the PM and his training as a ghost writer;
7. Harris's description of Martha's Vineyard as one of two main places in the story is accurate and meaningful;
8. Harris concludes the story in powerful fashion where the ghost writer plays by the rules of engagement and anonymously leaves his interpretation of the former PMs life behind for others to pick over;
9. Harris raises a whole bunch of issues that deal with the need for a means by which to enforce international law in relation to crimes against humanity;
10. The description about secret societies is conceivable given the fact that we have organizations like the Bilderberg and the Trilateral Commission working outside the pale of the rule of law.
For fear of spoiling the story one can only ask: why do democratically elected leaders take one after the other unpopular decisions? Who are they trying to please if (clearly) not the people that put them into office? Why even socialist/democratic/leftist parties once elected follow in the footsteps of the right-wing hawks they overthrew by popular demand?
As a piece of word-craft I found it not at par with HARRIS' previous work. As a novel of political possibility though I found it brilliant! It happens all the time in third world countries, why not in the central republics? After all, greed and ambitions are universal.
His novels read as I imagine an Aston Martin drives: authentic power, ingenuity and beauty in a no-nonsense way.
Artful craftsmanship is consistent in every detail of the novel, balanced by the deceptive simplicity in its structure.
The tension winds swiftly on right to the final page, where, as usual, Harris punctuates the action with a thoughtful - almost poetic - flourish to keep you reflecting on the characters for days afterword. This is one to share.
The Ghost has finally spurred me on to write a review about Harris' novels. For any casual reader of History, or anyone who prefers non-fiction to fiction most of the time, reading a Robert Harris novel should scarcely disappoint.
I've read a bunch of Harris' other novels and strongly recommend any of them, but most notably Pompeii, Lustrum, Archangel, and Fatherland.
One can easily sense the cinematic quality in all of of Harris' writing. Still, the novels surely stand tall in their own right. Highly recommended.
I enjoyed the author's sharp wit, irony, and deep understanding of greed for power. From the first page, a great book!
Eleanor Cowan, author of :
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