2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 6 books toward her goal of 240 books.

Book Review: The Spy and the Traitor by Ben Macintyre

This was an absolutely astonishing story and such a well-written book! I am a long-time fan of non-fiction, particularly because so much truth is, quite often, stranger (and more entertaining) than fiction… This is a marvelous example of that. What Gordievsky went through is nearly unbelievable in scale and scope. That he did so for ZERO monetary gain is even more so. When he is contrasted with Aldrich Ames (who doesn’t feature in the story until it is well along the way) who did what he did EXCLUSIVELY for money, the tale takes on an even more surreal slant – in the best possible way.

I was flipping pages frantically near the end, waiting to see Gordievsky’s fate (and that of his family) would be. While I was familiar with Ames’s tale, Gordievsky’s was new to me and all the more fascinating for it.

The research was meticulous and the writing was excellent. There is a LOT of detail here and it takes a while to work through it all, but throughout the book everything was so well managed that it never felt over-drawn, over-detailed, or overly-long. The story-telling was well paced and the characters jumped off the pages as a result of the extraordinary way they were presented. This was a marvelous and amazing story told by a master, and Macintyre is definitely on my “to watch” list now!!

Thanks to Penguin First to Read for my review copy.

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