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Legends [Paperback]

Robert Littell
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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This title will be released on August 28, 2014.
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Book Description

28 Aug 2014
From its unforgettable opening to its astonishing ending, Legends proves an unrivalled powerhouse of seductive storytelling. Martin Odum, disgraced CIA field agent turned private detective in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, is struggling his way through a labyrinth of memories of past identities legends in CIA parlance. Is he really Martin Odum? Is he Dante Pippen, IRA explosives maven turned CIA agent? Or is he another legend? These men speak different languages, like different foods and women, and have different skills, and Odums not sure if hes suffering from multiple personality disorder, brainwashing or just plain exhaustion. When Odum is employed to solve a case for a young Russian, Stella Kastner, he is drawn back into the world he left not remembering quite why, struggling to untangle his true identity while under the strains of mortal danger and psychological disorientation. An extraordinarily intelligent thriller, taut and explosive, Legends is an unrelentingly arresting page-turner.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd (28 Aug 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715647490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715647493
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,419,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


No one has a better grasp of this shadow world than Littell He is back to what he does best: walking back the cat, tracing a path through the intense complexities of intelligence and counterintelligence, which combine to form a philosophical hell --Guardian

Littell's book is audacious, vivacious, original, and thrilling Reading it in the small hours was like gulping a slug of Stolichnaya straight from the freezer --Literary Review

About the Author

Robert Littell is the author of eighteen novels, including the forthcoming A Nasty Piece of Work and most recently Young Philby. He has been hailed as The best American spy writer currently at work (Daily Telegraph), and he has been awarded both the CWA Gold Dagger (for his debut, The Defection of AJ Lewinter) and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for his fiction. His novel The Company was a New York Times bestseller and was adapted into a television miniseries in 2007, produced by Ridley Scott. He lives in France.

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THEY HAD FINALLY GOTTEN AROUND TO PAVING THE SEVEN kilometers of dirt spur connecting the village of Prigorodnaia to the four-lane Moscow-Petersburg highway. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and suspenseful 21 Mar 2007
By Dr. P. J. A. Wicks VINE VOICE
I was introduced to this book after another of Robert Littell's spy novels, The Company, wound its way on to my PDA to read on long journeys.

In Legends we follow one Martin Odum as he... no that's not right. We follow three Martin Odums. One is an Irish bomb expert, one a civil war Marksman, and the other a teetotal gumshoe who finds lost dogs for a living. He's been undercover so long in so many different "legends" that he's forgotten which one is really him. Running automatically on an encyclopedia of tradecraft he is being driven slowly insane by the different people living in his head.

And just to round it off, it would seem a lot of people are trying to kill him (or them).

This is a tense, tightly plotted novel that revels in the psychopathology required to lead multiple lives. It also highlights, however, that each of us have our own legends which we deploy for our own purposes to a greater or lesser extent. I'm becoming a big fan of Littell's and am looking forward to getting the next batch of his well-written books.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This book is brilliant. If you enjoy fast-paced thrillers and modern spy stories then you'll love it. It's ideal for reading on a plane, train or beach -- and it was so good that I spent an extra half hour on an exercise bike to finish it!

That was the fast review for people without much time... here's a few more thoughts:

I don't understand why there aren't more reviews of Robert Littell's work. His original Cold War era spy stories were terrific and, even though they are dated now, they still make good reading and give huge insights into global politics 30, 40 and 50 years ago.

His modern books are stunning.

I can understand that anyone who picks up The Company might stagger under the weight and run away screaming -- it's a huge book and its span is massive. (It's totally rewarding though so worth dedicating a couple of weeks to it).

Legends is a much easier proposition.

It's a relatively short, tightly-plotted and fast moving detective story, which moves into the realm of the CIA, KGB and spooky ops of the 1980s. It's a story about a single individual, but from that focused viewpoint you suddenly discover that Littell has revealed a plausible explanation of the current world political picture.

It is *such* a clever novel that I'm still awestruck by how subtle the clues and plot development were. One minute I was wondering whether the hero really could have been alive at the time of the US Civil War (or is he just bonkers?), and in the next I was gawping at the idea of what really went on behind the rise to power of the oligarchs in post-Soviet Russia.

The characters are real enough to draw chuckles and tears. Best of all, there's even an upbeat ending, rather than the bitter betrayal which usually finishes off most spy stories.

So why are there no other reviews?

Isn't anyone else reading modern fiction like this?

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars still on top 15 Jun 2008
By Ramses
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Robert Littell has always been one my heroes, all his books are so clever and special they are among the few novels I will never part with. My all time favourite of his is "The revolutionist", which is a bit out of character for him since it is not some thriller-spy story, but all his books in general would make other authors pale with envy. Believe it or not the only one I have not read is ... the Company, which I plan to read this summer given its massiveness. As per this book, well another reviewer wrote what needed to be: brilliant as ever. We all age, maybe loose some neurons, but Robert is still on top. And his son does not seem too bad either ;-) Thanks Robert.
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