This thriller jumps all over the map and moves in and out of a number of off-beat speciality areas (Eastern religion and Zen-like thought; caving; the Spanish Basque region; computers; the spy industry; World War II era history). Its tremendous appeal probably lies in the mystic aura surrounding the almost God-like protagonist, who just happens to be an assasin, but also in the cynical tone the author adopts as he views the world through his characters. The book features excitment, plot movement, sex, adventure and the clashing cultures of espionage and soft emotion. It's occasionally silly, but absolutely powerful. Who can forget the young woman who is punished for life because Nicholas makes love to her -- thereby dooming her to the futile attempt forever more to attempt to match the experience with ordinary lovers!? Bizarre -- but probably the world's finest airplane book. A must read.