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The Assassini Paperback – 2 Sep 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (2 Sept. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099484250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099484257
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 4.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 676,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A classic thriller." (Publishers Weekly)

"An extraordinary novel. Delivered with style, believability, and sharp characterisations." (Nelson DeMille)

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3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
I am nearly finished this book and it's a struggle. The pace is very slow. I don't know if I will stick with it. It's getting more and more ludicrous and I no longer care about any of the characters, if I ever did to start with.
Almost every character is a priest, a nun, a bishop, a cardinal, the pope or some kind of clergy. Ben, the lead character, is a lapsed Jesuit. Practically everybody he knows and comes across is a priest or a nun. The only woman he meets who is not a nun he immediately shags.
I keep thinking of Father Ted reading this. All the nuns are gorgeous and sexy. Who lives in a world like that, apart from Father Ted?
I think the book was reissued following the success of the Da Vinci Code. Church bashing is apparently the new vogue, whereas if you think about it the real crooks these days are multinational companies, although they are not as picturesque.
The book needs some editing and some of the grammar in it is really bad, especially at the beginning.
Where did he get the idea that monks still sleep in beehive cells in Ireland?
It's preposterous really, but I suppose I've started so I'll finish...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "tpurcell9" on 2 Sept. 2004
Format: Paperback
Although the initial pace is a bit slow and you are tempted to skip over some of the historical background, don't! The Assassini has a lot packed into a small(ish) book. This book is very much a matter of taste, plot twists and developments which one reader may like will very much can be to the dislke of others. The plot is long and winding, but it catches you and forces you to deny yourself those badly needed hours of sleep. Having been written in the dying days of the Cold War in 1984 the book has dated a little, bu not enough to spoil it.
Over all, well worth the effort. This is the first Thomas Gifford book I have read, I will read his others.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rory Morty on 15 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
This was a nice read. The story is interesting, and is a nice patchwork of several different but related stories, set in the present and in the past. Essentially, a very sick pope lies dying in the Vatican, and the prime contenders for the throne of St Peter are lining up, organising their support base, and employing each and every ruthless antic in an effort to secure their success at the coming conclave. This struggle, set in the present, is nicely worked in with the complicated relationships between the major players that have their roots in the past. The story nicely highlights some of the major problems, in terms of public image, that the Catholic church and the Vatican face today. I am Catholic; but intrigue, cover-ups, and skeletons in the closet are what is destroying any role for the Catholic church, and by extension, the Vatican, in the modern world. Indeed, the novel sadly paints what is probably a fairly accurate picture of the curial cardinals today. This novel takes the reader to several wonderful places, however, I am not certain that the author actually ever visitied Ireland, since his portrayal of that country is a little "off". This novel is long. Too long in my opinion, and I feel it could have been pruned down a little, making it more concise and gripping. I prefer novels that are hard to put down. In this case, I was tired out several times by the novel, and quite relieved to put it down and turn off the light. I have a major marketing issue with the novel. I think that it was very bad form for the publishers to mention The Da Vinci Code on the spine of this novel. It was a cheap shot at trying to push up sales by misleading the public, and I am less than happy with Mr Gifford for permitting this to happen.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 April 1999
Format: Paperback
The premise was interesting, but the book was tedious and unexciting. As the plot thickened, I found that I cared less and less about the characters and their unrealistic motives. There must be a good story in the Catholic involvement in WWII, but this is not it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Feb. 1998
Format: Paperback
That Thomas Gifford was met by stiff opposition during his nine years of impeccable research for this work of art speaks volumes about the internal workings of the Catholic Church. It lends credibility to this intriguing array of subplots and characters, while verifying what the rest of the world already knows: that the Church is only marginally unlike any other major multinational corporation. This is a brilliant mystery containing many interesting characters illuminated by a rich tapestry of historical events. Like any roller-coaster ride, the initial pace is slow...but this is a small price to pay for the thrill of this gem.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Mar. 1998
Format: Paperback
The mosaic of the plot is skillfully put in place. Gifford's style is very refined and certainly entertaining. However, the book is full of historical hogwash. The excesses of the Borgias have as much to do with today's Vatican policy as Henry the VIII's divorce by decaputation has to do with the family life of the contemporary English royalty. Moreover, making any references to Paris as a center of any actual resistance to the Nazis is an insault to any even semi-informed reader. After nearly a decade of research, Mr. Gifford should know that only serious casualties suffered by the Germans in Paris were those inflicted by French prostitutes. C.K. Tchorznicki
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