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The Defection of A.J. Lewinter: A Novel of Duplicity Paperback – 28 May 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Press; Reprint edition (28 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468306367
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468306361
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 2.1 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,052,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"'A perfect little gem, the best cold-war thriller I've read in years.' - Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times 'If Robert Littell didn't invent the American spy novel, he should have.' - Tom Clancy" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Robert Littell is the author of 14 novels, published in 12 languages around the world. Along with The Defection of A.J. Lewinter, they include The October Circle, Mother Russia, The Amateur (which was made into a feature film), The Once and Future Spy, An Agent in Place, The Visiting Professor and Walking Back the Cat. His most recent, The Company, was an international bestseller. Littell is a former Newsweek journalist. Robert Littell is an American who lives in France. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Cold War espionage novels make for a crowded field and one in which the elegant conversations of The Defection of AJ Lewinter has been unjustly forgotten. In part that may well be because the book elegantly builds to a fantastic last line - but a last line that one cannot really retell without giving away the whole book. Nor can one really appreciate the full stylish grace of the plot's construction until it is capped by that last line.

As a result, there is little of the plot that a reviewer who respects yet-to-be readers of the book can say of the plot other than, "Trust me, it's worth the read" or a brief account that makes the book sound much like dozens of other novels.

That would be to miss its charm. What can be said is that the different quality of this espionage thriller is reflected in there being but one death in this thriller - a death that is all the more shocking for the book's understated tone. It is also a book in which the characters talk and talk and talk. There is a plot and there is action, but this is a thriller that would never make it as a Hollywood action epic.

There are traces too of black humour too as a Cold War defection leaves both sides unsure as to whether they are the real loser from the switch and where the truth lies. AJ Lewinter is a physicist who has done military research and then, on a trip to Tokyo, defects to the Soviet Union. Not only the Americans but also the Soviets want to know why. For the Americans, why has he gone, what did he know and when did his loyalties end, and for the Russians, why has he come, what does he know, why did he switch - and is he a plant?
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I recently read Legends by Robert Littell so I had high expectations. This did not live up to my epectations, it picked up in the second half but the ending was rather disappointing. Will not recommend to a friend. I do recommend Legends however.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Jan 2002
Format: Paperback
The copy of the book I read has a quote from Tom Clancy on the cover. Anyone who likes Clancy might want to check this out.
However, where Clancy is leaden, overly flag-flyingly patriotic, Littell just gets to the point and turns out quality writing.
The best spy-type novel I've read in a while.
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