Customer Reviews


45 Reviews
5 star:
 (14)
4 star:
 (10)
3 star:
 (8)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:
 (8)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The undiscovered master of spy fiction
Why has nobody told me about Charles Cumming? I bought The Spanish Game in 06 and thought it was superb so worked my way through his other books, A Spy By Nature and this one - The Hidden Man. It's a dense read, but a fascinating insight into what happens to families when one of their members (or more...) gets wrapped up in the world of espionage. It's not Ludlum-light...
Published on 31 May 2007 by Roget's Reader

versus
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Having read all of Cumming's books had pre-ordered The Hidden Man and looked forward to its arrival on my Kindle. However, I am half-way through the book and have set it aside as I cannot summon the interest to continue. The story starts well, interest is building in the characters and then, well, nothing happens. The idea of the 2 brothers and their relationship with...
Published 17 months ago by Helsinki Naisten


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 13 April 2013
This review is from: The Hidden Man (Kindle Edition)
Having read all of Cumming's books had pre-ordered The Hidden Man and looked forward to its arrival on my Kindle. However, I am half-way through the book and have set it aside as I cannot summon the interest to continue. The story starts well, interest is building in the characters and then, well, nothing happens. The idea of the 2 brothers and their relationship with their estranged father being a centre-piece is flawed as it goes into so much detail and, really, who gives a ----? None of these characters - the father and 2 sons - is interesting enough to me to care about how they feel. I bought the book as a thriller/spy novel - it certainly isn't thrilling to me and the intrigue angle is wedged between the angst of the brothers. Groan. Oh dear, let's hope Cumming's next book is better than this one. For me, this one's a dead loss.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The undiscovered master of spy fiction, 31 May 2007
This review is from: The Hidden Man (Paperback)
Why has nobody told me about Charles Cumming? I bought The Spanish Game in 06 and thought it was superb so worked my way through his other books, A Spy By Nature and this one - The Hidden Man. It's a dense read, but a fascinating insight into what happens to families when one of their members (or more...) gets wrapped up in the world of espionage. It's not Ludlum-light. You need to keep concentrating and to remember who all the characters are, but it's extremely well written and very tense. Highly recommended if you want something with a bit more meat on it than Andy McNab or Stella Rimington.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blows the bloody doors off, 12 Jun 2003
This review is from: The Hidden Man (Paperback)
There was a famous review of an early Bruce Springsteen concert that ran along the lines of "I've seen the future of rock'n'roll - and his name is Bruce Springsteen". Well, I've just read the future of spy fiction, and if there's any justice it will be Charles Cumming. This is as immaculately plotted a thriller as you could want, with the added bonus - rare in the genre - of plausibility, literacy, and an understanding of how people tick.
The storyline is simple, and none the worse for it. Patrician M16 officer comes in from the cold to try to patch up relations with the sons he walked out on 30 years before, but just as the thaw begins he is murdered. Brother 1 - thrusting executive for a Ministry of Sound-style club - joins forces with Brother 2 - layabout artist with a flirtatious journalist wife - to find out who bumped off their old man, but are soon out of their depth as Russian gangsters and MI5 muscle in and the safety catches come off.
What distinguishes the book is partly Cumming's deft observation of contemporary London - though there is no shortage of characters meeting sticky ends, the mood in general is much more "bling-bling" than "bang-bang" - and also his grasp of human relations and motivations. It is this, rather than standard gung-ho action, that drives the book, and so renders the characters credible. The Hidden Man is thus much more of a spy novel in the tradition of Maugham or Le Carre than your average, thick-eared beach read, although Cumming's own time as an MI6 trainee (which he drew on in his previous book, A Spy By Nature) means that, as in Maugham and Greene's work, there is also no shortage of inside information on how the intelligence game is really played. Strongly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hidden Man, 7 Jun 2003
This review is from: The Hidden Man (Paperback)
If you want a book to keep you up in the small hours of the morning this is it. The suspense and intrigue of Cumming's second book is intelligently created and well written. The book deals cleverly with international espionage giving the reader an interesting behind the scenes look at what really goes on in the big bad world. Cumming's characters are colourful and familiar and yet unpredictable. A suspenseful thriller you have to add to your collection - it certainly won't sit on the shelf for long.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than A Spy By Nature, 15 July 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hidden Man (Paperback)
I enjoyed Charles Cumming's first book, A Spy By Nature, enormously, but The Hidden Man is even better. The complex plot revolves around two brothers whose father abandoned them when they were children to join MI6. Elegantly written and gripping from the first page to the last, I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who likes "intelligent" thrillers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read!, 21 Sep 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hidden Man (Paperback)
What on earth is "Ranald from Nr. Alresford, Hampshire" talking about? I couldn't disagree more with his reading of "The Hidden Man" which I found to be exciting both in terms of plot and writing style. In fact I wonder if he has actually read the novel as there is not one scene set in Paris and I cannot work out for the life of me to what he is referring when he writes, "his succint and surprisingly sex free stories of fragrant infidelity." I became a fan of Charles Cumming's writing after reading his impressive debut, "A Spy By Nature" and I found "The Hidden Man" more than lived up to its predecessor's example. Cumming continues to write about human relationships and internal conflict with incredible insight. Furthermore, the plot is superbly constructed and kept me on the edge of my seat right up until the last page. I highly recommend you ignore "Ranald" and buy a copy immediately.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surpsassing the genre, 30 May 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hidden Man (Paperback)
It can take a long time for so-called 'genre authors' to get the respect that their literary skills deserve. With his second book, Charles Cumming should win that battle. Espionage fans can relax, The Hidden Man' is a thriller - and a fine one - but the quality of the writing makes it much more than that. He has a real talent for bringing a scene or human face to life with one telling detail. The dialogue has both the natural swing and the uneasy depth of real speech. The storytelling is taut and gripping but never sacrifices truthfulness for plot. Readers of the first novel will notice themes re-appearing and being developed; the ever-shifting gap between appearance and reality, the way lies are woven into our most intimate relationships. It's great to read a writer who doesn't use these ideas as the jump-off point for pages of 'high-prose' but clearly sees that they are the stuff of life. With the hip young authors of the US + UK disappearing up their own neuroses, I believe that Genre is the last refuge of uncluttered writing that features real people. Graham Greene and John Le Carre set the worldwide standard for stories that combine intrigue with thoughtful investigations of the human character. Charles Cumming is one of the inheritors of that legacy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Hidden Man - review, 30 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Hidden Man (Kindle Edition)
Not bad, and probably good for the beach, but certainly the poorest Charles Cumming novel I've read. In mitigation, I did start off with very high expectations as CC is one of the best spy genre writers today. This one just did not grab me and tear me along like the others did.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surpassing the genre, 30 May 2003
This review is from: The Hidden Man (Paperback)
It can take a long time for so-called genre authors to get the wider respect their literary skills deserve. With his second book, Charles Cumming will win that battle. Espionage fans can relax, The Hidden Man is a thriller - and a fine one - but the quality of the writing makes it more than that. He has a real talent for picking out the telling detail of a scene or of a human face. The dialogue has both the easy rhythm and the depths of real speech. The storytelling is taut and gripping but never sacrifices truthfulness for the sake of plot. Readers of the first novel will notice themes re-appearing and being developed: the ever-shifting gap between appearance and reality, the way lies are woven into our most intimate relationships. It's great to read a a writer who doesn't use these things as the jump off point for pages of self-obsessed 'high prose', but clearly sees that they are the stuff of life. With the hip young authors of the US + UK disappearing up their own neuroses, I believe that genre is the last refuge of uncluttered writing that is about people. Graham Greene and John Le Carre set the worldwide standard for stories that combined intrigue with thoughtful investigations of the human character. Charles Cumming is the inheritor of that legacy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as expected, 3 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Hidden Man (Kindle Edition)
I have been spoiled reading other books by this author. This is very readable but not as good as The Spanish game and Spy by nature or A Foreign country. Shame really.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Hidden Man
The Hidden Man by Charles Cumming (Paperback - 24 April 2014)
£6.29
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews