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on 24 July 2012
This is a well written, revealing account of M16, in the days when the agency was still mired in the self defeating secrecy of the Cold War. Tomlinson portrays an organisation of suffocating bureaucracy, snobbery, laziness, internal bickering and inefficiency; it is more Yes Minister than James Bond. This might not be wholly fair - there must, surely, have been Bond like figures, SAS crossed with Oxbridge Firsts - but Tomlinson does not appear to have met them. Overall, a fascinating book.
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on 11 February 2016
Good book, dropped it halfway, boring person
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on 28 May 2016
A really good read. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
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on 28 March 2004
Richard Tomlinson is an ordinary bloke in an ordinary world, he is highly intelligent and so gets admitted to Cambridge university, there he studies engineering and has a sought after career as a navy pilot until he gets approached by a Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) scout with an offer to join MI6. At first Tomlinson turns the offer down, not looking for a desk job and wanting to pursue a career in the armed forces. He completes an amazing array of training with the S.A.S before evening reconsidering joining the SIS. After coming back from back tracking around the world, Tomlinson realises that in order to live and pay the bills, he needed a proper job that paid him a good salary, he decides to take up the offer made by MI6 in his uni. years. He lives a life full of shroud and mystery for 4 years until without any reason, he is kicked out of MI6, however instead of taking the dismissal and going back to a desk job in London, he fights his case for unfair dismissal. This is where the real heart of the Big Breach begins as a huge MI6 man hunt begins and Tomlinson is forced to go hiding out around the globe, being arrested and thrown out countries due to MI6's huge powers around the world. This book is a real eye opener as it shows how really powerful MI5 and 6 are, they are the police of the world, they can do what they life and when they want to do it. If they decide that a man is going to die, that man is as good as dead. It is clear that if Tomlinson had not published this book, the SIS would have killed him, without the public being any the wiser. A good read and an excellent insight into the world of MI6 and how the operations and training work.
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on 15 October 2014
Arrived quickly and as described.
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on 5 November 2014
Read it years ago and loved it. You had the career I thought I wanted - and am now very glad I avoided - and I appear to have had the career you wanted!
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on 21 May 2016
Fantastic book!
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on 17 August 2015
very good read
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on 16 February 2002
According to this book, Tomlinson was born to be a spy and work at MI6. Nothing else would stimluate his enormous brain enough. From his early childhood adventures through to his MI6 training, he was a natural. However, it's a pity for him that the personnel department in MI6 didn't share the same view. He comes across as being somewhat big headed.
As Tomlinson recalls his recruitment to the service and the subsequent training and missions, the first 2/3 of the book plods along at a fairly pedestrian pace and is quite boring in parts. It is only when he is suddenly kicked out that it starts to get slightly interesting. Even then, it is not a book that I would say that is hard to put down.
Not what I was expecting
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on 28 December 2015
Excellent
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