Charles McCarry is considered by many to be the master of world-class spy fiction, garnering praise from peers and critics alike for his riveting novels. Christopher Buckley wrote that McCarry "is not only one of the best writers in America but one of the most important. He dazzles, from epigraph to epilogue," and the Los Angeles Times hailed his work as "first rate, in the tradition of the best espionage fiction, John Buchan to Eric Ambler and John le Carré."
In this magnificent novel, Charles McCarry returns to the world of his legendary character Paul Christopher-the savvy intelligence agent as skilled at choosing a fine wine as he is at tradecraft, at once sophisticated and dangerous, and no stranger to the world of dirty tricks.
Now Paul Christopher has mysteriously disappeared. Months pass and a memorial service is held for him in Washington. But a group of his retired colleagues - the "Old Boys" from the Outfit - refuse to believe Christopher is dead. Led by Christopher's cousin Horace, the Old Boys embark on a thrilling worldwide search for the master spy and an ancient scroll that may reveal an unspeakably dangerous truth.
Charles McCarry is the author of 10 critically acclaimed novels and nine nonfiction books. He is a former editor at large of National Geographic and has contributed dozens of articles, short stories, and poems to leading national magazines. His op-ed pieces and other essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. For 10 years he served under deep cover as a CIA operations officer.
©2004 Charles McCarry (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Old Boys is like the best parts of ten John le Carré novels all put together." (Time)
"Old Boys is, at heart, a lament for a dying generation of American spies, an elegy for the human twilight, Cocoon with a cloak and dagger." (Washington Post)
"McCarry's latest is an old-fashioned, rollicking adventure that beats Ludlum and Cussler at their own game...Tremendous fun." (Booklist)
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"A great and haunting book"
I just read the Old Boys a second time, and it is as fresh as the first time. Great reader, inventive plot, and a sadness that it was not twice as long. A memorable piece of fiction, written by a master.
"Couldn't Finish It"
I might consider another from this author but Mr Rudnicki's voice overwhems the storyline.
I just erased Old Boys from my Kindle and downloaded Scarecrow by Matthew Reilly.
The narrator's voice distracted me from the plot. I had to go back a few times.
"Contrived plot and characterization"
Someone who had not read The Last Supper would enjoy it more than I did.
The Last Supper by this author is one of my all-time favorite novels. Although drawn as dramatically original characters, the people were believable and thoroughly engaging. The character of Laurie, the mother, was among the most attractive and interesting. Old Boys, however, took this character beyond the bounds of any reasonableness, and I was thoroughly irritated by her role in Old Boys. While Le Carre is overtly misogynist, I kept thinking that McCarry was also displaying misogyny, but by turning a woman into a man. Without giving away the plot, I do not think there is any way the woman that McCarry created in The Last Supper would have acted as he portrayed her in Old Boys, especially as related to her son. I think he was performing dramatic gymnastics in order to bring her back and try to create a rational plot line. He failed. The plot line stretches the bounds of suspension of belief to bursting.
I can think of a dozen other plot lines that would have done this character justice. The subplot of the amphora manuscript is equally ridiculous and comes off equally contrived.
Although his voice is not pleasant to me, he is a very good reader. Changing the character of his voice to differentiate characters is not his forte; however he e does a reasonable and adequate job.
This book sparked deep disappointment. This was not a worthy sequel to The Last Supper.
I would still give other McCarry books a chance, but only because of the perfection of The Last Supper.
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