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Summary

Just who were the three men the Soviet and American superpowers exchanged on Berlin's Glienicke Bridge on February 10, 1962? Bridge of Spies is the true story of those men - Rudolf Abel, a Soviet Spy who was a master of disguise; Gary Powers, an American who was captured when his spy plane was shot down; and Frederic Pryor, a young American doctor mistakenly identified as a spy.

The men in this three-way political swap had been drawn into the nadir of the Cold War by duty and curiosity, and the same tragicomedy of errors that induced Khrushchev to send missiles to Castro. They were rescued against daunting odds by fate and by their families, and then all but forgotten.

This is their story.

©2010 Giles Whittell (P)2011 Soundings

What members say

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  • Mr.
  • Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • 13-04-18

Beyond dull.

A lash up of basic Cold War history, any of which could be accessed from Wikipedia without taxing anyone's brain, and a few moronic conspiracy tropes chucked into the mix. The narration just about copes with the porridge like prose, but the Archangel Gabriel couldn't make this sound anything more than average. I watched the truly awful film and thought the source material couldn't possibly be worse, but I was wrong about that. Sententious, pretentious, infantile. A proper con job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Didn’t excite me

It started ok. But got boring really quickly and kept jumping from different years to people for no reason.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting, very good narrator. Good read

Well narrated. Interesting subject. In depth without being boring good read for any cold war fans

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  • Teresa
  • Listowel, Ireland
  • 01-12-15

Excellent start to finish

Would you consider the audio edition of Bridge of Spies to be better than the print version?

I would but only as I haven't had a chance to read the hardcopy. This has been my commuting companion.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Donovan as he had great nerve and went up against two superpowers. In the first instance he tried to defend Abel or Fischer as we come to know him instead of pretending like the US government wanted him to. Again when he negotiated with Soviets and the with CIA when he wanted priors.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

This is an historic event so I enjoyed the ingenuity shown by Donovan when dealing with bureaucrats.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both.

Any additional comments?

This is a wonderful story with a bittersweet ending. The cold war made everyone a little crazy. No one except Donovan came off smelling of Roses.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Captures the Cold War Era perfectly.

Would you listen to Bridge of Spies again? Why?

Yes, the narrative is great & the level of detail is superb.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Powers - a great insight into those finding themselves not only on the front line of the secret side of the Cold War but also thrust into the limelight.

What does Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He's a great narrator & his delivery is a please to listen to.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

A few raised eyebrow moments.

Any additional comments?

I only hope the film does justice to this production.

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Cracking cold war stuff

Any additional comments?

Exciting and pacy, this is an excellent cold war thriller, focusing on the personal stories that brought three people to that most quintessential spy moment - the exchange on the bridge.

The only slow moments are those which follow Frederic Pryor, the third person in the exchange. His story has to be included for completeness, but he comes across as a rather naive dilettante who got in over his head, and all we really care about is Gary Powers and Rudolf Abel.

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  • Anthony Taylor
  • 24-03-14

Gripping - far better then expected.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I downloaded this book on a whim, wasn't expecting that much but it turned out to be a gripping read/listen. One of the best audio books I've downloaded.

What other book might you compare Bridge of Spies to and why?

If you like history, particularly the cold war era, then this book would be a great listen. The explanation of the U2 incident was excellent and I learnt a lot.

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Keeble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Great narration, adds a great deal to the book.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Nope!