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Summary

The Matarese Circle are the Corsican Brotherhood. Terrifying killers, their power could plunge the world into chaos and destruction within two years. Only two rival spies - and one mysterious woman - can stop them. Brandon Scofield, CIA, and the West's most professional assassin, and Vasili Taleniekov, former KGB, now wanted by the Politburo. They share a genius for espionage - and a life of terror and explosive violence. Sworn enemies, Scofield and Taleniekov have vowed to terminate each other, but now they must become allies. Because only they possess the brutal skills and ice-cold nerves vital to destroy an international circle of killers: the Matarese....

Read by Michael Prichard. Michael Prichard has played several thousand characters during his career. While he has been seen performing over a hundred of them in theatre and film, SmartMoney Magazine named him one of the Top Ten Golden Voices.

©1979 Robert Ludlum (P)2012 Random House Audio

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A favourite brought to life

One of my favourite of Ludlums books and it is great to have it brought to life as an audiobook. Well worth a listen

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing on several levels

I've given 4 stars for the performance of this audiobook. It's not so much the narrator's voice that is the problem as the quality of the recording. This was taken from an old (ooooold!!) audio recording, possibly done in the 80s or 90s. In some places, you can hear where it gets to 'the end of side 1' because the audio becomes a little muffled. In fact, there is one part (perhaps in chapter 24) where it gets so bad that they brought in another narrator to re-record a fragment. And because of the way the audiobooks were originally presented (enough to fill a C60 or C90 cassette) vs how they are presented here (each chapter is a separate file), halfway through a chapter you can tell that there was a break in the original where the narrator had to pause and have a rest.
I first came across Michael Prichard as a narrator many years ago, with a recording of the Bourne Identity. To begin with, I thought his delivery was flat and lifeless... It is, in a way, but for me he is now the gold standard. His delivery is perfect. It was only a few weeks ago that I came across a picture of him, and he looked absolutely nothing like the man I had in my head.

As for the book itself.... Urgh. Ludlum can write well, but then he can get bogged down in (ultimately) meaningless detail. If it was a physical book, you'd be skim reading, flipping pages until you got back to the actual story. As an audiobook, you just kind of have to sit there (or walk around) and take it. The bones of the story are good, but sometimes there's way too much padding. And then - without giving too much away - there are the peculiarities of a Ludlum book. Ludlum probably never visited England, but he has in his mind a certain way the English behave and --- most distractingly --- speak. And then when it comes to female-characters-who-become-love-interests, they always resort to things like 'oh my darling'. I can only imagine how I must look as I walk around town rolling my eyes.

This isn't a bad book (the 3rd Bourne Book - the Bourne Ultimatum is absolutely atrocious) but it definitely would have benefited from a more courageous editor who would have made Ludlum trim the excess.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of Ludlums best.

I've read most of Ludlums work. I thoroughly enjoy his craft and storytelling. Well worth a read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I loved it

Engrossed from first to last page
Excellent, early Ludlum books are best, we!! Written and hugely enjoyable, VERY WELL READ,

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

an old favourite worth a listen read it years ago

the recording seems to change in tone and voice several times but still easy to listen too


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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Genius at work

What did you like most about The Matarese Circle?

The story drags you in from the very first page narrated. It is a story with a lot of detail but which runs so fluidly that you take it all in and just can't help wanting more.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Cameron Price, Beowolfs replacement in the Agency, He's a fun character and yet bold and hard at the same time. I think a good candidate for a story or two of his own.

Which character – as performed by Michael Prichard – was your favourite?

Again, cameron price

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

where Sergei, brandons ex nemesis gives his life for him.

Any additional comments?

A truly excellent rendition by Michael Pritchard once more.