The Prodigal Spy

The Prodigal Spy

Book - 1998
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An American State Department official, hounded by the McCarthyites in 1950, who proves them right by abruptly decamping to the Soviet Union in the middle of congressional hearings into his loyalty. The tale of Walter Koltar is told by his son Nick, both at the time of his disappearance, when Nick is a small boy not quite understanding what is happening to his father, and nearly 20 years later, when he receives a mysterious summons to visit his father, now living in Czechoslovakia, just after the illusory "Prague Spring" of 1968. Walter wants to return home and thinks he has a trump card that will make that possible. Will Nick help out?
Publisher: New York : Broadway Books, c1998
Edition: 1st ed
Description: 409 p. ; 25 cm
ISBN: 9780767901420
Branch Call Number: Kano


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Jul 25, 2015

J. Kanon's books, like "The Prodigal Spy", are easy reading and so entertaining one has trouble putting them down. However, due to their formulaic nature, I would not compare this author to John le Carre or Graham Greene, as some reviewers have done. I almost dread reaching the obligatory sex scene halfway through every novel. Is this really necessary? But I am always fascinated by the mix of fact and fiction in the stories. Less fascinated by the predictable good-to-bad-guy and vice versa characters. Mr. Kanon's characters are not nearly as subtly conflicted as John le Carre's. Nonetheless, I like reading this author.

JeremiahSutherland Jul 25, 2012

Not your average spy story. Worth reading.

Jul 02, 2010

Well written story blending the fictional 'collision' between a ranking state official and the McCarthy 'witch' hunt' of the fifties. Dripping with atmosphere of the times both in U.S and Europe when the story fast forwards to the time of the Vietnam War.

Very believable and moving characters examining some of the human costs of the Cold War.

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