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Old 03-10-2016, 10:15 AM View Post #1 (Link) The Billion Dollar Spy by David E. Hoffman
Emanresu (Offline)
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 23
Points: 5
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NOTE: This is the very first review that I've ever published, and book is the first one I've ever read by this particular author (David E. Hoffman). Normally, I would read other books by an author into order to get a 'feel' of who the author is what what he tries to say. I also tend to focus on the artistic ability of an author, rather than reviewing whether the 'riveting storyline' - as a reviewer, I feel it is my responsibility to tell a book, rather than a story (to which the person themselves can find out). However, I was entranced enough by 'The Billion Dollar Spy' that I feel like the book itself is already a testament to his writing ability. Therefore, expect some biases or whatnot that may appear in this review. Enjoy.

The Billion Dollar Spy is a non-fiction spy novel by David E. Hoffman, chronicling the Cold War through the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s. As the pages turn, this story pays particular attention to the 1970s and 1980s - specifically, the story of a Soviet engineer named Adolf Georgievich Tolkachev who cooperates the then-troubled CIA Moscow station and - over a period of six years - produced well over a billion dollars worth of intelligence for the United States. Hence the title 'The Billion Dollar Spy'.

Personally, it is rare for me to give enthused praise to a book, as I've already have a large collection of books in my shelve and my bedroom prior to reading it. However, I could not help it but see that there is something special in this book that is undeniably 'good'. So where to start? The well-paced story full of suspense, twists and turns? The deftly created world of words? Of oh-so-very-believeable clandestine tradecraft techniques that makes the brain sting around? Perhaps the real appeal of this book is that it's not purely an 'suspected commie makes a heel-face turn' story - it's a tale of two countries, of mistrust, of the past 'glory days' of dangerous spying. A very emotional tale, at that, that makes this book even more viscerally pleasing. It gives to life the people out of the dead, dried wood about the fear, the adrenaline, and the tragedy of nearly every person mentioned by name in the book - the engineer dared, and (possible spoiler?) paid quite dearly in the end. And in the end, was it worth it? All of the danger for a country that - as history tells - soon is erased (maybe?) It's very, very hard to say.

Of the many, many books that I've read over the years, 'The Billion Dollar Spy' has to be one of the best non-fictions that I've ever read. I honestly do not know anything bad, writing-wise, in this book. Personally, it is testament to a Pulitzer-prize winning author about his ability to write. While I don't want to accentuate the negative, I don't want to leave the impression that this is the absolute best book ever (which, If I have to be honest, comes pretty close in my opinion), I'd like to have the readers themselves check out the book.

Thank you very much, I hope I did this book review correctly!

-Emanresu
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Old 03-12-2016, 03:47 AM View Post #2 (Link)
Emanresu (Offline)
Novice Writer
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 23
Points: 5
Times Thanked: 0
50+ views?? This is amazing! Thank you all for reading my first review!
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