Monday, June 20, 2011

A spy novel with a fairy-tale ending ...

... Well, except for the people who died. Still, who'd have thunk it?

A few last thoughts about David Ignatius' Bloodmoney (previously discussed here and here), whose action centers on Pakistan, and whose main players are the CIA, an organization within the CIA, Pakistan's ISI agency, and various figures attached more closely or less to those intelligence services:
  • The book strikes a nice balance between geopolitics and human interest. I cared about the characters, but always for reasons related to their roles in the main action.
  • Ignatius has characters muse a time or two on the ubiquity of American power. These musings are never obtrusive.
  • Ignatius manages the impressive feat of eliciting sympathy and goodwill toward a billionaire who, furthermore, made his money in high finance. Read the book, report back to this space, and we'll discuss this character.  
  • I found two small typographical errors in the novel, though nothing like the mistakes one friend of DBB found in one of Ignatius' previous books. That reviewer, though, called Ignatius a "gifted and intelligent" thriller writer. He was right.
© Peter Rozovsky 2011

Labels: , , ,

10 Comments:

Blogger Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

I had never heard of this writer, but you might find the interview, where art seems to mirror life interesting, as I did.

"theworld.org/2010/07/david-ignatius-spy-novels-echo-saga-of-iranian-scientist/"

Also, just in passing, life has returned to normal in Cairo, as a useful site, Downtowntraveller.com, is pleased to report.

(Have put a definitive stop to live linking, in an experiment to see if it speeds surfing up.)

June 20, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks. A scientist figures in this novel, too. Ignatius must have a thing for scientists as the focus of spys' interest.

June 20, 2011  
Anonymous Liz V. said...

An organization to which we could belong --
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7933560-the-great-typo-hunt

June 20, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

If you think there's a need for that sort of thing.

June 20, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ignatius confuses the Command and General Staff School with the Army War College. The AWC is in Carlisle PA. not Leavenworth KS.

June 20, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks; you're right. Ignatius says in an afterword that he writes about a Pakistan of his imagination rather than about the real country. Perhaps he'd say the same about his treatment of the U.S. military's advanced education system.

I'm a copy editor at a newspaper, and I cringe when I get certain stories because I know I will have to check every factual assertion, no matter how small. Someone should have done that with Ignatius' book. I wonder how experienced a proofreader/copy editor was assigned Bloodmoney and how much time that editor was given to do his or her job.

June 20, 2011  
Anonymous solo said...

Ignatius manages the impressive feat of eliciting sympathy and goodwill toward a billionaire who, furthermore, made his money in high finance. Read the book, report back to this space, and we'll discuss this character

Haven't read the book, Peter, but ignorance never stopped me before, so I don't see why it should now.

From one of Ignatius's articles:

One of the reasons to come to Davos is to listen to Soros, the financier turned philanthropist.

Just curious, Peter. Does the billionaire in Bloodmoney bear any resemblance to Soros?

June 20, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Not that I could tell. He is American, but he's no philanthropist, and his name would not suggest Greek ancestry. Nor does he brim with ideas for making the world a better place. One can conclude, though, that Ignatius does not condemn wealth for its own sake.

June 20, 2011  
Anonymous solo said...

One can conclude, though, that Ignatius does not condemn wealth for its own sake

Guess his job at the WaPo is safe, then.

My only objection to wealth is I don't have enough of it myself.

June 20, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Much of us object for the same reasons. Still, it's rare to see really rich guys as good guys or victims in crime writing. This character is-- but then, I don't want to give away too much.

June 20, 2011  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home