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VINE VOICEon October 13, 2010
I have read all of Vince Flynn's works about Mitch Rapp and found this one to be the link that I had been waiting for. We have learned how lethal Mitch can be, how different he is from all the rest because of raw talent in the world of espionage. But where did he come from? How did he get to be the best?

The story starts with Irene Kennedy recruiting Mitch from the real world instead of from one of the Military Services. She brings him into the program, behind the back of Stan Hurley their training expert. As Kennedy drops Mitch in Hurley's lap you catch from that moment on that there is not going to be a good friendly outcome. As a matter of fact Hurly is going to do everything he can to be sure that this college puke, as he calls him, washes out and washes out quickly.

Unfortunately Mitch is much better than any of them imagined. Hurley is embarrassed and angered as well as thrown into conflict with his superiors. But as the training goes on and on Mitch proves that he has a mind for this type of work. He has the talent to do the job, and he has the humility to admit what he needs to learn and then put himself into learning (that comes out at the firing range).

In this book we get a better handle on Thomas Stansfield, Irene Kennedy, Stan Hurley and Lewis the psychologist. We also learn much more about the mindset behind Mitch Rapp. He and the psychologist have several conversations. What's the difference between revenge and retribution? When is it just to kill someone? Are you just acting out of anger and personal revenge or are you acting out of patriotism?

As you proceed from training to spy craft you will be drawn in to every aspect of this book. I just got the book yesterday and couldn't put it down.

Vince Flynn does a great job of developing his characters, building the story, setting the stage for the next thing that will happen and then throwing in the unexpected. You will enjoy every minute of this read.

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on October 14, 2010
I have read a few reviews about this book and wholeheartedly agree. The content is so so for a Mitch Rapp book and the publisher should be ashamed for putting out basically a Kindle version that is basically a first draft. The constant mis spellings and malapropisms become overwhelming. Here's the deal. The publisher, Atria, is charging basically the same price for the Kindle and Hardcover versions and making an exorbitant profit on the Kindle version as there are no distribution, sales or return costs, yet they give us a crap version that is very irritating to read. And you wonder why the publishers cry and whine about the "new publishing model" that is killing their profits. They need to wake up and give us a better product to justify their outrageous profits. They should be ashamed of this shoddy version.
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on October 14, 2010
Excellent book so far, 3/4 done. But I am continually distracted by all of the typos; too many words, misspelled words, etc. If I had spent a year of my life putting this work together I would be LIVID with Atria Books and their inept proof-reading department!!!!! Inexcusable!!!! I read a lot of books and have never seen anything like this. A New York Times bestselling author and one of the largest book publishers in the country???? Hopefully, the second printing will improve.
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on December 10, 2010
I shall simply say that I read 'constantly' and although I enjoyed the book, the PUBLISHER should be so ashamed.
In all of my years and years and ...... years............. I have NEVER seen such a poorly proofed publication. Refund our money and feel the pain!!!
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on November 21, 2010
Vince Flynn normally writes a pretty good story. I've read every single one and I don't think he disappointed us with this one. The entertainment value is definitely there. American Assassin brings us a well thought out prequel to the Mitch Rapp beginnings. His editor and publisher, well they severely disappointed us this time.

While the story is there, the entertainment value that I paid for got really annoying with this book. By the end of the book I was pretty amazed that any publisher would release this story so badly edited. I almost want to go through it again just to count all the grammatical errors. At one point in Chapter 54, which covers a conversation between Ridley and Rapp, a paragraph contains "Hurley pointed up to the overhang". While I think the story is referencing Ridley pointing to the overhang, I DID have to reread the paragraph at least 3 times to figure out OH, IT'S JUST ANOTHER OF THE MANY EDITING MISTAKES IN THIS BOOK!!!

Why should I continue reading an author's stories that I'm paying money for when the publisher can't respect us as readers? I may seriously reconsider the purchase of the next Vince Flynn novel and that would be a shame because I really like Flynn's stories.
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on October 28, 2010
I will never again make the mistake of not checking the Amazon reader comments before buying a hardback novel! My only excuse is that, being a great fan of Vince Flynn's work, I could not imagine him turning out a story that was hardly worth reading.

Mr. Flynn's success has been due to his skill in giving the public plot-driven novels featuring Mitch Rapp in nearly continuous "scenes's we'd like to see" action. In "American Assassin" he decided to add a huge dose of character development. He set out to do so by showing how Rapp became what he is. Unfortunately, character-driven novels are usually more boring than the plot-driven variety, as in John le Carré's recent books. They are certainly not what Mr. Flynn's readers want, even if well executed, which this effort was not. About half the book consisted of flashbacks that were juvenile, unbelievable, and filled with hokey dialogue. In the process almost every imaginable device was used to tug at the reader's heartstrings, most of them obvious. The only thing that might have been missed was to have provided Rapp with a twin sister who was tortured and killed by terrorists. It was only hope that the flashbacks would soon end that kept me reading. But no, I had to continue wading through things like: "Lewis looked down at his World War II Elgin A-11 U.S. military watch. His father had given it to him on his deathbed three years earlier." (Shades of Tom Clancy at his worst). At least Mr. Le Carré's clever prose can make even a boring read somewhat entertaining. On page 141 it looked like things might pick up, but then bogged down again. The situation was made even worse by poor decisions on when to switch from flashbacks to current action, and from one set of characters to another.

The book did eventually offer a glimpse of the Mitch Rapp that causes us to buy the books. Unfortunately, those sightings were brief and, although many readers like myself are quite willing to suspend a certain amount of belief, the ending was just not credible. Then, to compound insult into ignominy the book was literally crammed with typos, misspellings, grammatical errors, and left out words. I seldom find more than one or two such problems in most novels. With American Assassin there were often that many in each chapter! Did anyone with any editorial expertise actually read the thing before it went to print? In any case, next time Mr. Flynn might want to at least skim the final product before producing the usual syrupy acknowledgments.
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on November 7, 2010
I am a huge fan of Vince Flynn and have read all of the Mitch Rapp books. As always, I was anxious to download American Assassin as soon as it was available. Having seen Flynn on Imus promoting the book, it sounded like such a good idea to take the reader back to the beginning of Rapp's career. So much for the great idea. What a disappointment! First of all, what's the deal with the Kindle price? That's the most I've ever paid for an electronic book. And then, who's in charge of proofreading? I've never seen so many errors in a book. It really got irritating. But I could have overlooked the high price and mistakes if the book had been on par with some of Flynn's best Rapp books. However, this one was such a letdown. I felt like Flynn must have been up against a deadline because it had such a lousy and abrupt ending. Even if the book followed the usual theme of Rapp, the stud, saves the day and the bad guys lose (which it did), couldn't Flynn have added more action and intrique to the end? I don't know where the author goes from here with the Mitch Rapp series but, unless he can do better than this latest attempt, maybe it would be best for all of us Mitch Rapp fans if both Flynn and Rapp call it a day.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 13, 2010
`American Assassin' presents the beginnings of Mitch Rapp and the groundwork of his career. Mitch Rapp begins his adventures with the CIA in this book, and learns, quickly, of course the tricks and hazards of the trade, both in the training grounds of Virginia, in Europe and the middle east. As usual the story is filled with action. At times the standard hopping back and forth in the time line from past to present, of training, and the mission and in the torture chambers of Beirut can lead to some confusion, even wondering at times who it is that has been captured.

Vince Flynn knows the people and style, the philosophy of his characters. He communicates their thoughts and actions so well that the reader feels as if he knows the men and women who populate his books. He also interjects their `insider phrases' so that it lends credence to the work; whether you know who/what a snake eater is, since there is no explanation - it still fits in the story line, but lends realism to those familiar with military slang.

Flynn does a credible job of explaining how a loose cannon like Mitch Rapp becomes an established, usable agent. But still there is no one who writes modern day thrillers like Vince Flynn. Probably the worst thing about his new novels is that I wind up reading until 3 am in the morning, since it is hard to put them down.
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VINE VOICEon October 12, 2010
Ever wondered what it would be like to witness the beginnings of an F-5 tornado? Or a category 5 hurricane? Ever wondered how a Megalodon looks at birth? Beautiful destruction. A controlled chaotic force of nature. Mitch Rapp. What could have been the catalyst that helped create one of America's deadliest assassins? After eleven years and equal as many books, Vince gives us one hell of a definitive look into Mitch's past. And it's so good it's like watching... (insert the favorite thing you would like to see) here. Throughout his previous books we get bits and pieces of how Mitch was "created", but not in one ecstasy induced adrenalin shot like this. Early on Rapp has to put up with verses. Rapp vs. Victor. Rapp vs. Hurley. Rapp vs. Lewis. And finally Rapp vs. the world.

Before you start reading one of the best books of 2010, Vince writes that he's been waiting to tell this story for fifteen years. And it shows; on every damn page. Vince had fun with this one y'all. From Kennedy's so called clandestine operation to scope out Mitch, to Mitch's first run in with Hurley, to watching Mitch go through the toughest training this side of Parris Island. In the summer. Wearing wool. With Satan. With an abscessed tooth. With nothing to eat but jawbreakers. However, what makes Mitch so special is that he is that extremely special freak of nature who is equipped to go toe-to-toe with Satan in the heat and humidity of the deep South.

Most of us have skills suited to our job. People that love math steer toward accounting. People that love writing become authors. People that love figuring things out become engineers. People that love dishing pain become dentists. But in all these professions you don't need to have "over the top" talent. You don't need to be a prodigy. Study hard, practice, take out enough student loans to choke King Kong, graduate, interview, and get a job is the normal path. Not with Mitch. These cowardly terrorist were created and in order to balance yin and yang, the universe created Mitch. He is the Assassin prodigy, and he's on our side.

Giotto drew the perfect circle. In 1991 the Andrea Gail was caught in the perfect storm. Zoe Saldana has the perfect body. Hillary Clinton is the perfect bitch. Popcorn is the perfect snack. Rootbeer is the perfect drink. Mitch Rapp is the perfect weapon to decimate the chickenhearted harbingers of "peace". Vince is the perfect author to bring about such a character. When I recommend this book I'm not sure where to tell people to start reading. In series order or publication order? It's actually really nice to see how Mitch started but I also got a kick out of hearing about Hurley. His parents must have given that name because it rhymes with `surly'. As you read, certain things start to fall in place from his previous novels and the storyline. So I guess it will be just preference as to where people will start. I, for one, am glad that I previously read Vince's other books because it was nice to have that foreground to understand the background.

Mitch is one bad (shut-yo-mouth), I'm just talking `bout Rapp. Ya' damn right! `American Assassin' keeps with the thriller as only Mr. Flynn can create and like I said earlier, this will easily fit in your "best books of 2010".
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on May 2, 2011
Just finished this version and have to agree with some of the others as far as typos and using too many "flowery'" words and phrases. In the last third there is even a "HUH?" moment when a character is referred to as Hurley, whom the terrorists have captured. Had to read a few times and backtrack to clear it up. The reference to Grisham is because early, Grisham's books were tightly written and a pleasure to read. Slowly they became predictable and my interest faded. This work by Mr. Flynn is nowhere near his past offerings, it won't take too many more like this one for the interest to be lost. In Mr. Flynn's defense, he really shouldn't have to "work" any longer.
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