From Publishers Weekly
Mimicking many nonfiction books about the CIA, Weisberg, a former CIA officer, has included a blizzard of redacted (blacked out) words and sentences in his second novel (after 10th Grade
), as if the agency's publications review board had worked the manuscript over with a heavy hand. Did they? Or is it just a clever ploy for verisimilitude? Mark Ruttenberg, a newly minted agent, is on his first foreign assignment trying to persuade citizens of an unknown country (the location has been redacted) to spy for American interests. He's doing well until he starts sleeping with one of his contacts and his superiors eventually fire him. Back in America, Ruttenberg meets another cashiered spy, Bobby Goldstein, and the two men share their experiences. Ruttenberg and Goldstein may be pretty ordinary spies, as the title suggests, but their stories compel, thanks to the author's deft prose and insider expertise. Given the quantity of blacked-out material, some readers may be more annoyed than intrigued as they puzzle over the missing information. (Jan.)
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"Wholly original.”—Los Angeles Times
“Weisberg, a former C.I.A. agent, skillfully maintains a tension-filled plot and offers a humanistic spin on the typical spy story, sensitively portraying the pain of risking lives for the sake of ambition.”—New Yorker
“In a spare but beautifully written book, Weisberg captures the paranoia and frustration, if not the futility, of the real world of spying.”—Newsweek
“The best of new American spy fiction.”—Chicago Tribune
“Recalls G raham G reene’s comic Our Man in Havana
…An odd, well-written and interesting novel, a low-key corrective to all the razzle-dazzle spy tales we’ve read.”—Washington Post
“A superb CIA novel.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“A well-wrought, beautifully crafted, incisive book…a remarkably honest and revealing picture of those who shouldn't have become spies in the first place. ”—Washington Times