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The Assassination Bureau, Ltd. (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin) [Kindle Edition]

Jack London , Robert L. Fish , Donald E. Pease
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $4.01 (29%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

London’s suspense thriller focuses on the fine distinction between state- justified murder and criminal violence in the Assassination Bureau—an organization whose mandate is to rid the state of all its enemies.



Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Left unfinished at the time of London's 1916 death at age 40, this thriller was completed by Robert L. Fish and published in 1963. The plot follows Ivan Dragomiloff, who, in a twist of fate, finds himself pitted against the secret assassination agency he founded.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Jack London (1876–1916) published an enormous number of stories and novels, including The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Martin Eden.

Product Details

  • File Size: 280 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (October 1, 1994)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000OIZT9K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,704 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Assassination Bureau March 22, 2000
Format:Paperback
London supposedly "wrote himself into a corner" in the plot of this story, or else he hadn't the time to finish it, but the resolution by Fish is not only an entertaining conclusion (despite a certain abrupt removal of a key character), but is so similar to London's writing style and his familiarities so that the author transfer is indeterminable. The best part of the book as a whole, as all Londonites will agree, is the simple philisophical dialogue exchanged between characters. For those who are seeking a die-hard, man vs. nature conflict, you still won't be disappointed with the primitiveness of the characters (philisophical, mad, and fanatic) and their interaction with a civilized world that doesn't quite match the truths that they hold to be dear. An excellent read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About life,death,honor, right, wrong, justice, prinicples September 24, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I would compare it to Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday. Sometimes it seems like a silly game, at other times it's the answer to deep philosophical questions. You must suspend your belief a little and accept the premises. The Assination Bureau is based on certain rules. It tries to perform social rights by doing what could well be considered wrongs: executions of anti-social baddies. But there's a big difference between murder-for-hire (no matter how "justified") and capital punishment by a real government. Playing by the rules of the game, London sets up a clever situation where the organization must destroy itself to be true to its own principles. But as men of principle and reason they whole heartedly embrace their own destruction. Should rationality be held to be of a higher importance than life? Is playing by the rules more important than survival? When does rationality become irrational or irrationality look rational? Though not always convincing, this book asks and answers many interesting questions.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Men of principle--even if it kills them April 20, 1998
Format:Paperback
This book reads a little bit like a precursor to the novels of Ayn Rand. A group of men espouse almost impossible ideals, and then try to live up to them at any cost--or in this case, kill or die for them. The title refers to a group of well educated idealists at the turn of the century who are contract murderers, but only if they agree that the murder is morally justified. A potential client visits them and offers a contract--to kill the head of their agency. Strangely, the executive, Ivan Dragomiloff, finds this to be justified, sends out the order for his own death, and then spends the rest of the book in a deadly cat-and-mouse game with the men he has trained so well. This book was made into an entertaining, but not very deep, movie, around 1970, starring Oliver Reed, Telly Savalas, and Diana Rigg.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars great concept, but April 25, 2003
Format:Paperback
the plot in this book is very interesting. the bureau in question is adminitrated towards killing people who "deserves" it. their clients have to convince the leader that the person deserves to be killed. a man shows up and convinces the leader that it is HIM (the leader) that deserves to be killed, and this person agrees at last. interesting concept. but after a while the plot gets less interesting. L doesn't seem to manage his own idea, and things end up just sort of happening. not his best.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!! March 23, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is one of the most interesting and mind grabbing that I have ever read! It brought me back from a reading hitus that I had suffered for over a year; it reminded me of how much I love books!
The story is about Dragomiloff creating his bureau and justifying the assasinations they carry out. One man challenges him and proves Dragomiloff that his bureau's work is wrong. This causes Dragomiloff to send his bureau after himself, for his assassination.
This book is truly one of his best ever and should be read by everyone, espically the people who think that London writes only about the artic. This is an intreaguing read full of twists and turns. I would reccomend it to anyone.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good read April 11, 2002
By Jo Anne
Format:Paperback
I read this book after seeing the movie because I'm an Oliver Reed fan, like so many books, the movie version is so different. But I still enjoyed reading this book, written a long time ago (for me) some parts were quite difficult to read in this drama about a group of assassins who are payed to kill their leader, the film continues in a chase to find the member of the bureau who would kill Dragomiloff the leader, or to see if he successfully managed to eliminate all of them. Seeing the film first, I do prefer the film but still find this a very enjoyable read.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting for London fans only. February 19, 2000
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jack London stopped writing this book, because he felt he couldn't resolve the situation satisfactorly. I believe that could be because the entire book is based on a very weak and confusing premise. What was the argument that convinced the head of the Bureau that their work was wrong? I read the passage which presented the argument several times, and I am still unclear on this point. Almost 60 years after London's death, Robert Fish, supposedly using the notes of London and London's wife, took on the chore of completing this chase drama and wrote approximately the last 60 pages of this 160 page story. At the end of the book, we are told at what point Fish took over from London and London's and his wife's notes are given. What I find very interesting, is that Fish's ending is a vast improvement on the notes. I am a London fan and collect his first editions, but I beleive if he had completed this book following his notes, it might have been his worst effort. Fish, at least, keeps the excitement high as he picks up the pace of the chase, and brings it to a logical conclusion. But, I still wouldn't recommend this book to anyone other than London fanatics, mainly because of the inadequate and incomprehensible premise the resulting story is based on.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Destructive Logic
As the notes in the preface explain, Jack London purchased the idea for the novel (along with 13 others) from fellow author Sinclair Lewis for $70, wrote 20,000 words and then... Read more
Published 1 month ago by L. King
3.0 out of 5 stars This little novelette is a fun – but also challenging – piece of work
This little novelette is a fun – but also challenging – piece of work. Is it Jack London’s best work? No. Far from it. Read more
Published 7 months ago by R. Russell Bittner
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool theories
I've read and enjoyed this book several times. The mix of philosophical discussion and action isn't one I come across often. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Andrea Hofer
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think . . .
I love this book despite its shortcomings. London himself never finished this novel, and the book has much less description that you'd find in his other works. Read more
Published 22 months ago by SK
1.0 out of 5 stars In stock when ordered but cancelled due to being out of stock
I made the mistake of lending this book out. When it wasn't returned I figured I could get a replacement on Amazon. I found it and ordered it with a few other books. Read more
Published 23 months ago by D. Burwick
5.0 out of 5 stars QUALITY OF MOVIE
I FOUND THIS MOVIE TO BE JUST AS FUNNY TODAY AS I DID WHEN I ORIGINALLY WATCHED IT. I RECOMMEND IT FOR PEOPLE TO GET IT.
Published 23 months ago by BARBARA HOFFMAN
4.0 out of 5 stars A philosophical thriller
The Assassination Bureau, Ltd. is a novel that was begun by Jack London in 1910 but left unfinished at the time of his death. Read more
Published on October 22, 2012 by Karl Janssen
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read. Not like the film.
This is a good read. It is a wild tale of madness and morality. It is only vaguely like the film . I couldn't tell where the original finished and the modern author finalised the... Read more
Published on January 1, 2012 by justin
1.0 out of 5 stars A Review of the Sample
This is not a review of Jack London's "The Assassination Bureau, Ltd." but rather of a glitch in the Kindle sample system. Read more
Published on September 19, 2010 by LJO
1.0 out of 5 stars TERRIBLE
Apparently, this unfinished novel was found in the deceased Jack London's trunk. Trying to cash in on JL's name, Robert L. Fish, "finishes" the book. Read more
Published on November 4, 2003 by Jeff Howard
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