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Husband, Lover, Spy: A True Story Hardcover – February, 1994

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pennington, a hostess on the TV game show The Price Is Right , married German mountain-climber Friedrich ("Fritz") Stammberger in 1974. The following year, while on an alleged climbing expedition where the borders of Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan converge, he disappeared and was never heard from again. Pennington made inquiries, but , she claims, the CIA informed her that her search compromised national security. In 1980 she met Carlos de Abreu, a native of Mozambique, and four years later, when Fritz was legally declared dead, they married. To exorcise her first husband's ghost, Pennington and de Abreu continued to investigate his fate. Their quest ended in Moscow, where they found hazy information suggesting that Fritz had been a CIA spy, was dead and buried in Afghanistan. The book is overlong, much of the suspense is artificially generated and the writing is compromised by sophomoric gush. Photos. Author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Custos Morum Pub; 1st edition (February 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 188402503X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884025037
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,582,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
Fritz Stammberger found the perfect wife in Janice Pennington: pretty, not overly smart, unquestioning, and willing to marry a foreigner about whom she knew very little after a courtship of mere weeks...The perfect wife for a spy. Even before Pennington suspected her husband of a secret life there was plenty suspect about Stammberger. The guy liked to go off and climb big mountains solo, san oxygen, and when he couldn't get a climbing permit he'd enter sensitive, dangerous areas of the world illegally, hiking in through rough, unpatrolled country to bag peaks. This alone would (statistics prove) have guaranteed him a life span shorter than the one he actually lived as a captured spy. Pennington's story is poorly written (she's s spokesmodel, what do you expect?) and she doesn't get it that whatever her husband was up to, whether he was a spy or not it was illegal and he WAS NOT a US citizen--being married to one does not count when it comes to risky rescue and investigations. She barely consults her husband's country for help, preferring to spend years (during which Stammberger was apparently still alive) chasing after US intelligence officers who--obviously--couldn't and weren't required to hand over any information about a German national's activities in dicey area of the world. What is surprising is that Pennington gets any resolution at all--really. She reminds me of Gennifer Flowers--tenacious, if a little dim. A weird story that would be much more palatable if Pennington had gotten a ghost author to help her with her 8th grade prose.
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Format: Paperback
I thought this was a great book and well written too. She wrote it along with husband Carlos de Abreu. It is such a riveting story! I read this book years ago and saved it. Just this year I read it again. It's like a mystery book to find out what happened to Fritz Stammberger. It's a real page turner and true stories are always so much better to read than fiction.
I may read it a third time some day!
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. It was so strange I actually read it twice and it was better the second go-round. The most interesting part of the book was the fact that Pennington's Husband was alive long after he left America and no one would really help in the search. Well written...yes but a little too dramatic at times. Don't let this stop you from reading this great book.
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Format: Audio Cassette
Whenever we look at celebrities, we think of their looks, their clothes, their wealth. We don't think much of them as people. We don't think they have to take out the garbage, do their own taxes, we don't think of them as having or capable of having the same emotions or going through an ordeal that never leaves us--the loss of a loved one and the struggle to rebuild a life. Janice Pennington not only endured this, but also summoned the courage to face the demons that accompany that searing kind of experience and then went on to smile each day as one of "Barker's Beauties" and find true love again. Those of us who have been through a similar experience can read her book and think of her as a kindred spirit, a beacon of hope as we read of her battle to learn the truth behind the death of her first true love, who later became one with her and with her soul. These are the bonds that death truly cannot conquer, for in her story we can read of her determination and her ultimate indominatability as a human being. It is a lesson of bravery we can learn from.
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Format: Paperback
I read this because I grew up watching the Price Is Right. The story is interesting if true. I've never recommended it to anyone.
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