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Inside the Aquarium: Making of a Top Soviet Spy Mass Market Paperback


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (December 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042509474X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425094747
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #794,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Readers of the author's Inside Soviet Intelligence will be further enlightened by this brisk, readable account of his recruitment and training as an agent of Russia's ultra-secret GRU intelligence group. Suvorov, a tank-company commander when he was selected for army spy work, recounts his early low-level days as an officer in various posts (tracking NATO troop movements, working with saboteurs, etc.), then describes his three years at the GRU's secret training academy in Moscow and subsequent assignments at the agency's headquarters (the "Aquarium") and as an agent in Vienna and elsewhere. Suvorov, who now lives in England, recalls the testing and screening by stern, ruthless superiors, and offers many insights into Soviet information-gathering abroad. Conservative Book Club dual main selection; BOMC alternate.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Another revelation from this well- known Soviet defector (author of In side the Soviet Army and Inside Soviet Intelligence) , this time on Soviet mili tary intelligence, the GRU ("Aquari um" is its headquarters). The story be gins with Suvorov's recruitment into military intelligence, carries through his training as a spy and posting to the Soviet embassy in Vienna, and ends with his defection to the British. The book is easy to read, giving consider able detail on how Soviet military intel ligence work is done and on the training of Soviet special forces troops. Only in telligence insiders can evaluate the ac curacy of the material here; for the rest of us, this is an interesting account of Soviet spycraft. For most libraries. BOMC alternate; Conservative Book Club dual main selection. Edward Gibson, James Madison Univ. Lib., Harrisonburg, Va.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
Suvorov is a very capable writer.
R. Cogan
In this impressive work, Viktor Suvorov, a former GRU agent, takes the reader out into the field with Soviet military intelligence.
Roger J. Buffington
If you like reading something like "smileys people" --this is the flip side, soviet, and true. scary.
A. Elgort

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By M. G Watson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 27, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
In the opening pages of "Inside the Aquarium" the narrator, ex-Soviet agent Viktor Suvorov, describes his first memory as a member of Soviet Military Intelligence: watching a film of an execution of a would-be defector. The officer in question was strapped into a coffin with an open lid, elevated slightly so he could see what was coming, and then traversed slowly down a conveyor belt into a blast furnace, screaming all the way.

With this gut-wrenching scene, Suvorov opens "Inside the Aquarium", his tale of how he was recruited, served, and ultimately defected from, the GRU, the military counterpart (and rival) of the communist KGB.

As an officer, Suvorov was the cream of the cream. A company commander, he participated in the "liberation" of Czechoslovakia in '68, served a tour on the General Staff and in the Spetznaz (the elite Soviet special forces) and was ultimately tapped for service with the GRU, an organization hardly anyone had heard of but whose impact could scarcely have been greater during the Cold War.

Suvorov described the mission, organization, scope and accomplishments of this massive octopus in his companion work, "Inside Soviet Military Intelligence." In sum, its mission was to recruit foreign agents, spy, and steal technology from the West using any and all means -- from bribery and blackmail to intimidation and murder.

Suvorov has many spy tales to enthrall the reader -- his physical and psychological training pitted him against condemned inmates in hand-to-hand combat, punished lapses of memory with electrical shocks, and strove to exploit his emotional pressure points at every turn, until he was for all appearances just the type of pitiless machine-man communism hoped to produce.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Philip Norsworthy on October 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is not meant as a review, but as a warning for those interested in Soviet Military Intelligence. This book, and Survorov's other book, "Aquarium: The Career and Defection of a Soviet Military Spy" are the same books. So make sure to only purchase one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Elgort on May 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Suvarov, or whatever his name is, is quite a person. This book details his transition from ambitious soviet tank commander to soviet intelligence agent, and supposedly it is all true. Suvorov is so amazingly smart and thorough that if it were not true, we would never know. But thats not the point. this book is a page turner, reads like a novel, and discloses just how hard core and thorough the soviet intelligence services were, and probably are in whatever their current guise is. They were competitive, ambitious, driven, scared, talented and well organized. It would be hard to imagine building a more frightening group then the GRU. In fact, it makes you wonder how in the world anyone on the capitalist/NATO/etc side could even compete with these guys. From the fact of not even giving them guns (if you need a gun you are already done for), recruiting only agents who did not look suspicious, to keeping them frightened of the "conveyor", I doubt you will be the same after reading this book. I mean, this guy jumps naked into ant hills to get bitten by ants so he wont get sick. Entertaining and highly recommended. If you like reading something like "smileys people" --this is the flip side, soviet, and true. scary.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Philip Goddard on July 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The book definitely establishes the differences between one's love for his country and at the same time his loathing of the people who somehow captured control of running the country. The romantic aspect of fighting democracy, as we define the term, that was in vogue in the 60's, suddenly takes a realistic turn in this book so that readers can acutally see the viciousness of what was being praised by some of our studentsof the day. This reality pulls into focus the maturity and judgement of those who were howling the loudest and who are now leading our country today.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 7, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
In this impressive work, Viktor Suvorov, a former GRU agent, takes the reader out into the field with Soviet military intelligence. He takes the reader through the recruitment process, training, and actual field intelligence work in a manner that crackles with authenticity. After reading this work, it is impossible not to come away sobered by the discipline and dedication of the Soviets. Nor is this book irrelevant today. By all accounts the GRU is still in business, whatever it now calls itself under the Russian Republic. It is not likely that it has changed much.

In one particularly telling scene, during their training military intelligence agents are taken to the training camp of young Soviet athletes, who are struggling mightily and sweatily to prepare for the Olympics--working literally every waking hour. The spy trainer then says to the students words to the effect of "This is how hard those who represent our country in the field of sport must work. Did you really think you, who will represent our country in the field of intelligence, can work any less hard?" Quite a good point, when one reflects upon it.

Suvorov is an engaging writer who knows how to make his points. This book is a fascinating look into a world that many Westerners barely know exists. Highly recommended.
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