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Into the Mirror: The Life of Master Spy Robert P. Hanssen Audio, Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lawrence Schiller ranks among our greatest investigative journalists. In addition to his bestselling books, he has written for the New Yorker and other major publications. For many years he has appeared as an on-air consultant for the ABC and NBC networks. He lives in Los Angeles. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: HarperAudio; Abridged edition (April 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060511826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060511821
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,323,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Instead it's quite transparently a quickie translation of a television script into a junk book.
Michael Everett
It makes him look like a lunatic and I can't see how it would really work in the movie, where a voiceover would nicely do the job of conveying his inner thoughts.
Sarah Sprague
Hanssen is quoted in all these places, even though the author wasn't there, and neither was anyone else who was interviewed for the book.
Tim Talbot

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Christopher B. Jonnes on July 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Into the Mirror is deceptively good. My early impression was negative. The choice of fictionalizing the tale was odd, in my opinion. The dialogue was stilted, nerdy, Father-Knows-Bestish. But as I persevered through the book, I finally understood what the author was doing--speaking as Hanssen spoke--and began to appreciate it. In the end, the story resonates strongly.
It's helpful to know what the book isn't before you read it. It is not a detailed analysis of the specific criminal activities of Robert P. Hanssen, master spy. You won't learn the nitty-gritty on what secrets were passed to whom and when. Instead, Into the Mirror is a glimpse into the psyche of Hanssen himself; how he grew up; how he thought; how he wound up as a spy.
Part of the frustration in reading the book was that fictional tales generally require a likeable central character. Hanssen is not, and Schiller--properly--makes no apparent attempt to make him so. Once the reader accepts the notion that the protagonist is a weird, perverted traitor with few redeeming qualities, the reading gets easier.
The fascinating aspect of the story is that the trail leading Hanssen to spy for the Soviets and Russians against the U.S. wasn't littered with the kind of political travesties one would expect. Hanssen wasn't the victim of capitalism gone bad, or Rodney Kingesque mistreatment. His parents weren't ultra-liberals, communists, anti-American, or even particularly political. His father, though overbearing and mildly abusive, was a big-city cop. Hanssen was a converted Catholic who appeared to love his country and excel at his job. He was just your average schlep with a money management problem.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Joel L. Gandelman VINE VOICE on May 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Into the Mirror moves at such a break-neck pace that this book should be arrested for breaking the literary speed limit. Some may (and do) quibble about the fact this is a docudrama -- a dramatization of a true, high profile news story -- but it is FUN, a can't-put-it-down read and highly enlightening.
I"ve read many books this year but I will say in all seriousness: this was one of the most enjoyable, compelling books I've read all year. The story centers on FBI Special Agent Robert Philip Hanssen, whose arrest on Feb 2001 on 15 counts of espionage pitchforked him into the headlines. I read many of the complicated, sometimes dry news reports -- but this book makes it REAL. So when I heard he was sentenced in May to life imprisonment I had a MUCH different reaction than I would have if I had not read this book.
The reason: when you hear about a spy case like this you wonder "how could he do this? He just wanted the money?" and it ends in puzzlement.
Schiller's book, based on many interviews done by Schiller and Norman Mailer, and using Mailer's mini-series screenplay as a guide, really brings the story alive. It's as dramatic as
watching a top flight film or mini-series and more instructive than all the news reports I read on this put together. How did Hanssen get from Point A (an innocent child) to Point
B (one of the most destructive spys in American history and only the third FBI agent ever accused of spying)? This book provides some of the answers.
There are a slew of revelations you'll find here that explain why.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Russell A. Rohde MD on May 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"Into the Mirror: The Life of Master Spy Robert P. Hanssen" by Lawrence Schiller: ISBN 0-06-050809-4(2002) HarperCollins Publ., is a 306 page hardcover novelette which strives to present, profile and proseltytize Robert Philip Hanssen (born April 18, 1944) an FBI Special Agent since 1976 who was arrested Feb. 2, 2001 for espionage (15 counts), pled guilty and was sentenced May 10, 2002 to life imprisonment.
The reader might be jolted in learning that neither Spy Hanssen nor wife Bonnie were interviewed (DOJ interdiction) by the author Schiller (or confederate Norman Mailer). Schiller's "intention" was to fabricate a psychological likeness of Hanssen from incidents to divulge his complexities and unique traits during the(ir) nine-month investigation and "hundreds of hours interviewing" the family, friends, frequenter (KGB), & fellow church followers.
What emanates is a strange bedfellow, beset with a rigid OCD personality, whose bedroom marital sexual feats are majestic, whose Narcissism is manifest by pleonastic masturbation and who has a passion for talking to/at/into mirrors. A man whose insecure wife is appalled to learn of his penchant for Playboy magazine but is amenable to posing nude to fulfill his Polaroid fetish. His morality is manifest by switching allegiance to his wife's church, joining Opus Dei, and proclaiming moralistic pretensions as he becomes engulfed in espionage with the KGB for big bucks, a diamond, and a better life style for his family.
The good news is that "Into the Mirror..." is easy reading as we are given privy to shallow characters possessing those crude but perhaps interesting para-erotic eccentricities and personal mannerisms which may hold a reader's attention. I had expected a factual investigative journalistic report after Schiller's "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town."
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