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Stained Glass (Blackford Oakes Novel) Paperback – May 15, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: Blackford Oakes Novel
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Cumberland House Publishing (May 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581824629
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581824629
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #894,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Cuts closer to the bone than Le Carre has ever cut. --New Republic

Delightful reading for the spy thriller fan. . . absolutely must reading. --United Press International --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

6 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Buckley's Blackford Oakes books are a pleasure to read, a cut above most spy novels.
Daniel Berger
Buckley has a fine ability to weave an interesting plot, and his characterizations are detailed and marvelous.
Joseph H Pierre
The occasional intrusion by actual historical figures also makes the Oakes books very interesting.
jclifft@ix.netcom.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By zorba on September 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is my second Blackford Oakes novel and I found it, well, okay. As you might expect, a Buckley spy novel will be a little more cerebral than most others of the genre. On top of everything else Buckley does, he writes a pretty good, taut, spy novel. Just not a lot of action. The real story, it seems, is how Oakes wrestles with some tough moral dilemmas. Stained Glass will hold your interest but you probably won't be saying "I couldn't put it down!" Nevertheless, it's a worthy and entertaining book from an accomplished author.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Buckley brings something rarely seen to the spy novel: intelligence and moral dilemma. Stained Glass also has wonderful characterization, witty dialogue, and humor. I highly recommend this unique approach to spy novel fans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. W. Dean on May 15, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Buckley spy novels are different from what one expects of a book of the sort. Real persons of recent history are mixed with his fictional characters in a way that adds a feeling of realism. Expect the text to be salted here and there with long words to look up in the dictionary; for example "tergiveration" which is pretty much the same as "waffling". This particular book examines what the United States and Russia may have done if a political figure had emerged in Germany around the time of the Kennedy administration who was on track to win the election for Chancellor of Germany and who had the means and desire to force German reunification.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joseph H Pierre on August 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
I must admit that I really like WFB's fiction, and I'm delighted that his publisher challenged him to try it.

The Blackford Oakes series relies on Buckley's own experience with the CIA, I'm sure. But the stories are more than depictions of black craftsmanship. Buckley has a fine ability to weave an interesting plot, and his characterizations are detailed and marvelous. He has spent time and effort bringing his characters to life, and giving them motivation and hstory.

There is, of course, a cycnical side to international espionage, and he has also portrayed that convincingly.

In this story, for example, the Soviets and the Americans actually cut cards to see which side will murder a heroic German character whose greatest desire it is to reunify his country.

I think it is amazing how well he has interwoven history and historical characters with fiction and his invented characters, and made it all hang together so convincingly.

Bill Buckley, sir, you are an amazing man and one to admire.

Joseph Pierre
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marina on May 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this tale of the US's murder of a German who was striving to bring about the unification of East and West Germany, Buckley has written a roman a clef -- his covert confession of what he knew about the CIA's murder of JFK, who was seeking the same sort of "detente" with the USSR -- long before Allen Dulles and the Boys were willing to let go of the thrills of waging their personal WWIII. Of special note is the exchange between Buckley's alter-ego Blackford Oakes and Dulles following the reunification of Germany. Oakes queries Dulles about whether the idealistic German man's murder was necessary -- hadn't he been right, after all? Hadn't he seen further into the future than others? And moral dullard Dulles' response was: "Mr Oakes, the question you ask I do not permit myself. Not under ANY circumstances.". . . Because in this world, if you let them, the ambiguists will kill you."
So Buckley offers us commoners a glimpse into the souls of the sort of power-hungry, ruthless riffraff that runs the world. Indeed, ambiguists may or may not end up killing us, but it is certain that the non-ambiguists like Dulles and Buckley kill us commoners with their hubristic certainty. Buckley evidently suffered pangs of conscience and at least had the honesty to insinuate them into his novels. Dulles...never.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Frank Benson on August 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is truly a fun read. Never boring. A real page turner. Highly recommended. Warning: You may end up buying more of Mr. Buckley's mysteries; I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Berger VINE VOICE on August 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
Buckley's Blackford Oakes books are a pleasure to read, a cut above most spy novels. His elegant writing fits the aristocratic characters upon whom these stories often center. It defends a view that in a free society, those bred for it can provide leadership that might otherwise be absent, relieving government of any misguided duty to fill the gap with yet more government.

Such a character in this book is Count Axel Wintergrin, a German who deserted during Germany's invasion of Poland, fled to Norway and fought in the Resistance there. He returned to West Germany after the war, and has now suddenly, in the early 1950s, become a mesmerizing political character proposing reunification with East Germany and to not take no for an answer from the Russians.

In Buckley's slightly alternative history of the Cold War, Wintergrin runs against Konrad Adenauer in the 1952 elections and appears headed for a victory. There's but one problem: the Russians threaten war if he wins, and the Americans fear they are in no position to defend Europe at the moment, having demobilized after World War II and now struggling to fight the Korean War. Lurking over all of it is the uncertain new calculus of nuclear weapons.

Oakes, sent by the CIA to spy on Wintergrin under the cover of rebuilding his historic chapel damaged during the war, discovers he admires no one in the world as much as he does Axel Wintergrin. This poses problems when the U.S. and the Russians reach rare agreement about what to do with this mesmerizing but destabilizing political figure.

Buckley's books are as much about history and politics, the conservative view of the Cold War, as they are about espionage and intrigue.
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