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The Icarus Agenda Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1992

3.9 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ludlum's 14th suspense caper has the earmarks of all his others: the mysterious cabal involved in global conspiracy; the surges of sudden violence; the careful veneer of local color to provide authenticity; and the rather graceless prose punctuated with breathless italicizing to keep the suspense going. The protagonist this time is Congressman Evan Kendrick, who secretly goes to Oman to rescue a large group of Americans held hostage there. Disguised as a terrorist and aided by the young sultan and a beautiful American-Arab agent, Kendrick succeeds so well that his anonymity is betrayed, and he becomes an instant hero back home, as well as a reluctant presidential candidate. After his cover is blown, however, he also becomes the target for terrorist assassination. Behind all the evildoing is a cabal headed by a man who calls himself the Mahdi, its purpose to acquire the power that money brings by selling arms to religious fanatics. And on this side of the ocean there are other secret forces at work, with awesome power at their command. While violence piles on violence, Ludlum does some high-flown moralizing. The story's underlying philosophy can be found, or at least sought, in the characteristically fuzzy statement: "The arrogance of blind belief led all the mendacities of human thought." Hardcore fans will have fun with this one, but it's not Ludlum's best by a long shot. 500,000 first printing; BOMC main selection; author tour.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

The American embassy in Oman is seized by terrorists who threaten to execute their hostages. Evan Kendrick, a Colorado congressman who had made a fortune as a builder in that part of the world, offers to help free the captives, but asks that his role be kept secret. His mission to Masqat alone would have been a thrilling novel for another writer, but for Ludlum it is only the start of this long, intricate, exciting story of conspiracies within conspiracies. A year after the rescue, Kendrick finds himself famous as the hero of Masqat. The secret group Inver Brass (from Ludlum's The Chancellor Manuscript ) has determined to propel him into the highest offices. Is Inver Brass behind the murders of people close to Kendrick? Are the terrorists, assisted by top government figures, seeking revenge? Once you start reading you just can't stop. BOMC main selection. Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (February 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553278002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553278002
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,644,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Ludlum was the author of twenty-seven novels, each one a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 225 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into thirty-two languages. He is the author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, and the Jason Bourne series--The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum--among others. Mr. Ludlum passed away in March, 2001.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
In his prime, absolutely nobody could touch Ludlum's sheer plotting brilliance when it came to the international thriller, NOBODY. 'The Icarus Agenda' is a great example of his style, and the ONLY thing that kept this book from 5-stars was that it slightly dragged in a couple areas...but remember, Ludlum at his worst is still better than most authors at their BEST.
As another reviewer mentioned, this book was more like 3 books-in-one, and I agree. First we have Evan Kendrick making a daring rescue. Next we have his being identified as the person responsible -- which is exactly what he DIDN'T want. And finally we have the real meat of the story: the ultimate action of who is REALLY responsible for the whole thing, and how Evan goes about handling the situation and solving the problem at the same time. Action on top of suspense on top of even more action. Aside from the small tedious slow writing in the middle, this book has about as much action as a novel can possibly have. If you are searching for a James Bond meets Die Hard meets True Lies type book, trust me, 'The Icarus Agenda' most definitely fills the bill. I have heard rumors for years how Ludlum was going to try and turn Evan Kendrick into a series similar to Jason Bourne, but unfortunately, he passed away, and that remains one of the greatest losses in the literary world in a very long time. He will be sorely missed.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
ICARUS AGENDA has all the hallmarks of a typical Robert Ludlum thriller - suspense, mystery, surprises around the corner, memorable characters and well-researched locales - also, the elephantine narrative which in this case unfortunately seems to go nowhere, particularly in the midsection. Hence a 4 star rating. However, the book's finer points are many. The story concerns Evan Kendrick, a quiet, mild-mannered Congressman who becomes an unlikely hero when over two hundred hostages are held by Islamic terrorists at the US Embassy in Muscat(spelt MASQAT in the book), Sultanate of Oman. Kendrick dares to avert the crisis by using his work experience in the Middle East and the deaths of several of his employees as a platform for vengeance against the Arab terrorists. He infiltrates an Omani prison to gather information, but when he is hailed a hero for bringing the hostage situation to an end, Israeli Mossad agents seek revenge as his intervention has prevented their rescue of a Mossad agent, Ben-Ami, who holds a secret. Someone is controlling both sets of terrorists, and who is the Mahdi? One year after the Oman affair, Kendrick's life is shattered again as the Arabs come after him, corruption in the White House and CIA is rife as his past is revealed, then his home is attacked. Events lead to a massive arms dealing ring. Can Kendrick save the day in 808 pages time! This Ludlum monster is well worth a read, but I'm surprised his editor didn't do any more cutting and editing, in my view. A lot of the political White House talkative scenes could have been cut down . . . obviously Ludlum's not renowned for the KISS(keep it simple stupid) approach! So, summing up, a great and susupenseful(in most parts) read, but if you're new to Ludlum, THE AQUITAINE PROGRESSION or MATARESE CIRCLE are the best ones to read first.
Nick Warren.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you like the nonstop action of James Bond's movies, then you will instantly be lured into any of Robert Ludlum's books. Ludlum inserts life into the most thrilling and twisting plots in such a compelling way that you believe they are true. All good books make you want to keep reading; however, in each of the many Ludlum novels I have read there is simply no stopping. Ludlum pulls his readers into his stories and gets them hooked in a way few authors can. The Icarus Agenda by Robert Ludlum is no exception and will leave even the most read Ludlum fan intrigued and involved. Once you start this book, you go from interested to absorbed in about two pages. The scenario involves hundreds of Americans being held hostage in an American Embassy in the Middle East. All divisions of the government are desperately trying to free the hostages; however, only one man who bid farewell to the Middle East long ago after a tragic accident can truly save them. Behind the somewhat simplistic terrorists is a group of wealthy and powerful individuals who will stop at nothing until they have complete control of the region. Ludlum takes us through a heart-pumping journey of one man's fight to save the hostages and break the mysterious group of individuals fueling the terrorism. After what must be one of the most intense struggles for freedom ever put on paper, the reader is only done with part one of the three-part book. The first part of the book could be a novel in itself and if it were, I would still be writing its praises; however after the roller-coaster ride of the first 200 pages, the reader learns that this is only the beginning. The man who rescued the hostages took neither credit nor praise for his heroic accomplishments because he did not want anyone to know what he had done.Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read my first Ludlum book when I was 11. Needless to say, I wasn't ready for it and it didn't make any sense to me. The next book I read by him, however, was when I was 14 and hooked me on him - The Bourne Identity.

Since then, I've enjoyed reading Ludlum when I'm able to. I read a lot of different things, and he's got so many books out that it's hard to make any real effort to read them all, but when I can, I get into Ludlum.

A long time ago I read The Chancellor Manuscript and was fascinated by it. So it struck me as really weird that The Icarus Agenda somehow reminded me of The Chancellor Manuscript - till I got further through the book and discovered it's connected. Not directly a sequel, mind you, but there are ties.

OK, The Icarus Agenda. Certain elements in the USA have a vested interest in keeping the Vice President in his position in an upcoming election - he can be controlled, allowing them to work through him to keep money flowing into Defense contracts and make new laws that work in their favor. Allowing, essentially, rich people to get richer at the cost of American stability and world peace.

These elements have a counterpart - a small group of people dedicated to finding a different candidate for Vice President, one who can't be bought or controlled.

So there's 2 opposing parties, both manipulating behind-the-scenes elements, one operating for personal gain, one for the good of the country.

Stuck in the middle is going to be Evan Kendrick, a Congressman who sought office in his district solely to oust a representative who was for sale.

Kendrick used to be a bigshot in the turbulent areas of the middle EDast and southwest Asia.
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