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The Osterman Weekend: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1984

3.8 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Robert Ludlum and The Osterman Weekend
 
“Shattering . . . [The Osterman Weekend] will cost you the night and the cold hours of the morning.”The Cincinnati Enquirer
 
“Ludlum stuffs more surprises into his novels than any other six-pack of thriller writers combined.”The New York Times
 
“Powerhouse momentum . . . as shrill as the siren on the prowl car.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“A complex scenario of inventive double-crossing.”Chicago Sun-Times

From the Publisher

"Shattering. . .it will cost you the night and the cold hours of the morning."
--Cincinnati Inquirer.

"A complex scenario of inventive double-crossing."
--Chicago Sun-Times.

"Powerhouse momentum. . .as shrill as the siren on the prowl car."
--Kirkus Reviews.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (April 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553264303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553264302
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #886,737 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
After Robert Ludlum passed away, I decided to read several of his books, having loved The Bourne Identity when I read it several years ago, but having stopped reading his books when The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum disappointed. I started with The Holcroft Covenant, reported to be one of the classics, which I really enjoyed. Then I read the final book he wrote, The Prometheus Deception, which I enjoyed more than most.
This year, I decided to go back to his early books. I found the second book he ever wrote, The Osterman Weekend, in a used bookstore. The book tells the story of John Tanner, a TV news executive who is summoned to Washington one day and told by a CIA operative that one or more of his best friends, the Ostermans, the Cardones and the Tremaynes is a traitor. They are all gathering for the weekend at Tanner's house in suburban New Jersey and Tanner's job is to get the traitors to reveal themselves so the CIA can swoop in and deal with them.
On its own, the book is probably worth three stars. It is a quick and easy read, the suspense grows and the reader has no idea where the plot will lead although double-crosses seem likely. However, until the last few chapters, it doesn't really grip you.
However, the book shows flashes of the greatness Ludlum achieved later. An ordinary person is thrown into extraordinary circumstances and must get by on his own wits. Ludlum is a genius at making the ordinary person seem believable and scared and yet be the hero who saved the world. The action in the last few chapters is a foreshadowing of the wall-to-wall action that will be Ludlum's trademark in other books. The insight this gives the reader into Ludlum's evolution as a writer was worth an extra star to me.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Ludlum book I ever read and it still remains my favorite. For sheet storytelling, suspense and convoluted plot resolution, it remains supreme.
It is characterization that drives this book - much more so than the movie - and particularly the interplay among the various guests. This is vintage Ludlum before he became Ludzilla, the author of sagas of immeasurable length. This is also the typical formula that Ludlum uses in his best books - a lone guy gets involved in nefarious activities involving the government and both people and events are not what they seem.
The moment when he awaits the arrival of the agent, when the agent walks up and we all hold our breath - the revelation is simply stunning! This is a classic.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Usually, being kept in the dark by a book is a bad thing. This usually results in a muddled, incomprehensible mess. Not in this case. He successfully pulls off the greatest act of intrigue ever, by intentionally leaving the reader as clueless as the main character.

The main character is brought to Washington under false pretenses to discover that his weekend party with three other couple may be a meeting of some Omega agents. The only problem is, no one knows who is and who isn't part of Omega. Now the main character has got to lead a double life, protect his family against Omega, figure out who are his true friends, and worry about the CIA protection.

While the middle of the book feels kind of jumbled, and beginning of the book is slightly dull, the book is immensely readable and fun. Definitely not an action packed book (not until the end at least), Ludlum instead brings the low-key mundane trivialities of life into a new light. Does a particular sentence reveal something about his or her loyalties, does weary a gaudy piece of jewelry mean your connected with an organization? Finding out the truth behind everything becomes harder and more alluring than ever.

All in all, I would recommend this quick page turner.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A major step forward from the disaster that was The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Osterman Weekend is a fast-paced tale of intrigue that may surprise even Ludlum fans. Being one of his earliest works, he was still developing his style and finding his niche, and this book clearly shows that.
Gone (or, not yet arrived) are the mammoth chase sequences, the far reaching conspiracies (this conspiracy is on a somewhat limited scale), the beautiful but strong-willed women who only want to help their men, but aren't sure if they can trust them. Instead, we have a family man who finds himself threatened no matter which way he turns.
Large portions of the book are written with dialogue only. The book is already his shortest, and the combination makes for a very fast read. However, those used to large narrative sequences from Ludlum will feel a bit out of place, and rightfully so: there are many places where a little bit of narration would have come quite in handy.
On the whole, though, I recommend it to suspense fans. It is by no means Ludlum's best book, but it is a good book, and well worth the limited time it takes to read it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A great story which concerns Jack Tanner, a TV journalist who is drawn into a CIA plot to uncover the clandestine Soviet OMEGA group. Only one snag - OMEGA is in his neighbourhood in a small town - and when friend Bernie Osterman brings his family and friends over for a weekend get-together - one of them is the OMEGA plant, but which one? Several unexpected twists and turns along the way which reach fever pitch when Tanner's family become threatened in many ways! And who is the man giving the orders? A classic conspiracy thriller which paved the way for several more that came later, and one could say it inspired the movies ENEMY OF THE STATE and CONSPIRACY THEORY with its the-bad-guys-are-really-the-government ideas! THE OSTERMAN WEEKEND was also made into a movie itself in 1983, which is also well worth tracking down.
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The Osterman Weekend: A Novel
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