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Loose Lips Hardcover – June 17, 2003

3.8 out of 5 stars 38 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gidget joins the CIA in political writer Berlinski's rousing, hilarious, compulsively readable debut about a restless New Yorker who enlists in the secret service and learns about truth and justice the hard way. A Sanskritist previously stationed in India, spunky Selena Keller has returned to Manhattan only to face a lackluster teaching tenure. When a cryptic Internet ad seeking an "extraordinary individual" catches her eye, a whirlwind of screening exams and evaluations usher Selena in as the CIA's newest employee. Soon after relocating to Virginia, an orientation consisting of dull paperwork is replaced with hardcore, exhilarating physical instruction at a remote facility called "the Farm," where Selena learns hand-to-hand combat, emergency medicine and hilariously attempts to overcome a fear of flying. She befriends a tough, beautiful trainee named Iris and dates unsuccessfully-until Stan, a "pale, fat man with small eyes and very spiky thick red hair" manages to thrill her with his memory skills and eventually seduce her. Just as all is going well, Selena's trustworthiness and loyalty (and extracurricular activities) are called into question by a tough group of CIA adjudicators, an investigation is launched and it's clear that someone has framed her. Paranoia mounts and everyone close to Selena is considered a potential traitor, including the increasingly slimy Stan. Berlinski's far-fetched comedy of manners clips her protagonist's career wings a bit prematurely, but there's still a lot to cheer about thanks to the narrative voice of an extremely engaging and likable main character. Breezy, accomplished and bracing, this is superior entertainment.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-Selena Keller, a young scholar of Sanskrit literature, just isn't cut out for the life of an obscure academic. Impulsively, she answers an ad to work for the CIA, and the savvy New Yorker soon finds herself caught up in a culture as alien as any she had experienced in India or academia. Taught to recruit foreign nationals to serve as spies for the U.S., she learns covert operations at the agency's headquarters in McLean and paramilitary skills at its fabled "Farm" in rural Virginia. She makes friends and finds a lover, but her ambitious classmates tend to practice their new spycraft techniques on each other, and it is never clear how genuine these relationships are. Selena shows a talent for holding her own, and readers stay on the hook to see what happens next-and to find out what's really going on. Ultimately, a vestigial conscience-and a questioning intelligence that makes it impossible for her to embrace the Company spirit-proves to be Selena's undoing, and she finds liberation in a colorful ending. This fast-moving, economically told story has elements of humor, satire, and mystery. Though some readers will simply enjoy this book as spicy light fare, others will also savor its dark undertones.
Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library,
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
  • Hardcover : 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0375509089
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0375509087
  • Product Dimensions : 5.76 x 0.92 x 8.53 inches
  • Publisher : Random House; 1st Edition (June 17, 2003)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.8 out of 5 stars 38 ratings
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