Trova il tuo prossimo audiolibro preferito

Abbonati oggi e ascolta gratis per 30 giorni
The Increment: A Novel

The Increment: A Novel

Scritto da David Ignatius

Narrato da Dick Hill


The Increment: A Novel

Scritto da David Ignatius

Narrato da Dick Hill

valutazioni:
4/5 (22 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
13 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jun 1, 2009
ISBN:
9781400180691
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

From a hidden enclave in the maze of Tehran, an Iranian scientist who calls himself "Dr. Ali" sends an encrypted message to the CIA. It falls to Harry Pappas to decide if it's for real. Dr. Ali sends more secrets of the Iranian bomb program to the agency, then panics. He's being followed, but he doesn't know who's onto him, and neither does Pappas. The White House is no help-they're looking for a pretext to attack Tehran.



To get his agent out, Pappas turns to a secret British spy team known as "The Increment," whose operatives carry the modern version of the double-O "license to kill." But the real story here is infinitely more complicated than he understands, and to get to the bottom of it he must betray his own country.



The Increment is The Spy Who Came in from the Cold set in Iran, with a dose of Graham Greene's The Human Factor to highlight the subtleties of betrayal.
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jun 1, 2009
ISBN:
9781400180691
Formato:
Audiolibro

Informazioni sull'autore

David Ignatius, the best-selling author of Body of Lies and The Increment, among others, and prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post, has been covering the Middle East and the CIA for more than twenty-five years. He lives in Washington, DC.


Correlato a The Increment

Audiolibri correlati
Articoli correlati

Recensioni

Cosa pensano gli utenti di The Increment

4.1
22 valutazioni / 17 Recensioni
Cosa ne pensi?
Valutazione: 0 su 5 stelle

Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    This is my first Ignatius novel and it was indeed an excellent read. The only disappointment is that it took over half of the book before The Increment are first introduced. But, from that point on the action never ended. Full of mystery, espionage, and intrigue... all taking place in a country very foreign to us Westerners. Made for an appealing read, never a dull moment. I look forward to reading more of Dave Ignatius' work in the near future.
  • (5/5)
    Good quality spy novel. David Ignatius seems to really know - or at least convinces us that he does, which is probably the same - nuts and bolts of CIA work in the Middle East. It is the same with his other novels that I read. This time it's about Iran. The novel contains some political undertones and convictions that I can't agree with (e.g. US government in this book is hell bent on Iran war no matter what. On the other hand, the author himself is clearly against any confrontation with Iran regardless the evidence). There is not that much action in the novel, but it does not diminish the suspense. All the more relevant considering latest development with Iran's nuclear program.
  • (3/5)
    An up-to-date tale in which an Iranian nuclear scientist seeks to begin the defection process by sending a computerized, anonymous message to Langley. Is the message true? Who sent it? What does it imply? Are the Iranians too close to manufacturing a bomb to let them escape military intervention? A senior CIA operative, who directs the agency's "Persia House," is tasked to get the answers, amidst rising war fever in Washington and Tel Aviv. He allies with the Brits, and freelance sleazoids, and a mission is launched. It's too bad the book is so cerebral; it gets dry and repetitive. More action would have helped. But then Ignatius is famous for his spot-on portraits of CIA nuts and bolts.
  • (5/5)
    This is a great read. It is a story with spies, weapons of mass destruction, and the downfall of evil.The story is about a CIA director that is "contacted" by someone in Iran willing to tell secrets on the nuclear program Iran is working on. The story goes through how the CIA try to verify the contact and wbout how the people in the white house react to the information. The head of the CIA on Iranian affairs is the only person who doesn't think bombing Iran is such a good idea and it is his story about how he tries to identify and get information for his "contact" and how he enlists the aid of people he thought he could trust to help him. It is a very well written story that keeps you guessing until the end.Great story.
  • (3/5)
    A young scientist working inside an Iranian nuclear development facility decides to drop a pebble into the pond and see where the ripples end up. He sends an e-mail to the general CIA website and attaches some test results from his lab. That begins a chain of events that the scientist surely could never have anticipated. In a story that looks a lot like this week's news headlines, the CIA together with British intelligence work to determine the exact state of Iranian nuclear development - just how close to having operational weapons are they? The title of the book refers to the super-secret British special ops group who has the authority to use lethal force (not quite a "license to kill", but very close) that is given the assignment of bringing the scientist out of Iran to be interrogated.I thought the premise of the book seem promising - but it didn't work for me. All the characters are flawed and conflicted and struggling to make the right decisions, but I just didn't care about any of them. I may have been distracted by real life. I know I was put off by the audio production. Normally I am a big fan of audio books, and usually this type of story lends itself well to audio, but they used the wrong reader this time. All in all, a disappointment since I'd been wanting to read this book for several months. If you're interested in trying it, go for the print version - not audio - I wish I had.
  • (5/5)
    Back in the late 90s, I picked up my first book from David Ignatius while running through an airport. On a hop from New Jersey to Cleveland, I devoured most of it. I got a second and a third - but then my airplane commuting stopped and I lost interest in the genre of 'cold war fiction'. Coming back to Mr. Ignatius' work again has rekindled my passion for the spy thriller.I was apprehensive: no longer the mystery of the big, bad Soviet Bear, there's now a new player with the secrets of the Iranian government being just as seductive and the security services of the US and UK back into play fighting the 'bad guys'. If, like me, you gave up on that whole LeCarre genre, I'd urge you to give this work a try. You won't be disappointed - and it may rekindle a lost pleasure as it has with me.
  • (5/5)
    From Tehran to Washington and back. Ripping good spy novel. Believable charactors and actions. Honest interpersonal relationships and the nuance of volitile Iran and its people are just outstanding.
  • (4/5)
    The premise of this book involves a CIA agent, a covert British spy team called the Increment, and an Iranian scientist working in Tehran who supplies the CIA with bomb information through a clever email scheme. This is a reading-in-bed-at-night book. A cup of coffee first thing in the morning is not needed to keep your eyelids propped open. Spies, bombs, Iran are three nouns enough to lure a reader. The author, David Ignatius has been covering the CIA and the Middle East for the Washington Post for over 25 years. So knowledge and authenticity is assumed and also another lure to the book. I read this book in one day anxious to learn about Tehran and enter the spy world from the safety of my living room. The protagonist, Harry Pappas, is American CIA facing off with the political machine, cares about the safety of the young Iranian scientist, and solicits the help of British Intelligence to extract the Iranian scientist from Iran along with actual evidence of the bomb program. Just when it seems the characters are becoming predictable and the outcome can be guessed, undercurrents and motivations of the characters are revealed to give cause for a reassessment. As expected, the plot kept the pages turning. More time lingering in Tehran would have been appreciated in order to grasp more of the culture. In its totality, this was an invigorating read that underscored the political chess moves played by governments.
  • (4/5)
    Ignatius is a journalist who has been reporting on the Middle East for more than 25 years. So part of the fun of this novel is trying to figure out what parts reflect insider knowledge. Ignatius knows this and says don't do it, it's a chump's game, but only AFTER the book is over. So it doesn't destroy the fun.The novel is about a CIA agent in charge of the Iran desk, Harry Pappas. A message comes through the CIA's public web site that appears to come from a nuclear scientist in Iran offering to share information. If true, it would be unique and extremely valuable. Harry has to verify the information the scientist sends, and figure out whether he is in danger and needs to be extracted or whether he can be kept in place, and how to keep in touch with him since the U.S. has no agents in Iran.It is a good thriller. Harry is a good character, the best-realized in the book. The other characters are adequate, but Harry is central. The depiction of life in Iran is interesting and one assumes fairly accurate. The plot is ok, maybe three stars instead of four.The Increment is a recommended adventure read.
  • (4/5)
    This was a truly good book. Harry Pappas is an old-fashioned CIA officer in a new-fashioned CIA. An Iranian scientist sends a communication that seems to indicate that Iran is working on building a nuclear bomb and are a lot closer than Americans had believed. The message starts all the wheels spinning in the CIA and at the White House. As more messages are exchanged there are people who want to start a war. Harry knows that there is not enough information and wants to avoid the mistakes the country made by going into Iraq. He is anxious to meet the scientist face to face. The CIA Director is basically a political tool but he is able to get Harry a couple of weeks. During those weeks Harry gets involved with British Intelligence and meets with "The Increment," a sort of Mission Impossible team who are going to get the scientist out of Iran. That part of the plot, while filled with the usual derring-do of spy thrillers, is actually less interesting than what is happening in the CIA and what is happening to Harry.What is great about this book is the layer upon layer of intrigue in the intelligence community and in the political arena. In addition, the reader gets a real sense of how intelligence is gathered and how the CIA works. It is well worth reading, and I highly recommend it.
  • (4/5)
    "The Increment" is like two separate novels. One novel is excellent, and the other exists, I suppose, because the plot requires some method of exfiltrating a young nuclear scientist from Iran, and the author decided to bring in an updated version of T.V.'s oldie: "The Mod Squad.," or perhaps "Mission Impossible," to do the deed. Since the book is being made into a movie by Disney, I suppose this is the kind of angle that will bring in the hoi-polloi. I was so impressed by the first 100 or 150 pages of the book that I thought eveyone in the Congress of the United States, in fact, even everyone in the White House should read the book. Wars are frequently the result of hasty decisions made on insubstantial evidence, and this first part of the novel makes all too plain how easily government leaders can start with good intentions and take our country down the road that leads to hell. The personalities are particularly well drawn. I especially liked those of the young Iranian scientist and Sir David Plumb, of the British SIS. My surroundings...my living room, kitchen, etc., seemed to disappear as I read the book, and I got lost in the streets of Tehran, or London, or wherever the book took me, and I only begrudgingly returned to reality when my phone rang or whatever. This is what a good book should do. Then came the "second" book where I was introduced to the three-person team, "The Increment," which was to exfiltrate the young Iranian scientist. Thank god there were only three of them. I remember when I was a kid, being impressed as each of "The Magnificent Seven" were introduced in the Yul Brenner movie. I don't think I could survive another such sequence now that I'm an adult. I do not understand why these three characters were called "The Increment;" and even less do I understand why the novel was titled "The Increment," presumably in honor of this trio. As the plot develops (no spoiler here, I promise,) the build-up given to this trio never materializes. In fact, they were fairly mediocre at their job. When I got into this portion of the book I turned the ringer back on on my telephone; (I had put it on "mute" during part one of the book.) But I slogged through it, realizing that an espionage movie needs some explosions, some shooting, and some sex. Thankfully, that part of the book eventually ends, and we get to return to the interesting aspects of life and death decision-making in a world out-of-whack. And the author winds things up with a neat flourish, tying up nearly all the loose ends. All things considered, I recommend the book but with some small reservations. Sometimes I really am too picky.
  • (4/5)
    David Ignatius creates and builds upon an engagingly textured environment of spies and third world nuclear threat to create a realistic and fun espionage thriller. While I'd give Ignatius' effort three starts for the intricacies of the fiction as literature, I'd move it to a solid four stars for the well-woven and well-paced plot. The story revolves around a young Iranian scientist who sends the CIA a subtly coded message exposing Iran's efforts in developing nuclear weapons. His mode of communication is the "contact us" link available on the CIA's public website. Ignatius writes, "...occasionally the strange people who sent anonymous messages to the CIA were for real. They knew secrets; they were angry at their government, or the security service, or maybe just at the boss down the hall." In this case, the message was very real, and this communication becomes the launching point for Ignatius' tautly written novel.The story bounces between CIA headquarters outside of Washington, D.C., Iran, London and other points in the Middles East. It's in London where we learn the meaning behind the novel's title. The Increment is the informal and off-the-books British force that's pulled into only the highest of security missions, and the only forces that truly have James Bond's legendary 'license to kill'. The plot hums along, and the characters, while sometimes clichéd, are believable. The main threads of the story follow an aging America CIA agent in charge of operations in Iran. He's grizzled and jaded, and the most morally consistent and clear of all characters in the story. An old friend and colleague is a senior officer in the British spy agency who's brought in to help with the operation as it moves to Tehran. The Iranian scientist is sincere and sad. While not terrifically deep, Ignatius crafts this character strongly enough that the reader will actually care and root for his success and safety. Few characters are exclusively what they seem. They're a little good, and a little bad. Characteristics lean towards one side or the other based on whose side they appear to support. But as the plot develops, it becomes clear that some larger chess pieces are orbiting around the primary characters.I don't read particularly quickly, but this story I knocked off in only 3 days. At times "The Increment" is more mystery than adventure, and the thrill is in the creation, build up and execution of Ignatius' well though-through plan. He smoothly slams home a twisty, curvy conclusion that I wasn't expecting. All in all this was a satisfying read for what it is: a fun thriller with a very old-school spy vibe. I definitely recommend this read.
  • (4/5)
    David Ignatius is a true beltway insider. He writes for the Washington Post and he is a regular guest on Sunday morning talk show. However, unlike most beltway reporters, when he turns his hand to fiction, he can write a better than average spy thriller. By far Ignatius’ best book is Body of Lies, but Increment isn’t too shabby either. Shuttling between machinations within the C.I.A. and goings on in Iran, it is an entertaining ride. Ignatius knows the Middle East well, having covered it for number of years and his details about life in Iran ring true, but this book is at its best in describing the personalities and politics which play out within the American espionage and national security community. Though this book has its fair share of action, it is the meetings and deals brokered and broken which resonate. On the spy writer spectrum, Ignatius falls on the LeCarre side of things, his hero’s are flawed, but often idealistic and the government for which he works is at time incompetent. But that is what real life espionage is like, though I doubt it often hold as much excited as Ignatius generates in the final chapters of this book. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • (4/5)
    From Tehran an Iranian nuclear scientist boldly e-mails the USA’s Central Intelligence Agency. This simple act draws the attention of longtime CIA analyst, Harry Pappas, who wants to maintain contact with his ‘virtual walk-in’ whom he names ‘Dr. Ali’ while at the same time shielding his ‘VW’ from both Iranian counter intelligence and other US government intelligence bureaucrats. At issue is Iranian pursuit of nuclear weaponry and America’s vacillating war vs. anti-war policies. Pappas solicits the help of the UK’s Adrian Winkler, Secret Intelligence Service (in James Bond’s day, MI-6) analyst, and friend from yesteryear when both were case officers in Moscow and later as respective chiefs of station in Iraq. Knowing the criticality of protecting Dr. Ali from discovery and understanding Pappas’ plea for intelligence ‘assets’ in Tehran, Winkler reveals the existence of an SIS ad hoc ‘black operations’ unit derived from the Special Air Service, the UK version of the USA’s Army Special Forces, which is called ‘The Increment’, which unit can be utilized to extract ‘Dr. Ali’ from Iran. The twists and turns of this spy novel call to mind the intricacies of the early novels of John le Carre (The Spy Who Came In From The Cold) and Ian Fleming (Casino Royale)but with more alignment with today’s current affairs involving Iran, Israel, Russia, and other states. David Ignatius, journalist with the Washington Post, whose sphere of interest and expertise is the Middle East and America’s intelligence community, has imagined fiction to be on par with whatever is the truth of today’s political power displays between Iran and the West. The Increment is a ‘page turner’ that will lead to inevitable scanning of the news on CNN and FNC as well as Internet blogs and even Foreign Affairs magazine. It is that compelling of a novel.
  • (4/5)
    Iran. Mention that country to most Americans and the word that comes to their minds is “nuclear.” The new international thriller by David Ignatius takes that fear and spins it into a fascinating novel – one that at times seems more probable than impossible.At the heart of the book is CIA man extraordinaire Harry Pappas (Ignatius readers will remember him from BODY OF LIES). This time Harry is playing the spy game with a broken heart having lost his only son in the current Iraq War. It sets the stage in unique ways as he attempts to discern the validity of an encrypted message from an Iranian nuclear scientist who is willing to share the country’s bomb secrets in return for safe harbor.With help from the British (and the “Increment” a special SAS team) Harry must decide if and how the young scientist can be retrieved from Iran.The author takes a sideswipe at American politicians eager to believe anything about Iran’s nuclear capability and thus use the country for target practice. Seems trigger happy politicos really exist in D.C. - shoot now and ask questions later mentality. Ignatius builds a novel about finding truth in a maze and where the answers lead to more puzzles. He walks a fine line between his novel and the news. It is rare to find humanity in a spy thriller but Ignatius captures Harry’s heart, which gives the reader one more reason to keep turning the pages and reach the stunning conclusion.
  • (4/5)
    WAPO foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius has turned out an anti-war spy thriller for liberals – and anyone else who likes heart-pounding adventure with a side of smarts. An Iranian nuclear scientist does a virtual walk-in and reports Iran is working on the nuclear trigger. Career CIA officer Harry Pappas soon is in a race against White House war fever to find out what this “Dr. Ali” is really saying. The Iranians are trying to build the bomb, but progress is oddly evasive. Suffering deep guilt for not having warned off his now dead Marine son about the stupidity of the Iraq effort, Pappas uses a back-channel to hook up with the Brits for access to their agents inside Iran. Or rather he hooks up with a particular Brit who Pappas worked with in the past. Pappas soon finds himself in the inevitable hall of mirrors where the question of who is doing what for whom always has two or three plausible answers. The Brits mobilize a special unit called The Increment to arrange a face-to-face meeting with Dr. Ali – by penetrating Iran with a 3-person team. The members of the Increment have the ‘00’ license-to-kill and they need it. Besides Iranian security, they are also up against an opponent who lives and kills in the shadows. Ignatius also plays out a large part of the book inside Iran, which is interesting in its own right due to the relative lack of information in the US about life in Iran. However, the motivations of the Iranian scientist could be more fully and plausibly developed.Ignatius strains credulity at times, but one suspects he intends to do so. The Increment backmatter touts echoes of Graham Greene and John Le Carre`, I would add Ian Fleming to that list. A satisfying read for fans of the spy thriller genre.
  • (4/5)
    I was hoping, given how incredibly well-informed David Ignatius is about the Middle East and US Intelligence, and the verisimilitude of his first novel, Body of Lies, that The Increment would teach me something about Iran that I wouldn't learn from news reports or political speeches. So I was sad to read the first paragraph of the aknowledgements: "The real Iran will intrigue us for decades, but this novel is about an imaginary country. It is a work of fiction... People who look for real intelligence operations in this invented story will only deceive themselves." That, fortunately, is the only real disappointment of the book. it's a fast, fun read, and real or not, the Tehran he paints is easy and entertaining to imagine. The British SIS play a heavy role in this book, and the character of Adrain Winkler calls to mind a lot of the well-tailored grownup schoolboys George Smiley had to tolerate in Le Carré's novels. The Iranian scientist who drives the plot is very likeable and interesting. It's funny how familiar the dangers he faces and his reasons for betraying his country will seem to readers of Cold War spy novels. "That was his protection - to be ordinary. Deceit was a habit; you put it on and took it off like a suit of clothes. ...But what was normal? Was it to be afraid or unafraid? Was it to remember things or forget them?" Awesome.Because I have an Advanced Reader's Copy given to me by the wonderful people at W. W. Norton as part of LT's Early Reviewers program, my copy has a note on the back that the movie rights have already been sold to Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer. Seems like odd subject matter for Disney. But you can tell that Ignatius had sold the rights to Disney by Chapter 21, because that is the beginning of an irritating sequence where CIA agent Harry Pappas is meeting the "The Increment" operatives for the first time. It's written like a corny movie cliche where the agents are all hiding in plain sight before they reveal themselves to Pappas - the first operative is met fixing his sport bike before revealing he's a multi-lingual Pakistani who also is a trained assassin, the second is an Arab soccer player by day, and the third, well, you'll see. The annoying hey-Mr-Bruckheimer-I-can-write-the-screenplay-too! sequence does however, include my favorite passage from the book: "It wasn't James Bond in a tuxedo drinking a martini, or some upper-class twit driving an Aston Martin and saying 'sorry, old boy' as he shot his adversary with a bespoke pistol. Instead if was these righteous Paki[stani]s and Arabs, ready to kick ass for Queen and country - blowing people up while they listened to Bob Marley on the iPod. C and Q and Miss Moneypenny and the rest of the doting, end-of-empire gang were gone. The Increment was Sex Pistols, Prince Nassim and Hanif Kureishi all rolled into one. It was New Britain, with a vengeance."Uh, if anyone from W. W. Norton reads this, you do know that "Pakis" is a dirty racial slur, right? Doesn't really belong in a paragraph like that. Page 193.