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The Nearest Exit [Paperback] by Olen…
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The Nearest Exit [Paperback] (edition 2011)

by Olen Steinhauer (Author)

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4811821,406 (3.92)24
Member:adamtyoung
Title:The Nearest Exit [Paperback]
Authors:Olen Steinhauer (Author)
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The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer

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A real thrill ride. Couldn't put it down. Stayed up until I really couldn't keep my eyes open. Finished it in two days. The action and suspense never stop. Thoroughly enjoyable. Have fun. ( )
  dh-writer | Nov 12, 2017 |
To really enjoy The Nearest Exit you would do best to read Steinhauer's previous novel which features the same characters; [b:The Tourist|4590265|The Tourist (The Tourist, #1)|Olen Steinhauer|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1412257051s/4590265.jpg|4639728]. I really enjoyed the first episode and was delighted by the development of the plot and characters in this follow up, but even so I struggled at first to keep the various threads untangled and remind myself who was working with/for/against whom. It is all explained but I think the reader would get a lot more by enjoying The Tourist first; the main character's actions make a lot more sense when you understand his background and recent events.

The Nearest Exit is set in the here-and-now. It's a tale of modern American espionage, featuring complicated layers of plot and counter-plot. The protagonist, Milo Weaver is a wonderful character; spiritually exhausted and physically collapsing. He struggles to extricate himself from the clutches of his employer, a wet-works dept of a US secret agency, but has a family history which threatens the security of his current loved ones. Milo is at war with everyone; his own agency, other US security forces, notionally friendly international agencies, the real bad guys who have laid an artful snare for him, his own father, his wife and adopted child... and himself.

The result is a convoluted plot which builds inexorably towards a cunningly concealed climax. Milo is so ambivalent about the outcome that at times it is hard for the reader to engage with him. I found some of the supporting characters, especially a female German intelligence officer, to be more interesting and engaging than the hero himself. 'The Nearest Exit' is not an action-adventure of the Bourne type, it's slower paced than that and requires reading in reasonably big chunks to keep track of all the players and their loyalties. The pay-off was worth some effort, I felt.

Steinhauer has been compared to Le Carre at his best, and that's not accurate. The sheer simple elegance of Smiley's early adventures far surpass this story which sometimes creaks under the weight of its own complexity and paranoia. But this book is probably every bit as good as recent Le Carre novels.

If you enjoy this type of thoughtful, intelligent thriller then you might also like [b:A Last Act of Charity|22602019|A Last Act of Charity (Killing Sisters, #1)|Frank Westworth|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1404054107s/22602019.jpg|42088165] by [a:Frank Westworth|576653|Frank Westworth|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1407492635p2/576653.jpg]. I admit to some bias here - reader, I married him! - but I suspect readers of one are likely to enjoy the other...
8/10 ( )
  RowenaHoseason | Jun 22, 2016 |
Steinhauer does a creditable job on this sequel, however, I occasionally was confused as to how events were unfolding, especially toward the end of the book. There were a few pages I had to read two or three times to understand time, place and action. This occurred when the author melded a character's real-time action with the character's recollection of a conversation he had apparently had at an earlier time. Unfortunately, the transition was badly written, very rough,and the action difficult to follow. This occurred a couple of times in the book and it was quite disconcerting. I'm not sure I will give Steinhauer another chance, when there are so many other authors out there who tell a tale more smoothly. ( )
  MikeBruscellSr | Aug 2, 2015 |
In the category of spy novels, this is as good as it gets. The Nearest Exit is a sequel to Steinhauer's earlier novel, The Tourist, which focuses on Milo Weaver, an agent within the CIA's super-secret "Department of Tourism." "Tourists" are akin to those with the "OO" designation in the James Bond universe--assigned to the toughest jobs, often including assassinations. Reading The Tourist took all the romance out of the "spy business" for me, as it made evident that the one distinguishing characteristic for excelling as a spy is a extraordinary gift for lying. Lying is required for the spy's survival, of course, but as one creates as his world a "wilderness of mirrors," all hope for a genuine relationship with another person is lost. It took me a long time to get comfortable with The Tourist's world, which is probably why I like The Nearest Exit better: having already grown familiar with the world in which it took place, and I could get quickly get engaged with the intricacies of the plot. Since it had been some time since I had read The Tourist, I was happy Steinhauer took occasions through the story to remind me of the key things that happened in the previous book. The story was well-crafted, introducing enough elements that I wasn't sure exactly where it was heading, but they kept me turning the pages to a conclusion that brought all those elements together. ( )
  kvrfan | Apr 25, 2015 |
The Nearest Exit, by Olen Steinhauer 8/4/14
Espionage; CIA; Europe
This is second of the Milo Weaver books. I read the last one, An American Spy, first, and the first one, The Tourist, more recently. It actually helped, I think, to have read the third book before this one. It helped me to understand some of what was happening, without ruining anything. At least it didn't ruin it for me, but it might for someone else.
I enjoyed the book alot. I got drawn into the story and read it quickly. I didn't want to stop the flow of the story by putting the book down.
I've also read Steinhauer's most recent book, The Cairo Affair, and now I want to read all of his other books. ( )
1 vote BillPilgrim | Aug 27, 2014 |
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When DJ Jazzy-G hit the intro to 'Just like Heaven', that Cure anthem of his youth, Henry Gray achieved a moment of complete expat euphoria.
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Forced to prove his loyalty to his new bosses in order to return to the CIA, reluctant spy Milo Weaver finds himself caught between the self-interests of patriots and traitors.

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