Read The Honor of Spies by W.E.B. Griffin Free Online
Book Title: The Honor of Spies|
The author of the book: W.E.B. Griffin
Edition: Putnam Adult
Date of issue: December 31st 2009
ISBN 13: 9780399156052
Loaded: 1956 times
Reader ratings: 3.5
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 520 KB
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books:
I don't really know why I like W.E.B. Griffin's novels as much as I do; they are a strange combination of fact and fiction, endangering the reader's understanding of true history, which distresses me. Their male protagonists are hard-drinking and callous, with masochistic viewpoints that are at extreme odds with what my mother taught me as desirable cultural norms; the women frequently are little more than too-willing sex objects. The pace is frequently bogged down by platitudinous descriptions of weapons, planes, cars, and buildings--most of which read as if they were copied directly out of a researcher's notebook. The characters are often pure two-dimensional characterizations: the heroes are impossibly heroic, the Nazis are boot-licking swine, the Argentineans are docile peasants, and all of them are routinely introduced and re-identified at every mention with full names and titles (many of which are incomprehensible, as well as cumbersome). The writing is full of such tricks as location-identifying headings at the beginning of each chapter and subchapter in heavy block print that can hardly be read (and which often cause the reader to have to backtrack to the previous one to see how much time has passed) ... along with too-frequent replications of correspondence sent from one character to another. Moreover, the allusions to real people are replete with extraordinary bias and falsehoods; I do not know if Alan Dulles was the overeducated incompetent that Griffin makes him out to be, but I do know that President Rawson only ruled Argentina for three days of political unrest, not for the months on end of continual development that range through this series. And yet ... I find myself getting wrapped up in the story, and inevitably I find that when I reach the last fifth or more of these multitudinous tomes (this one runs for 481 pages) I have to put everything else aside, no matter how important, and stay up half the night or more to finish the book.
This is the fifth volume in the Honor Bound series, which follows the story of OSS agents sent to neutral Argentina during World War II to secretly undermine German operations there. Interestingly, there is the usual Griffin characteristic ploy of referring to things that happened in previous books, but I only seem to recognize the ones that happened in Book I (which I did not read) and Book II (which I did), and I am unconscious of any references to the events of Books III & IV, which I am yet to find.
Don Cletus Howell Frade is now a major in the U.S.Marines, on special duty with the OSS, and his wife, Dońa Dorotea Mallin de Frade, is about to give birth to their first child. Frade has started an airline, using first-class planes supplied by Franklin Delanor Roosevelt as a way of putting down a political opponent (FDR does not come off in Griffin's books as a very nice person), and Adolph Hitler himself is so upset about this competition to Lufthansa that he has directed Himmler to dispatch his deputy adjutant, SS-Brigadefűhrer Ritter Manfred von Dietzberg, to destroy the planes, to eliminate Don Cletus Frade, and also to eliminate Herr Wilhelm Frogger and his wife, Frau Else, recent defectors from the German embassy in Argentina, because they both know too much about the Valkyrie project (a plan to relocate most of the high-brass leaders and their families to Argentina, so that the Third Reich can rise again after losing the war in Europe)--which defectors Don Cletus Frade is hiding somewhere on his Estancia San Pedro y San Pablo ranch as a result of happenings in the preceding volume of this series. What Hitler and Himmler do not know is that SS-Brigadefűhrer von Dietzberg also has another goal: to eliminate the Argentinean-resident personnel involved in another project, whereby he and other high-ranking Germans have been enriching themselves by letting wealthy Jews in America and elsewhere ransom their relatives out of the German concentration camps. And all of this is just part of the intricately intertwined plot, which also includes the plans for El Coronel Juan D. Peron (who happens to be Don Cletus Frade's godfather) to seize power with the help of his German friends; it is in this novel that Peron, who hitherto has been partial to 13-year-old girls, ties up with Evita Duarte, a radio actress.
I'm not going to spoil the story by telling you how any of this turns out-mostly because I do not really know all of it. As with all of Griffin's books (Butterworth IV is his son), this one only unravels a few of the threads of the ongoing story, with most of the ball of twine continuing to roll into another novel that has not yet been published. My advice would be to start with Honor Bound (Book I) and read them in order ... even though I have not done that myself. But the reason I have not done it, of course, is that the @#$%&! publisher, like most of his modern-day ilk, doesn't tell us about the other books in the series, and I had to go search through Griffin's Website (which is as convoluted as his novels) to find out which books came first, in the hundred or more novels he has created in seven or more different series.
Update on 03-24-12 -- I now have confirmation--double confirmation, in fact--that belonging to Goodreads and logging in all these reviews is a waste of my time. My youngest told me years ago to join Goodreads as a way of preventing me from rereading a book I had forgotten I had read (because I was complaining about having recently done that in two different cases). A few weeks ago I read Honor Bound, the first book of this series, and I commented at that time that I had read its sequel so I was happy to get filled in on how things started. I then discovered other books from the series at my local library and came home with an armful … but it was not until I got to about Page 300 in this, the fifth book in the series, that I realized this was the book I had read before, two years ago, in 2010, not the second … and it was not until I searched through the list of My Books on Goodreads that I realized I had in fact read the second novel two years before that, back in 2008--which I have just read again as part of this exercise and did not even recognize it!
But here’s the thing: I give it four stars again, because it is a terrific story! I rally think I liked it better this time, because I have gone through all five books in the past couple weeks, and it is really all one story. In fact, only ten months of time have passed since Page 1 of the first novel (covered by more than 2,000 pages, and taking nearly two decades to write, but probably a couple hundred of those pages are pure repetitions from one book to another!). I would really love to know the background story of how these books came to be. W.E.B. Griffin apparently did the first three by himself (we are told Butterworth has been editing his father’s books for years, but it is only in this novel and its predecessor that they are both listed as co-authors. But--did Griffin actually have this whole complex plot in his head when he started? That would seem incredible. On the other hand, did he start with just a simpler version and then together they expanded it into half a dozen or more novels (because this clearly is not the end, as the story is left up in the air and we are left with one of the characters uttering the following two sentences at the end: “Don’t think you’re going to be able to relax, Don Cletus. I have a feeling we’re all going to be very busy very soon.” [Research on the internet has told me that a sixth book (Victory and Honor) was indeed produced last summer (2011), but I have not come across it, as yet.]
Despite the fact that I could not remember having read it until I was more than halfway through, I have to conclude that I enjoyed it more this time because I had just gone through the preceding four novels, so that I was fully familiar with all the interaction between the fifty or so characters--as shown by the fact that I now think much kindly of the female characters and possibly of the men as well. I am still distressed by the liberties taken with actual history. For example, I have just read through the fascinating account of Juan Peron’s life in Wikipedia, and I am having a hard time reconciling that truly complicated man with the rather two-dimensional portrayal in this series. Griffin once stated that he intended to carry the series all the way through the Falkland Islands war, but I don’t see how he could have gone the nearly 40 years of time after this novel, during much of which Peron was in power, in one or the other of his three terms as President, when the protagonist of the series is so inimical with Peron.
S I have often stated in other Goodreads reviews, I hate to read series novels out of sequence. This experience of being able to go through the series from beginning to end has convinced me even more of that!
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Read information about the authorW.E.B. Griffin is one of several pseudonyms for William E. Butterworth III.
From the Authors Website:
W.E.B. Griffin is the #1 best-selling author of more than fifty epic novels in seven series, all of which have made The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and other best-seller lists. More than fifty million of the books are in print in more than ten languages, including Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, and Hungarian.
Mr. Griffin grew up in the suburbs of New York City and Philadelphia. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1946. After basic training, he received counterintelligence training at Fort Holabird, Maryland. He was assigned to the Army of Occupation in Germany, and ultimately to the staff of then-Major General I.D. White, commander of the U.S. Constabulary.
In 1951, Mr. Griffin was recalled to active duty for the Korean War, interrupting his education at Phillips University, Marburg an der Lahn, Germany. In Korea he earned the Combat Infantry Badge as a combat correspondent and later served as acting X Corps (Group) information officer under Lieutenant General White.
On his release from active duty in 1953, Mr. Griffin was appointed Chief of the Publications Division of the U.S. Army Signal Aviation Test & Support Activity at Fort Rucker, Alabama.
Mr. Griffin is a member of the Special Operations Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Army Aviation Association, the Armor Association, and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Society.
He was the 1991 recipient of the Brigadier General Robert L. Dening Memorial Distinguished Service Award of the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association, and the August 1999 recipient of the Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award, presented at the 100th National Convention in Kansas City.
He has been vested into the Order of St. George of the U.S. Armor Association, and the Order of St. Andrew of the U.S. Army Aviation Association, and been awarded Honorary Doctoral degrees by Norwich University, the nation’s first and oldest private military college, and by Troy State University (Ala.). He was the graduation dinner speaker for the class of 1988 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
He has been awarded honorary membership in the Special Forces Association, the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association, the Marine Raiders Association, and the U.S. Army Otter & Caribou Association. In January 2003, he was made a life member of the Police Chiefs Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and the State of Delaware.
He is the co-founder, with historian Colonel Carlo D’Este, of the William E. Colby Seminar on Intelligence, Military, and Diplomatic Affairs. (Details here and here)
He is a Life Member of the National Rifle Association. And he belongs to the Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Pensacola, Florida, chapters of the Flat Earth Society.
Mr. Griffin’s novels, known for their historical accuracy, have been praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer for their “fierce, stop-for-nothing scenes.”
“Nothing honors me more than a serviceman, veteran, or cop telling me he enjoys reading my books,” Mr. Griffin says.
Mr. Griffin divides his time between the Gulf Coast and Buenos Aires.
* Alex Baldwin
* Webb Beech
* Walker E. Blake
* W.E. Butterworth
* James McM. Douglas
* Eden Hughes
* Edmund O. Scholefield
* Patrick J. Williams
* W. E. Butterworth
* John Kevin Dugan
* Jack Dug
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