Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weaponized

The New York Times recently ran a book review of a new novel which might grab your attention, if you are into international espionage. The book is called Weaponized and it's written by Nicholas Mennuti with David Guggenheim and published by Mulholland/Little. Here's the NYT review: “The government’s been listening to all of us for years,” claims Kyle West, the beleaguered brainiac at the center of this freewheeling thriller. And he should know, having devised computer technology that out-Big-Brothers the state at its own surveillance game. Common sense takes leave of uncommon intelligence when, on the lam in Cambodia from Senate subcommittee hearings and civil-liberties lawsuits, West trades passports with a wealthy businessman who convinces him the swap will make all his troubles go away. Fat chance. The stranger, Julian Robinson, thrusts West into a frenetic cat-and-mouse that has Chinese authorities and a C.I.A. specialist in extraordinary rendition nipping at his tail. Where some books nakedly brandish Hollywood ambitions, “Weaponized” plays like a Looney Tunes cartoon aspiring to literature: wiseacre ripostes and slapstick violence trade off with passages of Graham Greene-ish erudition and atmosphere. Phnom Penh, whose “shanties seem to wilt in the heat and lean on one another for support, a series of dislocated shoulders,” comes across as today’s go-to city for Western ne’er-do-wells who long to get lost in the crowd.

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