The Spy and The Traitor The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War

Book Rating

Date Read: 15.06.2021 – 23.06.2021

Outside fiction, spying seldom goes exactly according to plan.

Ben Macintyre, The Spy and The Traitor

A stocky, athletic figure, Gordievsky strode confidently through the airport crowds. Inside him, though, a low terror bubbled. For Oleg Gordievsky, KGB veteran, faithful secret servant of the Soviet Union, was a British spy. Code-named NOCTON

Wow, that one word is good enough to describe the book. Nothing like the odd 007 chracter were the protagonist spy could never go wrong backed by the multitude of gadgets and what nots. there is a healthy doubtful nature with all the spies running around in realty and by healthy I mean at the border of paranoia well they are all spies after all.

Although the book is based on real life events it seldom give you that feeling because of the amount of high tension drama that keeps unfolding page by page. I loved every minute of reading it. It kept me engaged through and through unlike some of the other books I’ve read where at a certain point you just wished to skip a few pages ahead. this book kept me glued to it, not page by page, but word by word.

What is is it with books based on Russia and me in recent time I’ve read 2 books, including this one and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles both of them kept there hooks in me till I finished them. It’s sad that now day I can’t keep myself up all night to read the books I really want to and if I kept finding these kind of books I doubt I’ll ever want to sleep.

The book is divided in three distinct parts. each part representing a phase in the life of Gordievsky (He’s the man)

Part I describe about Gordievsky early life till his journey from the being a Homo Sovieticus to a Homo Sapien (Human Being). The first part showcases his deep ties to the KGB. His education, how was his ideologies developed and specifically how was he deeply wounded by the falling of Soviet Winter

The Prague Spring was over, and a new Soviet winter began

Ben Macintyre

This section also tells us about his approach to MI6 and how The West missed the signal when Gordievsky reached out.

Part II describe his life as a Double agent. It gives us a glimpse of how, unlike the movies, spying is all about human skills and judgement and that at times even they make mistakes or even if it’s not a mistake there is always someone else spying upon you

spy state pitting all against all, in which phones were tapped and letters opened, and everyone was encouraged to inform on everyone else, everywhere, all the time


Part III If there is a super spy there is bound to be a villainous mirror image. well, we’ve got three with smaller one sprinkled all over. The first one is a wannabe villain whose career is blown away even before it began. The other one is not a villain per say he’s part of the good guy but he’s egotistic in belief of their superiority that make one of the classical dumbest mistake of being too curious to prove his superiority. In the end comes our Mega Villain who gets the chance to destroy our protagonist and the hope he represent for freedom because of our egotistical good guy.

In short I loved every minute of reading it as I am sure everyone will.

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