All the Old Knives is a great read. Taut, fast-paced, and full of suspense and intrigue. It has the quintessential Steinhauer exploration of the human psyche and the espionage world as a stage for asking questions about truth and deception; about the way lies warp and change our relationships and our own self-conception.
In the second part of our conversation Olen Steinhauer and I discuss the life of an expatriate and its impact on your perspective toward your own and other cultures, the future of publishing, and his plans for the future, among other things.
A conversation with Olen Steinhauer in which we discuss his latest book, the risk of bringing current events into a novel, the magic of fiction, his approach to writing, plot and character development, and more.
I periodically get in funks where nothing quite seems to “work” for me and I find myself reading three or four books at one time looking for something that will connect or get the juices flowing again; something that compels me to write because I want to get my opinion down rather than writing because I haven’t written anything here for awhile.
Steinhauer use an ensemble cast, and his more literary style, to create a unique espionage thriller with current events and Eastern Europe’s dark history as the backdrop.
Tension, bursts of action, complex attempts at the sorting of truth from lies and the inevitable resulting grays, questions about identity and the choices we make: classic Steinhauer really. Certainly made me want to read the full length novel but whether it is worth less than a dollar is up to you.
One of my favorite authors, Olen Steinhauer, has a book coming out in 2014, The Cairo Affair, and I … More
Dixon brings a literary sensibility to the story even as he uses these familiar structures and blends in the noir and heist elements. It is the elegance with which he describes the thoughts and emotions of his characters and the way he maps out the charged relationships. The interplay between Jake, his true love Sally and her dangerous sister Kimber is full of the messy, complex and shifting and potentially dangerous emotions of real life.
“The spymaster-as-hero is gone, replaced by the whistle-blower, the outsider who retains enough of his heart to be appalled by the slaughter of strays. In Cairo they’re the young trash collectors living on the city’s edge, but in Gibraltar they’re even more insignificant: one mother and her child, around whom the whole novel rotates, and for whom le Carre’s rage simmers. By the end of A Delicate Truth, you either share his anger at the injustices between its covers, or you don’t. If you do, then you’re one of le Carre’s people. If not, you’re one of Smiley’s. It’s up to you to decide which one is more worthy.” — Olen Steinhauer