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Publisher's Summary

Spun with unsettling plausibility from the events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and featuring secret agent Paul Christopher, The Tears of Autumn is a tour de force of action and enigma.

Christopher, at the height of his powers, believes he knows who arranged the assassination and why. His theory is so destructive of the legend of the dead president, though, and so dangerous to the survival of foreign policy, that he is ordered to desist from investigating. But Christopher is a man who lives by, and for, the truth, and his internal compunctions force him to the heart of the matter.

The Tears of Autumn is an incisive study of power and a brilliant commentary on the force of illusion, the grip of superstition, and the overwhelming strength of blood and family in the affairs of a nation.

©1974 Charles McCarry (P)2005 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Charles McCarry...resides in the upper echelon of spy fiction's Mount Olympus." (Boston Globe)
"Fascinating, entirely credible....This political thriller catches the reader and commands him to finish." (Peter Benchley)

What listeners say about The Tears of Autumn

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Read Me First

Of the three McCarrys currently available at Audible, this is the one to try first. The engrossing "could have been" explanation for the Kennedy assassination is developed with sufficient plausibility and with enough respect for the events and circumstances of that place and time that it requires no suspension of disbelief to allow you to be drawn into the story.

If you find you enjoy McCarry's literate and absorbing style as much as I do, your next stop should be "The Last Supper," which wraps up details from "The Tears of Autumn" and has an historical sweep that reminds me of Littell's "The Company."

In my opinion, you should let "The Miernik Dossier" round out your reading of the three McCarrys. Although it was the author's first novel, it uses a challenging multiple point-of-view technique that is much easier to deal with after you've been introduced to protagonist Paul Christopher's world in a more traditional fashion.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

It must be me

I couldn't get through it though I forced myself to endure the endless drone. I thought suspense novels were supposed to make you want to turn the page to find out what is going to happen next or to uncover another clue. This book just goes on and on endlessly without suspense. This book makes reading the crime beat or arest records in the newspapaper exciting.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

If you like David Ignatius, you'll like this

This book presents a first-person, novelized form of the theory presented as fact in Triangle of Death. The audio book is nicely done & held my attention throughout.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Simply Superb

An enthralling adventure marked by Mr. McCarry's erudition and craftmanship. Well worth the time and cost. and, who knows, it might have happened just as he postulates.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

magnificent prose

I have listened to more than 200 audio books on Audible. com. This book by Mr
McCarry has placed itself among my Top 3 all time favorites. From the incredible story line. to the expressive prose to the reader's performance. It was my first Mccarry book and now I understand why he is held in such high esteem. I only wish Audible carried all his books!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Classic Spy Fiction

One of the great spy novels tightly plotted and beautifully written. The narration is first rate the cadence just rolls over you

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Difficult character to warm up to

Stefan Rudnicki does journeyman work narrating this novel, which I believe was one of McCarry's earlier books. Rudnicki can't quite figure out how to portray Christopher, so he opts for a flat, wooden, one-dimensional tone when reading Christopher's lines. One comes away with a sense that Christopher is an automaton, which can hardly be the case given his operational brilliance.

McCarry seems as though he is trying to find his storyline. He spends the first half of the book telling me far more than I want to know about Christopher's personal thoughts and observations on the minutiae of everyday life. Once the plot gets rolling, however, McCarry does an excellent job portraying Christopher in action. Many of the operational details seem plausible and realistic.

Christopher's (and by extension McCarry's) answer to the question of who killed JFK seems rather far-fetched. I cannot imagine the persons named had the resources, connections, or expertise to plan and execute the entire job in 21 days. Nonetheless, it makes interesting reading and was written before much of the assassination conspiracy literature we have today.

Stefan Rudnicki really shines in his portrayal of LBJ's Texas troubleshooter J.D. Trumbull. He is Rudnicki's best character in the novel. I would not have thought Rudnicki could do a Texas drawl so well.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

the author thinks too highly of the CIA

Ian Fleming and the like are propaganda, John LaCarre and the like are closer to reality.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

No John LeCarre

I ordered this based on great reviews but was put off immediately when one of the characters mentioned the new African nation of Zimbabwe in a story set in the early 1960s. It suggests laziness on the part of both author and editor. I also found the dialog wooden and the romantic/intimate conversations risible. Nevertheless there is an interesting story here so if you love spy fiction but are not too fussy about literature you might enjoy it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating and creative story but....

Really interesting take on early involvement in Vietnam, JFK administration's hubris, CIA before it was reined in. Beautifully written. But, but, but, the takes on non-whites, on women, on sexual relationships, on non-hetero relationships are painful to read. It is jarring in this day and age. Still I highly recommend for the plot and the writing skill.