Tass Is Authorized to Announce--

Iulian Semenov, Author Calder Publications $9.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7145-4120-4
If, as we are told, Semyonov is the Soviet Union'stop author of espionage thrillersand this example of his craft is a bestseller therethen that country must be hard up for good writers in the genre. The story, mainly carried on by tedious and often intellectually pretentious dialogue between a profusion of two-dimensional characters, is about the CIA's attempt to foster a right-wing coup against ""Nagonia,'' a Moscow-supported nation in Africa, and the KGB's successful scheme to thwart it. Though an agent or counteragent ``disappears'' every now and then, there's very little action, surprising in a writer who apparently takes Hemingway as his literary hero. The love interest is virtually nil, and, while ostensibly set in Moscow and Africa, the story captures so little in the way of local atmosphere, it might almost have been set in a parking lot. The KGB agents are basically good guys, as might be expected, the CIA types, backed by ``the Military-Industrial Complex,'' basically ruthless and deceitful, despite their ``human'' veneer. Semyonov is reputed to be a friend of Gorbachev and a high-up in the KGB; it could just be that his connections are more interesting than his writing. Author tour. (September 14)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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