Intelligence: A Novel of the CIA

A team of Intelligence agents try to prevent an impending terrorist attack, but are thwarted by bureaucratic hurdles in this darkly humorous debut written by a former CIA agent Maddie James and her colleagues are terrorism experts working in a crumbling intelligence agency They are certain another big terrorist attack is coming, but in a post 9 11 election year theA team of Intelligence agents try to prevent an impending terrorist attack, but are thwarted by bureaucratic hurdles in this darkly humorous debut written by a former CIA agent Maddie James and her colleagues are terrorism experts working in a crumbling intelligence agency They are certain another big terrorist attack is coming, but in a post 9 11 election year the Administration is stressing its victories in the War on Terror and few want to hear the team s warnings Reluctantly, Maddie s given a team of five analysts to focus on the impending threat The crew labors through bureaucratic obstacles, personal problems, and a blossoming romance between its senior members, Doc and Fran They come heartbreakingly close to stopping the attack, but fail to predict a surprising twist in the terrorists plot In the wake of tragedy, the Administration pins blame on Iran despite lack of evidence so Maddie and her team try to investigate With dark humor and a razor sharp tone, they fight back against office politics, government cover ups and blackmail in order to set the record straight A keenly crafted debut that could only be written by an ex CIA agent, Intelligence will please fans of Wag the Dog and Primary Colors.
Intelligence A Novel of the CIA A team of Intelligence agents try to prevent an impending terrorist attack but are thwarted by bureaucratic hurdles in this darkly humorous debut written by a former CIA agent Maddie James and her co

  • Title: Intelligence: A Novel of the CIA
  • Author: Susan Hasler
  • ISBN: 9780312576035
  • Page: 114
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Intelligence: A Novel of the CIA”

    1. Imagine if James Bond lost his license to kill and had to go work at the company in Office Space. “Yeah, hi. James? I’m going to need you to pack up all your guns and spy thingamajigs and your martini shakers and move that all down to the basement. If you could do that, it’d be great. Thanks.”According to the introduction on the audio version of this book, Susan Hasler worked for the CIA. for over twenty years, and she was on the team that wrote up the infamous warning paper about Bin La [...]

    2. Maddie James is a CIA intelligence analyst. She and her co-workers bury themselves in windowless rooms collating, analyzing, and interpreting government gleaned information. They spend long hours searching for who is planning the next terrorist attack and where it will happen. Terrorism is a serious topic but Hasler manages to include lots of humor through her characters and their interaction. They come are alive and ring true as does the craziness of political posturing. They aren’t merely ty [...]

    3. Can the CIA really be as clumsy and ineffectual as Susan Hasler portrays it in Intelligence? The dysfunctional agency she dramatizes is a bureaucracy tied up in knots, some of them of its own making, some handed down from a White House bent on pursuing its own aggressive strategy regardless of whether it's justified by the facts. Granted, the CIA Hasler paints is that of the George W. Bush Administration, five years after 9/11. And we all know what that was like. But can we be confident that tod [...]

    4. I heard about this book on NPR, and it sounded interesting. Susan Hasler worked as a counter-terrorism analyst at the CIA for over two decades, and the NPR interview discussed some interesting topics like intelligence failures. So I requested the book from my local library and started it with some modestly high expectations. And while certain aspects of the book were illuminating and occasionally entertaining, Intelligence was a disappointment for me.The basic story of Intelligence follows an an [...]

    5. Susan Hasler is a very bitter ex-CIA employee. She lays out her agenda in the foreword of this novel: she felt the Bush Administration ignored intelligence, concocted their own story, and turned the CIA into political apparatchiks in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in order to engineer an unnecessary war with Iraq.Whether you agree with her assessment or not, Intelligence is a sharp, sometimes funny book but one in which the author doesn't even try to be subtle about her axe-grinding. As a veteran [...]

    6. PROTAGONIST: Maddie James, counterterrorism expertSETTING: Washington, DC SERIES: DebutRATING: 4.75Ever since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the American intelligence community has been increasingly vigilant about reviewing information in order to thwart any future attacks before they occur. The amount of data that is scrutinized is mind boggling. The agents working on this detail review thousands of communications looking for the elusive clue that indicates trouble ahead. It’s r [...]

    7. As I was reading this debut novel, I kept thinking to myself: This author sure can write! The descriptions, the prose, and the dialogue were all beautifully written. I found myself laughing out loud at the numerous hilarious scenes. I read this book quickly and enjoyed it. Normally I don't like books that break up the stream of thought into different first-person chapters, but it worked in this novel simply because the characters were all so well portrayed. They had very distinct personalities a [...]

    8. Author Susan Hasler spent 21 years working for the CIA and knows what it is like to toil in an intelligence agency. I was keen to read this book, hoping for a good thriller that also paints a realistic picture of what life is like at the nation's best-known spy agency. The writing in Intelligence is a bit self-consciously "cute", but I might have been able to tolerate that in an otherwise enjoyable book. However, Ms.Hasler was clearly presenting such an inaccurate picture of CIA employees that s [...]

    9. Smart, funny, scary novel written by a long-time CIA employee about a group of counter-terrorism analysts trying to thwart an attack that only they seem to believe in. Frequent allusions to past and present events along with sharp observations on the inner workings of the federal government ring all too true.

    10. Not a great story. Not very good characters. Couldn't wait to finish this so I could move to the next one.

    11. 10 hrs and 27 minsNarrated by Susan Hasler (introduction) , Joe Barrett , Rachel Butera , Catlin Davies , Terry Donnolly , Peter Ganim , L J Ganser , Gayle Hendrix , Bryan Kennedy , Ken KlibanPublisher's SummaryA team of intelligence agents tries to prevent an impending terrorist attack, but is thwarted by bureaucratic hurdles in this darkly humorous debut by former CIA agent Susan Hasler.Maddie James and her colleagues are terrorism experts working in a crumbling intelligence agency. They are c [...]

    12. Hasler's novel depicts a sub culture of CIA characters inside the setting of Washington DC CIA Think Tank work environment. There is something to be gleaned from her days as an analyst during the Cold War period compared to today's war on terror. The book was vetted before publication to ensure that no secrets were given away as a book of fiction relevant to today's Homeland Security efforts with secret information gathering and dissemination. Hasler's novel compares well with other writers who [...]

    13. At first, this story wasn't grabbing me, but as it progressed, I became more ad more hooked into what was going on.I hadn't realized that the book was supposed to be a satire, but I could see the dark comedy that was in it, along the lines of Catch 22 and M*A*S*H. But then I could see the not-so-humorous side of it, and the near-confession of, "Yes, there was a cover-up at the highest levels, but there was nothing we in the lower levels could do about it."The only thing that the audiobook lacks [...]

    14. Wasn't sure I was going to keep reading at first but before I knew it I was drawn in by Maddie, Doc, Vivian, Fran and Vernon. But the character that affected me most was 'a voice with many names'.The race against time to figure out the terrorists target plays out against Maddie and her co-workers having to fight those above them every inch of the way as Maddie's theory doesn't conform with what the policymakers want and that is war with Iran.'A voice with many names' chapters are chilling in the [...]

    15. I found this book on a display at the library. It sounded interesting, and it was. Written by a former CIA insider, I trust the authenticity of the situation, methods, and attitudes of the characters who work in the anti-terrorist arm of the CIA. The dialog is crisp and witty. Eight years later, the agents are all still stunned and feeling guilty about not being able to prevent the attacks of 9/11, and are desperate to correctly interpret the "intelligence" data pouring in. Their frustration at [...]

    16. A good read, with passages of brilliant humor. CIA employees can't do much with memoirs, but this novel gives you a pretty good feel for what one imagines to be the bureaucratic lunacy that makes the emergence of helpful intelligence almost a miracle. Hasler worked there for 21 years. She offers the reader a jaundiced perspective on the bureaucracy combined with believable and often hilarious characterizations. There would seem to be great variety among those mining for useful nuggets in the cav [...]

    17. I really enjoyed Susan Hasler's book. Any close look at the cover that shows the eagle on the CIA seal with rabbit ears should give even the densest reader a clear indication that it is a riff--partly good natured and partly bitter.The strength of the novel is not so much its plot. It is merely a fictional retelling of how intelligence can be distorted to advance a policy end.For me what I really liked were her characters. I am not usually a fan of novels with character portraits but this was an [...]

    18. Entertaining but tonally inconsistent book. The book's main characters are each represented in first-person chapters, which gets rather strange with the unit's dead former boss deploring the state of his current unit. As a former CIA agent, Hasler obviously had bones to pick, especially with the higher ups and their reactions to 9/11 and the lead up to the Iraq War, which makes the book come off as overly preachy sometimes. Then again, maybe those failures deserve preachy admonishments. But it i [...]

    19. This novel has been billed as a thriller, but that's not strictly true. It lacks the cloak-and-dagger dash around the world that most in the genre display. Instead, the book is a very comical whirl through the minds of frustrated CIA analysts in the wake of 9/11. I'm sure it will be compared to Joseph Heller, but to be perfectly honest I enjoyed this book a lot more than Catch-22. Never fear-- the book has plenty of plot, like a thriller would. But much of the intrigue comes from the often ridic [...]

    20. Full review at bookwi/intelligence-a-novelShort review: It is a novel about CIA counter terrorism analysts by a CIA counter terrorism analyst that quit in 2005. It is well written and really carries the weight of finding the potential terrorist attacks. The story format is multiple first person narrative and told in these short vignettes. It works well for giving good characterization and creating pressure. I thought the ending was a bit too neat, but other than that it was very good.

    21. Intelligence was written by a former CIA analyst/speechwriter about a fictional CIA analyst and her team trying and failing to foil a terrorist attack, and the fallout that results. Not being a CIA employee, I can't speak to its authenticity, but it seems very true to me of corporate politics at the very least. It won't surprise a lot of people to know that the worker-bees are the ones who get the blame. The story was interesting although the use of a lot of jargon made it a little difficult to [...]

    22. Liked this fast-paced CIA thriller written by a former agent. The author does have a political point of view as she has her team of counterterrorist analysts battling an administration that needs data interpreted a certain way to use as ammunition to justify a war. Main character is fast and funny Maddie James who is heartbroken and beaten up by 9/11 but still has some fight in her as she battles a government conspiracy that could be even worse.

    23. Excellent look inside CIA intelligence gather and political policy-"Of course, if you think the invasion of Iraq was necessary, even wise, you'll hate this novel. But if you think it was a tragedy brought about by top-level arrogance and deceit, you'll probably savor Hasler's bitter comedy. It's a very funny book about a deeply unfunny slice of recent history. Read it and weep -- but you'll be laughing too."-

    24. This is a refreshing look at the CIA. It touches on a number of things I think people might suspect about the agency but don't really want to face. So much of it rang true to me that I even got that mild panic-attack feeling I get when I think about my husband's gov't job too much. I enjoyed the humor and the bit of romance, too. The characters were well-developed and the story moved along at a good pace.I definitely look forward to reading more of Hasler's books.

    25. I really enjoyed reading this book. Although it is a fiction, but there is nothing fictitious about how organizations behave, whether it be government or large corporations. Reckless decisions are made by higher ups with zero accountability, and all the blame goes to those with sincere intentions. I wouldn't be surprised if there is more truth in this book than fiction. It is a very interesting read, and would love to read more from this author (no other major book out yet)

    26. She couldn't write nonfiction, so she did the next best thing. She retired after almost 25 years at the agency as an alchemist. I love the job title. It takes a lot to work there and Susan Hasler crafts a highly interesting novel that allows a crack into a window into that "place" I drive by daily. Now that there is such a turf war in the intelligence field, it makes you wonder what has happened in the years since her departure.

    27. What a story. An alien with a razor-sharp wit and a team of CIA oddballs—we’re back in the 60’s where the CIA decides to run drug tests on our extraterrestrial protagonist. The story is smart and funny, leaving me wondering how much of it was true. What if? I was fascinated and captivated. A good read!

    28. Entertaining book. Supporters of the Iraq war will dislike the premise of the intelligence community's complicity in making a case for war. That aside, I am intrigued by the idea of CIA analysts slogging through and pouring over the sheer volume of data and trying to come up with plausible terrorist threats. Quite fascinating!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *