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The Eiger Sanction

By: Trevanian
Narrated by: Joe Barrett
Series: Johnathan Hemlock, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

In a renovated Gothic church on Long Island lives Jonathan Hemlock, an art professor and a world-renowned mountain climber who finances his black-market art collection by working as a freelance assassin.

Now, Hemlock is being tricked into a hazardous assignment that involves an attempt to scale one of the most treacherous mountain peaks in the Swiss Alps: the Eiger. His target is one of his three fellow climbers. The problem is that the CII can't tell him which one.

This spine-tingling adventure, part thriller and part satire, introduces an intriguing cast of villains, traitors, and beautiful women into a highly charged atmosphere of danger and suspicion that builds to a death-defying climax.

©2000 Rod Whitaker (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Superior suspense on almost every page...the hero is a masterpiece of conflicting qualities - something for everyone." ( New York Times)
"Trevanian can write hoops around Ian Fleming." ( Boston Globe)

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars

Fun, Smart and Entertaining

I have only read one other Trevanian novel, the marvellous Shibumi and had always intended to read more. The time had come.

I saw Clint Eastwood's film version as a teen and had thought little of it. Rodney William Whitaker aka Trevanian also thought the film a failure. "The Eiger Sanction is a satire and they played it straight. It was dumb"

Whitaker was a scholar who decided to write a novel in a bestseller format as an academic exercise. It turned into a lucrative career. Shibumi, the tale of an assassin with mystical tendencies is the best of his five multi-million sellers but The Eiger Sanction is no slouch.

Dr Jonathan Hemlock is a mountain climber/art expert who lives in an old church filled with with illegally acquired paintings by the impressionistic masters. Way beyond his means as a University lecturer, he funds his art collection by working as a part time assassin for a secretive US government agency. When he is not killing, climbing or drinking top shelf champagne he is pleasuring women with names like Felicity Arse and Randy Knickers....... it is a satire styled on Bond after all. Anyways, his latest assignment is a sanction on an unidentified climber, a member of the team who are about to tackle the notorious north face of the Eiger.

The plotting is crisp and clean, the language florid, the research impeccable and the characters well realised. The result is capricious, entertaining and as for the satire, but for the outrageous names of the ladies, mostly subtle.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 14-05-2009

Great story, great narration

No novel by Trevanian is a straightforward matter. Part thriller, part satire, EIGER SANCTION is an extremely well written treatise on mountain climbing, a dig at celebrity culture, an examination of the mind of a killer and in the final analysis; a great story. While a little slow to get going, the novel quietly builds up a head of steam, and while there is lots of diversion along the way,once the tension starts rising the pace never lets up.
The narrator is really good.

15 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anne
  • 18-09-2010

Good satire and thriller

I just loved this book. The story is build up very well towards climbing the Eiger. The climbing itself is an awful good chapter with a surprising final. The narrator Joe Barret is really excellent. And folks; I am a girl and did not mind the fancy bits at all.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Empress Karen
  • 27-02-2019

The Eiger Stands the Test of Time

Great buy on the First in Series Sale. I love narrator Joe Barrett from Brian Haig, Sean Drummond series!! See the best, Private Sector to laugh your head off. I do use the 1.25x speed to match authors action. Joe does a fab job on this book, a fave film of mine.
If you saw Clint Eastwood in this title film, then this book is even better than the film. Narrator, Joe captures the essence of the authors wit, and the dialogue of the times. I can tell you, you are right there on the face of the Eiger!!
I can see why Clint wanted to do the film, and why George Kennedy stole the Ben, 6 pack beer scenes! Gads, as you listen to the book, you can just picture Jack Cassidy as Miles Mellow and visualize George as she runs Clint up steep hills. Not to be missed are the climbing scenes, they either make you want to take lessons or never go near a mountain again.
Book 2 in the wish list.
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  • Jonathan
  • 05-01-2017

Great story

I've seen the movie many times and loved it. The book is also great and just different enough to still be interesting.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 07-07-2010

Pretty Good Listen- Great Narrator- Little Slow

I'm a guy, so I didn't mind the sexism as much as much as a woman might. The protagonist is a cliche, but if you can accept him for the arrogant pig that he seems to be, then you might start to actually like him by the end of the story. Even the names of the characters are "tongue in cheek"- an indication that they represent stereotypes- but they are all interesting. I'm sure there is some "deeper meaning" in the story that could be explored by a college Literature class, but I'm not "that deep" and just enjoyed them all at face value.

It was narrated very well and the story kept my interest- it is an action/mystery more than a romance. This one might be enjoyed more by a "guy" than a woman... I don't think easily offended feminists will like the main character very much. There definately IS much commentary on society in general and, if you "get" the satire, it will make you smile.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • L. Neumar
  • 18-05-2010

Held My Attention

Some mystery - story enough to hold the reader's attention - and just enough to provoke some anger at the protagonist.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ArmyVet64
  • 10-03-2019

Excellent Book!

A refreshing book. No politically correct nonsense. Just an exciting adventure/spy story. I think I’ll give rock climbing a whirl ... just for shits and grins.

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  • Steve L
  • 10-04-2016

Good read!

After a slow start, this book picks up nicely and finishes strong. After reading Shibumi, this one did not disappoint.

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  • Arlene W
  • 09-12-2015

Classic Trevanian

Definitely worth the time to listen. Like one of his other books, Shibumi, Trevanian shows off his "worldly" knowledge of languages and stereotypes of various mostly European cultures. Despite his overtly chauvinistic style, the author still managed to weave a tale that is an entertaining one that doesn't disappoint.

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  • Timothy
  • 11-12-2015

The problem is that I've done some of this stuff

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

An author that knew what he was talking about

What could Trevanian have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Learn his subject matter

Which scene was your favorite?

The house was neat, that part was believable

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  • Karl
  • 16-11-2018

its a classic

this is just a classic read. if you like the film you will love this story