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10 thoughts on “The Columbus Affair

  1. says:

    I usually love Steve Berry books I grab them off the shelves and read them uickly because they're genuine page turners and damn interesting The Columbus Affair however wasn't uite either of these I turned the pages to get to the end and it was only interesting in parts Basically without spoiling the story this novel follows the adventures of a journalist Tom Sagan who as the book opens is about to commit suicide He discovers he’s “the Levite” a keeper of a special Jewish treasure that has ties back to the days of Columbus and his voyages to the Americas This knowledge sets off a chain of events and dangerous adventures that puts lives on the line of course Spanning Europe America Jamaica and South America the book is in typical Berry fashion wide in temporal and geographical scope It also features the Magellan Billet though no Cotton Malone Overall however I felt this book wasn't up to the standard of his others it was too didactic Berry was determined to show off his research and the knowledge he gained and subseuently played with the way he sometimes does this is very clever but I felt the narrative suffered as a conseuence There was too much telling Another reason I didn't feel this book was as good as his previous ones was the decision to make a suicidal journalist his main protagonist I didn’t mind the fact there was no Malone as much as I like him No what made this character so problematic was for reasons the novel makes clear this guy is basically despised by former colleagues he’s stripped of his Pulitzer and his once fine reputation is in tatters and completely alienated from his family In other words loathed by everyone Therefore it’s hard for the reader to like him as well He had so few redeeming ualities Likewise his daughter Alle was a complete pain in the arse I also found her stupid – and considering she was doing her PhD some of the decisions she made and conclusions she leapt to the people she put her faith in didn’t ring true to me The main villain Zacariah was so bad a child would have run screaming from him – but not Alle No she gave him chances than a casino In the end she came across as of a convenient and sloppy narrative device that didn’t add any depth or richness to the tale I am sure many people will like this book and really I give it two and half stars There are some good moments some interesting ideas but it was a bit too black and white and preachy for me Nonetheless this hasn’t deterred me I will look forward to the next Berry book and continue to enjoy reading his back catalogue

  2. says:

    Another great book by Steve Berry that blows traditional views of the 'founder of the Americas' out of the water and leaves me wondering how much was truth and what might have been fiction Even reading the author's note I am left wondering if Berry used his amazing abilities to paint a picture of Columbus that may leave American students rushing back to their history booksBerry balances what we know about Christopher Columbus and spices it up with much that was never known to me I wish not to spoil it for anyone but it surely does leave me wondering if this man was as elusive as he appears in this book and if many other historical figures have secret histories that are collecting dust Adding a current storyline Berry pushes a mystery that keeps the reader intrigued while peppering us with history and academic references What begins as a familial strain turns into a story about Columbus the race to find long long religious secrets and how good can conuer evil in the endWhile I did have to take a skeptical look at some that Berry wrote I am interested to see how much truth lies within these chapters Berry presents his information very much in the 'Dan Brownsian fashion' leaving me to wonder what truths I can take away from thisMany kudos Mr Berry I am so excited to see what you have up your sleeve

  3. says:

    I like historic fiction and thrillers so Steve Berry's The Columbus Affair Ballantine Books 2012 seemed perfect Not only did it cover a segment of history I've spent virtually no time at all thinking much less reading about I'm always looking for new authors I read 1 3 books a week and Berry has thirteen out Thirteen That would get me through over a month if Columbus Affair worked outThis is the story of a damaged Pulitzer Prize winning journalist moments from commiting suicide when he gets the chance to end his life on a high note Save his estranged daughter from unspeakable horror This would give meaning to what had become a worthless existence and he agrees to postpone ending his life long enough to rescue his child From that moment he enters a world of religious zealots long buried historic events surrounding Christopher Columbus international criminals CIA operatives and a twisted plot that it would take an award winning investigator like himself to unravelThis is a promising start but not without its literary problems For example the author provides much backstory to share the mysteries surrounding Christopher Columbus It's interesting in its own right but knocks the heck out of the plot's momentum Every time the story gets moving it falls into a backstory black hole like a literary stutter As if this weren't enough the pace is also hobbled by the constant scene shifts They are uick a couple of pages but each time I must re orient myself before I can enjoy that lovely thriller feeling of being enveloped in another worldHaving said that the writer is a good storyteller The characters are nicely constructed and the plot is complex enough to keep the cleverest reader involved And even by the diverse paradigm of the genre this one is unusual Where it abides by the conscripts of a thriller main character working ever frantically to stop something dramatic from happening the heroes are not the typical thriller good guys bigger than life damaged but dominant For the first half the book it's hard to find a good guy Each main character has so many flaws in both morals and motivation its hard to root for them Zacharias is charismatic and amoral Alle has let hate for her father corrupt her soul And Ben WYSIWYG a violent strong man with core beliefs he's lived by his entire life Him readers can respect if not likeOverall Berry is a solid writer with a well researched plot I think many people will love this book as much for the fascinating historic details about Columbus as the tightly woven character driven plot Just make sure you pay attention

  4. says:

    Okay Um what the hell happened to a story with such great potential?Steve Berry is normally a very good thriller writer just like James Rollins and Clive Cussler But some way somehow he really dropped the ball on this latest novelBasically it's another kind of historical conspiracy story in which the life and times of a popular figure get toyed with and fictionally subverted In this case Christopher Columbus In the present day a controversial journalist Tom Sagan is swept into the uest of a zealot named Zachariah Simon who wants to discover evidence of this conspiracy Yes it's a stand alone book outside the long established Cotton Malone series Berry has been publishing since 2006 To be honest I wish he would keep going with those books Perhaps he wanted to take a little time to come up with something worthy of topping The Jefferson KeyBut I really couldn't get than 100 pages into this book for three reasons One the fact that pretty much every other word is Jew because the main character is Jewish It would have been just fine to say it once or twice and leave it at that Two the constant insertion of bizarre separate stories written in italics that really don't have anything to do with the story This same flaw is present in Orson Scott Card's Pathfinder which is one of my least favorite books ever And three Berry pretty much gives away the whole plot twist way too early Like page 50 early I don't think I've ever been so embarrassed to have had something on hold at the library for over three months Well maybe for Mission Impossible 2 I'm just glad I chose to read City of Lost Souls firstHopefully Berry's next book will be an awesome continuation of the Cotton Malone series And then this book will just become Berry's euivalent of Rollins' Altar of Eden a stand alone book that's pretty much just crappy filler until real literature is produced Edit Berry has confirmed that he is writing the eighth Cotton Malone book The King's Deception which is set to come out next year May it be a massive improvement over this turkey travesty

  5. says:

    Five stars? Absolutely This book was amazing and without a doubt one of the best books I've read in a very long time I have never read a book by Steve Berry prior to this one and I am thrilled I won this one through the GoodReads First Reads giveaways I will definitely be purchasing books by Mr BerryI do not understand the criticisms of this book that other reviews have mentioned I had absolutely no problem with the momentum of the plot As far as I was concerned every character every tale every sentence was completely critical to the story I fell in love with some of the characters even the villainous characters and I loved the complexity that Mr Berry built in to each one Tom Sagan a disgraced former Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter who lost his family and his career Alle Sagan Becket who felt betrayed and abandoned by her disgraced father and who seeking acceptance and validity fell victim to an insane terrorist Bene Rowe a man seeking to clarify his own identity while struggling with who his ancestors were and the man he currently is and Zachariah Simon the insane terrorist who will betray everyone and stop at nothing to incite a war to save his people The story is fantastic and is woven so intricately that I could barely bring myself to ever put the book downI adored the writing style I loved how the story was continually shifting character perspective It keeps the story from becoming stale and created a deeper understanding of the story as a whole It was not a tale of Tom Sagan or Alle Becket or Bene Rowe or Zachariah Simon it was a tale of all of these characters on different uests to different ends through the same treasure I found it reminiscent of the character shifts in William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying I also loved Mr Berry's use of choppy shifting sentences The choppy sentences such asI didn't know if I couldIf I shouldMaybeI would have to trySome dayI made those up they aren't in the story but that style is was beautifully included in the context of the book It broke up the fluid writing of the rest of the book and reflected the chaos of a moment or a thought process and it was brilliantly usedI have no complaints with this book It is definitely a new favorite of mine and if Mr Berry's other books are as well written as this one I may have found a new author to add to my list of favorites

  6. says:

    On the second Monday of every October since it became an official federal holiday in 1937 Americans celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus' first arrival in the Americas in 1492 Similar official holidays commemorate the event in Latin and South America and in Spain Unofficial remembrances of Columbus' feat predate by hundreds of years the official holidays But as Steve Berry amply demonstrates in his engaging new thriller The Columbus Affair no one really knows much about the man they've been honoring in scads of Octobers dating back centuries perhaps because that is exactly the way Columbus wanted itAmong scant facts known surely is the date of Columbus' departure from Spain to find a new seaway to India Columbus sailed from the Spanish port of Palos de la Frontera late on the evening of August 2 1492 bare hours before Ferdinand and Isabella's royal deadline for all Jews to be gone from Spain by August 3 Combining these and the handful of other verifiable facts about Columbus with a myriad of mysteries surrounding everything about the storied explorer from his real name to his actual birthplace and upbringing to his physical appearance to his true religion Berry weaves an enthralling tale of dangerous modern day treasure hunting spanning locales from Florida to Jamaica via Vienna Prague and Cuba The reluctant hunter at the novel's center is a bitter broken man named Tom Sagan Stripped of his family and profession for reasons both just and unjust the disgraced former journalist finds his imminent suicide interrupted by a forced uest to discover the real Columbus and a legendary treasure with Sagan's life and the life of his estranged daughter hanging on every perilous step he takesBerry tells Sagan's captivating story with breakneck pacing and the plot never slows down Alone those make the book a worthwhile read The addition of a section at the novel's end titled Writer's Note where Berry shares the fruits and dead ends of his research into the real Columbus makes the book even engrossing

  7. says:

    This is a very good book fast moving and the action never stops Although putting my prejudice of loving everything Steve writes aside he weaves a story that could be entirely plausible The book also draws upon the interplay between a daughter and her estranged father that won’t resolve itself until near the end of the bookThe 1st chapter introduces us to Tom Sagan a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter now disgraced and accused of fabricating a story We learn in the 1st chapter that he tried to clear his name but there was a cover up protecting the people who brought him down so he comforts himself with ghost writing which pays well and keeps his name out of the news But then he decides life is not worth living if he can’t be a reporterAs the story opens Tom is putting the gun to his head to end his life Simon shows up at the door of Tom’s parent’s old house where he has gone to end his life Simon shows Tom a video that so horrifies him it causes him to give up his idea of suicide and go on a uest that will change his life and the life of his daughter foreverIn the next chapter we are introduced to Béne who is a great man at least in his own eyes Life is cheap where he lives and cheap to him also If someone crosses him he simply turns them loose to get off his island as best they can but a few minutes later he also turns loose his hunting dogs “and they never eat what they don’t kill themselves” Through a series of circumstances he also becomes involved in the hunt for the truth about Columbus but the part he plays given his character is a surprise to us all“Zachariah Simon has the look of a scholar the soul of a scoundrel and the zeal of a fanatic” I don’t know that I agree with this description of him it seems a bit too easy on him I would describe him as a cruel user a terrorist and one who thinks human life is not worth his “uest”Zachariah Simon is the impetus that causes Tom Sagan to go on a uest that his father wanted him on many years ago It is a dangerous game they play especially Tom’s daughter AllieWhile each of the characters are on the uest for a different reason in the end they all come together to discover the truth about who Christopher Columbus really was and what has been hidden for centuries in the caves of JamaicaExcellent read Eileen

  8. says:

    My wife loves Steve Berry and the historical tidbits that litter his thrillers She asked me to review it Normally I subscribe to the ‘if you can’t say anything nice’ policy I am and I am not a fan of Steve Berry I like his stories his settings and many of his historical elements I find his writing annoying Really annoying Maybe Ballantine is paying by the word but in my estimation Mr Berry is in dire need of an editor More on that later First let me state the positives There are many This is a book with incredible depth on Judaism He puts forth Jewish rites history and struggles with details lovingly and respectfully told without alienating non religious or history bereft readers The book like all his work is rich with historical details His background on Jamaica Columbus Spain Austria and the Middle East is comprehensive and trustworthy We can read the story with faith in the author’s extensive research while intuitively knowing where he departs from historical fact to forge his own fiction This book has another great benefit It is devoid of Cotton Malone I’m married to a lawyer I know many lawyers end up at lawyer conventions twice a year and I could never see one of them doing the James Bond thing Sorry but I wouldn’t trust a lawyer with my son’s BB gun I have on occasion called lawyers at 3AM for a uick rescue at the local precinct; and have always said ‘no one likes a lawyer until they need one’ but enough about me If you can put up with all Mr Berry’s writing transgressions you will love this book Buried among the 140000 unending words is a compelling and interesting story of about 70 80000 wordsWriting transgressions? Annoying? What on earth do you mean? Click HERE

  9. says:

    When Steve Berry announced last year that his popular character Cotton Malone would be taking some time off fans were worried What they didn’t take into account was that Steve was still going to write just use another character What was the outcome; One of Steve’s best books to date “The Columbus Affair” with new character Tom Sagan Tom is a man that has hit bottom Winning awards for his writing while working at the Los Angeles Times and now working as a ghostwriter where many of his books hit the bestseller list only under someone else’s name Tom is getting ready to pull the trigger on his life However when a man shows up with a picture of his daughter a relationship between the two that was also on the rocks Tom needed to step up Christopher Columbus is one of the most recognizable names in World History; however he also has one of the most mysterious pasts In true form to his past books Steve is able to push the boundaries of historical fiction by bringing to light some of the mystery behind Columbus but keeping the action at the highest level Do I dare say that Cotton Malone has met his match in Tom Sagan you bet I will “The Columbus Affair” is an instant classic Reviewed by John Raab CEOPublisher of Suspense Magazine

  10. says:

    Like always I was amazed by the intriguing and fantastic mix of the world of history and fiction

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The Columbus Affair A family’s secret a ruthless fanatic and a covert arm of the American government—all are linked by a single puzzling possibility  What if everything we know about the discovery of America was a lie What if that lie was designed to hide the secret of why Columbus sailed in 1492 And what if that 500 year old secret could violently reshape the modern political world   Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist Tom Sagan has written hard hitting articles from hot spots around the world But when one of his stories from the Middle East is exposed as a fraud his professional reputation crashes and burns Now he lives in virtual exile—haunted by bad decisions and a shocking truth he can never prove  that his downfall was a deliberate act of sabotage by an unknown enemy But before Sagan can end his torment with the sueeze of a trigger fate intervenes in the form of an enigmatic stranger  This stranger forces Sagan to act—and his actions attract the attention of the Magellan Billet a top secret corps of the United States Justice Department that deals with America’s most sensitive investigations Sagan suddenly finds himself caught in an international incident the repercussions of which will shudder not only Washington DC but also Jerusalem Coaxed into a deadly cat and mouse game unsure who’s friend and who’s foe Sagan is forced to Vienna Prague then finally into the Blue Mountains of Jamaica—where his survival hinges on his rewriting everything we know about Christopher Columbus  Don’t miss Steve Berry’s short story “The Admiral’s Mark” and a sneak peek of his new novel The King’s Deception in the back of the book

  • Paperback
  • 594 pages
  • The Columbus Affair
  • Steve Berry
  • English
  • 20 April 2014
  • 9780345526526