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Extended Audio Sample Once A Spy: A Novel Audiobook, by Keith Thomson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.53 out of 53.53 out of 53.53 out of 53.53 out of 53.53 out of 5 3.53 (32 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Keith Thomson Narrator: Danny Campbell Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2010 ISBN: 9780307705594
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Drummond Clark was once a spy of legendary proportions.  Now Alzheimer’s disease has taken its toll and he’s just a confused old man who’s wandered away from home, waiting for his son to fetch him. 
 
When Charlie Clark takes a break from his latest losing streak at the track to bring Drummond back to his Brooklyn home, they find it blown sky high—and then bullets start flying in every direction.  At first, Charlie thinks his Russian “creditors” are employing aggressive collection tactics.  But once Drummond effortlessly hot-wires a car as their escape vehicle, Charlie begins to suspect there’s much more to his father than meets the eye.  He soon discovers that Drummond’s unremarkable career as an appliance salesman was actually a clever cover for an elaborate plan to sell would-be terrorists faulty nuclear detonators.  Drummond’s intricate knowledge of the “device” is extremely dangerous information to have rattling around in an Alzheimer’s-addled brain.  The CIA wants to “contain” him--and so do some other shady characters who send Charlie and Drummond on a wild chase that gives  “father and son quality time” a whole new meaning.
 
With Once a Spy, Keith Thomson makes his debut on the thriller stage with energy, wit, and style to spare.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A 2011 Dilys Award Nominee
  • A 2011 Barry Award Nominee for Best First Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 2/13/2014

    " What happens when a former spy retires, developes alzheimers and his mental confusion causes risks to national security? That is the idea behind this well written novel of intrigue. Thomson's main characters are well drawn and appealing. The story moves along quickly and the plot contains plenty of suspense. I am looking forward to reading the sequel and I am told that Once a Spy is being made into a movie. THis book is a must for fans of Daniel Silva and David Baldacci. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alisa | 2/11/2014

    " Being a fan of "spy" type things, this book was a fun read. The best part of it was how Charlie connects with his infamous spy dad for the first time in his life. This connection happens as they get chased all over from good guys and bad guys, and though his dad is suffering with Alzheimers, manages to be lucid to do incredible get aways and secret hiding places, and save Charlie's life a time or two. Charlie comes into his life as a spy as well. Though some of the scenes are overly not believable, still an enjoyable book. Reminded me of my favorite TV show Alias in many ways. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renee | 2/11/2014

    " It's fresh, original and a fun book to read. The main character is a once brilliant, 64 year old spy suffering through the onset of Alzheimers. His passing in and out of lucidity and his relationship with his son weave a some times warm, some times humerous and some times dead serious tale capable of holding a reader's interest. The chapters are short adding to the fast pace of the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 1/28/2014

    " Fun, entertaining spy book. A mindless read that is good for reading on vacation or at work when you just need to escape for a while. The story revolves around a former spy with Alzheimer's and his son as thy try to get away from the bad guys. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 1/27/2014

    " Eh...The idea was good, it just didn't have "it". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joyce McKune | 1/26/2014

    " Charles estranged father has Alzheimer's and admits to being an undercover spy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Havilah | 1/12/2014

    " I enjoyed this book. Lots of action and suspense. The ending was a bit sudden (I wanted it to keep going!). I would LOVE to see this as a movie. Recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Staff Favorites | 1/11/2014

    " Humorous, fast paced, action filled spy caper with well developed characters, a little romance and minimal violence.--Marsha Leclair-Marzolf "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan Scott | 1/10/2014

    " A really nice spin on the espionage/thriller genre which is already a favorite of mine when done well. Looking forward to diving into the second book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Porsche | 12/24/2013

    " Shocking that I actually liked this book. Super crazy that I was even interested. Spy thrillers are so not my cup of tea. But i did like this book! Great story line. A real page turner. I wanted to jsut sit and read and do nothing else. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth | 12/23/2013

    " Good. Looking forward to Twice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 12/8/2013

    " This was a fun book to read, very exciting and fast paced. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim Naughton | 11/28/2013

    " What a wonderful surprise. I had ni expectation this would be the pulse-pounding read it was. It's not so much an espionage novel as a chase tale, and the chase seem unending but Charlie and his Alzheimer's-afflicted dad keep coming up with inventive escapes. Fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jolynne | 11/7/2013

    " Fun concept - spy turned alzheimer's patient. He doesn't remember much and has bouts with lucidity, but always comes through with his "spy" techniques. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dad | 11/4/2013

    " All the high tech weapons and gadgets, plus the spy talk made things too unbelievable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 11/3/2013

    " This book was really a lot of fun. The concept was a very good one, and the writing was strong enough to carry it. Thoroughly enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ku | 7/26/2013

    " Very enjoyable new series featuring an ex-CIA spy who is losing his memory. Looking forward to trying the next title. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tara Lynn Tanner | 5/18/2013

    " A pretty good spy novel, with a twist- Drummond has Alzheimer's disease... and his grown son who wasn't aware of his double life gets pulled into the intrigue. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vastine Stabler | 2/11/2013

    " An very engaging Mystery/Thriller with a unique pare of characters. The usual tense father son dynamic is turned on it's head with a father who is both a former spy and an Alzheimer's disease sufferer. Quite fun. (I am just so curious if those tunnels under Columbia really exist.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gina | 1/17/2013

    " An entertaining book about a compulsive gambler who discovers his senior citizen father is actually a retired spy. His father has enemies who want to kill him and he is suffering from early onset Alzheimer's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 7/10/2012

    " This is about a spy who has Alzheimer's. Cool, dark, and funny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gina Beirne | 9/17/2011

    " Can't wait to read the sequel! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 8/18/2011

    " Drummond was once a spy and now has Alzheimers. Drummond's son, Charlie, is in trouble. In moments of clarity Drummond tries to save his son. A fabulous concept and a very fun story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben | 5/20/2011

    " More like 3.5 but it definitely could've been better "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tammie | 5/6/2011

    " Loved it! While the story was a bit improbably, I found it entertaining. Quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kellie | 4/29/2011

    " I loved this book. It was so much fun. An old spy who now has Alzheimers teams up with his son for a good adventure... it was great. Language warning. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 John | 4/24/2011

    " Did not get into this book. Did not finish. Found it silly and a waste of time. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Heather | 4/15/2011

    " Boring, even with all the action happening. I just could not get excited about the story or the writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 4/9/2011

    " I really loved this as an alternative to all of the historical fiction I read. Fast-paced, lots of action and conspiracies, totally exciting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 3/22/2011

    " What a wonderful surprise. I had ni expectation this would be the pulse-pounding read it was. It's not so much an espionage novel as a chase tale, and the chase seem unending but Charlie and his Alzheimer's-afflicted dad keep coming up with inventive escapes. Fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tara Lynn | 3/16/2011

    " A pretty good spy novel, with a twist- Drummond has Alzheimer's disease... and his grown son who wasn't aware of his double life gets pulled into the intrigue. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 3/15/2011

    " This book was really a lot of fun. The concept was a very good one, and the writing was strong enough to carry it. Thoroughly enjoyable. "

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About the Author
KEITH THOMSON is a former semipro baseball player in France, an editorial cartoonist for Newsday, a filmmaker with a short film shown at Sundance, and a screenwriter who currently lives in Alabama. He writes on intelligence and other matters for the Huffington Post.
About the Narrator

Danny Campbell is an actor who has appeared in CBS’ The Guardian, the films A Pool, a Fool, and a Duel and Greater Than Gravity, and in over twenty-five commercials. Winner of two AudioFile Earphones Awards, he has narrated Once a Spy by Keith Thomson and read the part of David Foster Wallace in Mike Lipsky’s Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, among many others. He is a member of the adjunct faculty in the theater arts department at Santa Monica College.