We get it: Russia is a shitty place and communism reduces human bodies to objects owned by the State. Anyway, Dominika and Nash meet, bond, do sex; Dominika agrees to help the CIA in exchange for safe passage for her and her mom out of the Motherland. This disconnect occurs often: Dominika does things that bear no meaning to the scene at hand, which by default makes her actions suspect, pointing to a twist we know will come because these meaningless actions must have some sort of explanation. A better director could weave these disparate elements into the text while sustaining their meanings in superposition.
How timely. Fold cabbage leaves around two spoons of mixture to form large square envelopes. Fry in butter until brown, then simmer for one hour in stock, tomato sauce, and bay leaves. Serve with reduced sauce and sour cream. Knead and shape into flat kebabs; grill until almost charred. Serve with grilled pide bread and thinly sliced purple onions sprinkled with lemon and sumac. Add thin noodles and cook until done. Put boiled beef in bottom of bowl and pour broth and vegetables over. Remove meat. Return meat to pan, cover with beef broth, and simmer until meat is tender. Blend in Dijon mustard, splash of heavy cream; reheat and serve.
Add beaten eggs to potatoes and onions and return to oiled pan on medium heat until edges and bottom start to brown. Place plate over skillet, invert, then slide tortilla back into pan and cook until golden brown. Add beaten eggs to the tomatoes and stir vigorously until eggs set into a small, fine curd. Sprinkle with chopped boiled eggs. Spread a thin layer of small-gauge caviar Ossetra or Sevruga on top of torte and chill.
Unmold and spread on blinis or toast points. Remove and cover. Deglaze pan with dry white wine and lemon juice, boil to reduce. Lower heat, add thin lemon slices, capers, and cold butter. Gently simmer to a thick reduction do not bring back to a boil. Return medallions to sauce to warm.
Incorporate ingredients in the skillet with additional butter, season and reheat. Form a well in the mixture, and break a raw egg into it. Stir the egg into the hash before serving. Add bay and cinnamon. Add heated clarified butter. Cook until fragrant. Add cubed pieces of lamb, stir in yogurt, warm water, and pepper. Bake in medium oven for two hours.
Red Sparrow - Wikipedia
Sprinkle with coriander. View all 6 comments. Feb 21, Kat rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , library-n. Wow, this is SO detailed and amazing. She Wow, this is SO detailed and amazing. She is sent to extract information from him. He is told to develop her as an agent. But are real feelings starting to form? Long, complex, and with an interesting array of emotions that keep you invested in seeing what comes next.
And I just loved Dominica and Nate! So many twists and turns as this winds its way towards the end. Definitely reading the next book in the series! Entered on screen reader. Jun 06, Meredith rated it it was amazing. Captivating spy novel with some romance mixed in. I highly recommend. I can't wait to read the Palace of Treason. Apr 09, LeAnne: GeezerMom rated it really liked it.
I'm going to give this a four for pure entertainment. I confess that the primary reason I read this was because of the new movie release and that it was available as a free audio from the library. That said, I'm also an old fan of the original Tom Clancy books like Red Storm I'm going to give this a four for pure entertainment.
And by coincidence, the hub and I have been watching the series Berlin Station. Are these novels erudite and deep invitations for soul searching? No, but they're fun. This is an espionage story that takes tricky U turns around Moscow, Helsinki, and DC with a few quick stops in other European cities.
We have a male and female protag, each on opposites sides of the 'new' Cold War, who of course become enamored of one another. What is a hoot is that we also have Vladimir V. Yes, we even get to see him without his shirt doing a TRX workout. For those of you who are not gym rats, TRX straps with handles on them are anchored to overhead bars or hooks so that one can do mid-air push ups with body weight as the resistance - it ain't easy, but VVP makes it look that way.
Putin isn't the only one taking his clothes off here. Unfortunately, I started my audio of this while driving 75mph en route to the beach with my 15 year old son along. He likes CIA intrigue and stories that involve Russians. The first 20 minutes or so were great for us to listen to together - until a female character described sexual congress with a big hairy slob of an oligarch in detail. Thanks to driving skills that CIA operatives would envy, I did not swerve off the road in horror but maintained composure as I cranked the volume down to zero. There is a later brothel kind of scene, the introduction of a long handled hairbrush, and more.
Very steamy but not in the bodice ripping style. What else gets steamed up?
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Clams and shrimp do -with garlic, minced green scallions, cumin, melted butter, and pasta. Food shows up on a regular basis. In a pretty odd little trick, every single chapter ends with a recipe - yes, a recipe - for one of the meals eaten in that section. Very random but kind of cute too. There are multiple roles for strong females in the story, and that makes The Red Sparrow a nice departure from the old school espionage novels.
There are some sly one liners that actually had me snort a little bit, and the laughter - along with the recipes - made me respect that the author doesn't take himself too seriously. The humor was well placed.
Film Review: ‘Red Sparrow’
I noted that this is part of a trilogy, and while the second and third sections might be an enjoyable ride, I will instead track down the movie adaptation with Jennifer Lawrence. Without my 15 year old watching!! View all 10 comments. Aug 28, Michael rated it it was amazing Shelves: russia , thriller , fiction , sexuality , espionage , greece , food , finland.
A solid hit for me as an espionage tale of the new Cold War between Russia and the U. The sense of authenticity on the strategies and capers in intelligence and counter-intelligence operations is high, reflecting the extensive career of the author in CIA operations in diverse areas of world conflict, including Russia. Less realistic is yet another cinematic heroine with a chip on her shoulder, Dominika Egorova, You know--beautiful, brilliant, and deadly.
He develops her with enough detail and depth you can empathize with her wanting to excel in the Russian secret services first FSB, then SVR, i. Dominika had her ballet career cut short by a deliberate injury to her foot by a competitor. Her uncle, who is a Deputy Director in the FSB, talks her into a job of seducing and defeating an unruly oligarch, an operation that ends in traumatic violence.
In response to this crass exploitation of her looks, she seeks admission to the academy for intelligence agents, up to then an all-male enclave. But her uncle persuades her to prove herself more in the sexpionage line before he will pull the strings for her goal. Her assignment is to get close to the CIA agent serving as the handler for a mole somewhere high in the Russian intelligence hierarchy. Ironically, this other hero of our tale, Nathaniel, ends up getting assigned to turn Dominika as a path to find a Russian mole serving in critical weapons development program in the U.
We get a lot of cat and mouse scenarios on both sides until we almost get dizzy figuring out who is the predator and who is the prey. It was fitting for Putin to make cameo appearances considering his past as a KGB director. Fortunately, I found I could take it in stride as a sort of literary means to revealing hidden motivations of characters on the stage. Another unnecessary quirk is putting recipes for dishes eaten by the characters in the empty spaces at the end of many chapters.
Regardless, the plane it puts the reader on acts to diffuse or defuse any taut suspense built up in the reader at that point. This novel was like water in the desert for me in my quest for a superior espionage tale. In the 80s I had the epiphany of a run of compelling and depressingly realistic reads on the hidden Cold War at the hands of Deighton and le Carre.
Since that time the work of Alan Furst, David Downing, and Barry Eisler have brought levels of satisfaction that almost reach such champions on my pleasure meter books by W. On the side in the ensuing decades, was the thousands of hours I spend pursuing the more pyrotechnical thrillers involving covert ops. Ted Bell, Alex Berensen, Brent Ghelfi , all of which was entertaining but missing that extra heft I got from this less action-packed story in the realm of elucidating paradoxes in human nature and insights into the Sisyphian nature of the intelligence enterprise.
View all 8 comments. Jul 21, Cullen rated it it was ok Shelves: espionage , thriller , calibre , did-not-finish. I really wanted to like this book, since I feel like I've exhausted all the great espionage and this was getting a lot of buzz because the author is former CIA. I made it just past the halfway point before I had to give up.
The initial page of setup was a struggle because virtually every paragraph about the heroine mentions how sexy she is. Then she goes to sex school to really sex up her sexiness. She also has a nearly magical power to read peoples emotions and intentions, which the author I really wanted to like this book, since I feel like I've exhausted all the great espionage and this was getting a lot of buzz because the author is former CIA.
She also has a nearly magical power to read peoples emotions and intentions, which the author tries to make plausible by saying it is a form of Synesthesia. Not only is it painful to have the color of every characters halo described as though it actually meant something, but it is totally unnecessary for the plot. Why can't she just be a really sharp person with great instincts?
Once the Russian heroine is a trained sexy spy and is in the same city as her American counterpart I expected things to settle in and get more interesting, which they did for a few chapters. But then some CIA operations go down and the tradecraft and procedures used are so painfully implausible that I just had to quit.
Also, each chapter ends with a recipe for some food that was mentioned in that chapter. I don't know why. Mar 03, Monnie rated it it was amazing. After seeing trailers for the just-released motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton and learning that it's based on a book of the same name, my husband decided to give the book - the first in a trilogy - a try. Then he told me it was very, very good. Whether or not we watch movie remains to be seen pun intended , but I knew I wanted to read the book first.
Film review: Red Sparrow is a ‘painfully unsexy thriller’
I also knew it's close to pages - not easy to fit into a stack of advance-copy books I've agreed to read and review. But make time I did, and I'm ever so glad. It's one of the best spy thrillers I've read in a very long time. At first blush, the story seemed reminiscent of the TV show "The Americans" starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys; spies and counterspies, each trying to recruit others while remaining "black" i. But when her uncle sends her to "Sparrow School" - euphemism for a place females learn the art of seduction for the purpose of recruiting spies for the Russian government, her love of her home country under the dastardly Vladimir Putin and his loyal minions turns sour.
Needless to say, Nate and Dominika are brought together to serve cross purposes; he to recruit her, she to recruit him. And needless to say, it doesn't quite work out that way. It does, though, make for an intricately woven, hard-to-put-down story interlaced with tricks of the spy trade, twists and surprises - none of which, alas, I can describe without spoiling the book for other readers.
I can, however, is highly recommend this book - and I do. Jason Matthews, the author of this book, is a former CIA officer, and unfortunately, he can't keep his bias in check. At all. The CIA are good guys in this book. ALL of them okay, maybe bar one or two minor characters. Well, Latin America would beg to differ, Mr. Matthews and many other parts of the world.
Get off from your high horse. The protagonist, N Jason Matthews, the author of this book, is a former CIA officer, and unfortunately, he can't keep his bias in check. Matthews seems to know the intricate workings of spycraft, I'll give him that, but other than that, there's nothing else in this book which has not been done hundreds of time before and with much better results. The plot meanders along, never gets exciting, not limited to but also due to the fact that Matthews tries to cram everything he knows about the CIA in the book. This could have been a much better book.
Sep 15, Jeanette rated it liked it. It's quite a spy tale saga. It's a full 3. Even in decades of news briefs within newspapers.
Poisoned, shot, stabbed, drowned- you name it. So I'm sure it's little different now under Putin. All in their politburo are still "old buddies" as well. The problem was I just couldn't enjoy the length and the detail. So brutal, so feral to human feelin It's quite a spy tale saga. So brutal, so feral to human feelings, and just degrees from any point that has ideals, altruism or good intent at its core. Human lives lived without a shred of authenticity. There are very few spy tale novels of fiction that approach 3 stars any longer post or so.
This one is above average although for length and for crude and nasty- just too low for me. And somehow the form of putting all these recipes at the end of each chapter? Regardless, it didn't improve my appetite for the entrees.
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And it clearly ends with a "to be continued" and the road is just too slimy for me to want to proceed to 2. I am an avid reader of thrillers and am particularly of espionage thrillers. So, I figured that Red Sparrow would be "right up my alley. This is because it took me awhile to get used to the fact that Red Sparrow wasn't going to be a book filled with lots of physical action -- e.
Soon after, however, I realized that Red Sparrow is an espionage thriller that is several notches above the typical book in this genre. It is filled with many fully dimensional, credible characters, and location descriptions that makes you feel that you are there experiencing all of the deceptions, schemes, and double crosses involving the various CIA and Russian intelligence agents and politicians --some of whom are moles for both sides. Further, it becomes quickly obvious that first-time author and former CIA operative, Jason Matthews, really knows his subject matter, as Red Sparrow is filled with an abundance of information about the inner workings within both the U.
As if this isn't enough to entice you to read Red Sparrow, perhaps the following facts will convince you to do so: 1 two of its main characters, CIA agent Nathaniel Nash and Russian agent Dominika Egorova, will stay in your mind long after finishing the book, and will have you looking forward to the author writing at least one more book featuring them to find out what the future holds for them; and 2 its plot is filled with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing about what happens next, and an ending by which you will most likely be very surprised.
Highly recommended to those thriller readers willing to be patient enough to ultimately finish a book that will make them consider Red Sparrow to be among the better thrillers they are likely to read this year. This book was a very hard read for me. I liked the story and I liked the two main characters but there was so much information in the book, it took me forever to get through it.
The basic story was very good and I do want to see the movie and would read the second installment of the story, hoping that the author would not have to put so much information in the other books since you have the background. There were even recipes at the end of every chapter!
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That could be good or bad! They were very This book was a very hard read for me. They were very interesting also. I enjoyed this a lot. It's a real spy vs spy story with Russians against Americans in fairly modern-day times, with Putin as the Russian president. It's mainly about recruiting moles for each side, with a twist of two spies trying to recruit each other. To make it more interesting, one is a beautiful Russian spy who is very capable. She started out as a dancer, but a competitor knocked her out of that, by breaking her leg.
Her uncle was a high-ranking spy, and when she wanted to become a spy, he I enjoyed this a lot. Her uncle was a high-ranking spy, and when she wanted to become a spy, he trained her to be a sort of honey-trap, which they call a Sparrow; since she's Russian, she's a Red Sparrow.
But she was able to move beyond this role into a full-fledged spy, with special capabilities that made her a super-star. The author is a retired CIA officer, so I guess he knows a bit about the field, which makes this more interesting, since I assume it's all feasible if not happening. I'm looking forward to reading more in this series. Log in Or Create an account. Copy code. Ultimedia is a video platform reference for journalists, content editors, webmasters and video managers.
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