Friday, September 9, 2011

Retro Friday Review: A Train to Potevka by Mike Ramsdell

Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Angie of Angieville and "focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc."

A Train to Potevka by Mike Ramsdell
Publisher: Zhivago Press
Publication date: June 2005
ISBN: 9781598720303
Source: Borrowed

A Train to Potevka

The book is an account of Mike Ramsdell's experiences doing counter intelligence work in Russia at the end of the Cold War.  When his cover is blown and his life is suddenly in danger, Mike must flee from the Russian mafia boss who knows about his work.  Can he escape with his life, not to mention survive the cruel winter and near starvation that ensues?

Things I Liked:
This book had some really interesting stories.  I was fascinated with the small miracles that Mike experiences while doing this highly dangerous work in Russia.  His life seems like it would be so interesting to hear more about, having worked in such diverse and very different places in the world.  I was interested also in the descriptions of the Russian people and the things they suffered under some of the leaders in that country.  It was an inspiring as well as a thrilling adventure story. 

Things I Didn't Like:
It definitely had some pacing issues - the intriguing spy story interspersed with some slower parts about Ramsdell's history, family, and experiences.  It is also clear that Ramsdell is not an experienced writer, with some awkward wording and other similar problems.  I think, for those who are interested in his experience as a Mormon working in counterintelligence, it will be intriguing enough to keep you engaged.  Still, I whipped through it pretty fast, wanting to know how he'd get out of some of the scrapes he gets into!

Agent Bishop: True Stories from an FBI Agent Moonlighting as a Mormon Bishop by Mike McPheters

s-factor: none
(there were a few edited words)

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->->
he has a few run-ins with KGB and the Russian mafia

Overall rating: ****

This is definitely outside my usual fare - what do you read outside your usual?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage

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