Read what people think about The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer, and write your own review.

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books

The Cairo Affair

by Olen Steinhauer

The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer X
The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Mar 2014
    400 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Reviews

Page 5 of 5
There are currently 36 reader reviews for The Cairo Affair
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Michele W. (Kiawah Island, SC) (12/04/13)

Almost thrilling
The main character in The Cairo Station is Sophie. A Harvard graduate who married a fellow Harvard grad in 1991, Sophie agreed with husband Emmett that America wasn't where real life was happening. They went to Eastern Europe on their honeymoon, Sophie acquiescing despite her desire to see Paris, and then spent a few days in a small village in the Balkans just as the war was heating up. There they met Zora, a mysterious and compelling woman who showed them the sights. Two incidents from this time haunted Sophie in future years. First, her souvenir bust of Lenin was stolen by a child in the streets, and second, they became involved in a life and death situation whose details comprise the better part of the plot and take a while to emerge. Suffice to say that both incidents seemed to impact Sophie equally, though the latter would be the one to cause trouble 20 years later when they were stationed with the US government in Cairo and Zora turned up again.

In early 2011, the Arab Spring had begun. The Libyans were in revolt, and Cairo was abuzz. Agents from different countries vied for information. It was impossible to tell who was lying, who was just ignorant, and what the heck was going on. Were the Americans trying to hijack the revolution now that the Libyan masses had taken first steps to freedom themselves, or was Ghadafi using an old CIA plan to rid himself of opponents? Here begins the real plot, and suddenly the book becomes all about misdirection. Stories are told and retold from different perspectives. Characters speculate about the myriad possibilities. Is X lying? Does he even know what's going on? What if this is true? On the other hand, maybe that is true? What is truth? Who can know? Who are the heroes, which of the characters has altruistic motives and which are cynical? Which are devoted to their country and which to money? As the story unfolds, refolds and unfolds again, the extent of Sophie's involvement becomes clear, layer by layer.

The writing is average. The character development is average for a thriller. An attempt was made to explain the various motivations of the characters, but failed in my opinion. Sometimes I actually cringed at the sex scenes. I was put off by the cliches about Americans--there is a scene at Logan Airport near the end which was offensive and filled with trite observations. The plot was average. The misdirection was massive and tried my patience.

I would give it an average grade overall.
Power Reviewer
Beverly D. (Palm Harbor, FL)/East Lake Community L (12/03/13)

wow.
I LOVED this book.I am generally not a spy/thriller reader but this story was so current and gripping. Keeping track of the various characters was simple as the author flowed the story seamlessly. That the "main" character was a woman was a big plus for me. Their secrets, international agendas, moral questions and BIG betrayals. What more could you look for in a thriller? The tying in of the Arab Spring made the story even more immediate. Highly recommended!
Georgette I. (Oxford, GA) (12/01/13)

The Cairo Affair
Rarely has a book captured my attention from the first to last page, but The Cario Affair by Olen Steinhauer did just that. This contemporary spy novel is fast paced yet easy to follow. Although different time periods are used to unravel the story line, recent events surrounding the "Arab Spring" bring this novel full circle. I highly recommend this terrific read.
Eileen P. (Pittsford, NY) (11/25/13)

Current events come to life
A well-written, fast read that is marvelously entertaining. Steinhauer uses multiple viewpoints to great effect. His characters are believable, and appropriately complicated. The story unfolds in an unexpected, but completely plausible manner. The way he uses recent events in the Middle East is quite remarkable. Highly recommended.

Readalikes

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Towards the end of Madeline Miller's novel Circe, the titular nymph is questioned by her son ...
  • Book Jacket: All the Names They Used for God
    All the Names They Used for God
    by Anjali Sachdeva
    Pre-publication press has already compared Anjali Sachdeva to Kelly Link and other genre-blending ...
  • Book Jacket: Look Alive Out There
    Look Alive Out There
    by Sloane Crosley
    After a brief (and thoroughly enjoyable) foray into fiction (with her 2015 novel The Clasp), Sloane ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Other People's Houses
    by Abbi Waxman

    A hilarious and poignant novel about four families and the affair that changes everything.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.