Two books that should be read one after the other.
First, the story of Argo that is based on real event in history. Then the person who pulled if off, Tony Mendez.
I like persons who are brave and helpful and smart. His job is like Q in James Bond movies.
A Q in real life is really cool. Only that he keep calm in very stressful situation. And he did good because he want to do good.
Argo is a good film.
It is based on a true story, the main character is a "Q" in real life. He got the Intelligent star, the second highest honor for a CIA operative. He couldn't hold on to it, or have a ceremony because it is top secret. He got it after President Clinton declassified the Argo file in 1997.
He is a good guy. He take risk but he get the job done.
Now, the film.
Good acting. Ben Affleck is at his top game in this. He played it cool. He acted a lot without a lot of dialogue.
The whole is well done, Highly recommended.
As for the book, it gets me interested in who this Tony Mendez is, so I looked it up and found this book, written by him.
Nice. Real nice.
I decided to write a comparative review right after I had finished reading the book, but then I saw the film and promptly lost the will to live. Hollywood did something right thirty years ago and then it ruined it. The book, however, kept me up reading late into the night.
Apart from the feel and look of the seventies—aided heavily by the contemporary news photography—and a handful of throwaway lines, the film had nothing of the story I loved in the book. And that’s a feat when Mendez has been telling this true story since 1997.
The Iranian hostage crisis started in 1979 and lasted the memorable 444 days. Dozens were held captive and tortured, but six escaped. Bringing those six house guests home was a hoax on several levels.
The book is written from Mendez’s point of view and it details the numbing steps of actual intelligence work as well as interpersonal histories of the people involved. There’s something far more touching in the matter-of-factness the house guests’, diplomats’, and others’ simple observations than there ever could be in the forced plot twists of a Hollywood action flick.
I understand that the agonising wait at the airport doesn’t translate well from a book onto the silver screen, but there had to be better options. They cut away more than enough meat from the story to make room for it.
The question remains, what the hell did Ben Affleck and George Clooney do right six or eight years ago to win an Oscar now?
The film: Skip it. The celebrations might be fun to watch but the Academy knows nothing.
The book: Read it. Read it now.
Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio has everything you need for a great book; drama, suspense, excellent writing, and a great plot. Then add spies, and the fact that it is true and you take it from amazing to the newest edition to my favorite shelf.
I read this book in less than 24 hours partially because I read fast, but mostly because Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio are amazing writers. They kept the story moving, without skimping on the details which can be a tough trick to pull off. They also peppered the book with funny stories that added comical relief to what could have been a very tense book.
I would recommend this book to anyone, but especially those that like thrillers and action/adventure novels, even if you don't normally venture into the non-fiction section. I would also recommend this book for those that are interested in US history or the history of the Middle East. This book gives a little insight into the relationship with Iran and the US throughout the 70's that you may find interesting. For those of you that like audio books you guys are also in luck the audio book is well produced and the reader is very easy on the ears.