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The Artist 2: The exfiltrator

  • Mar 10, 2013
Tony Mendez tells the story that won the Oscar in this slim volume that became the basis for the movie Argo.  Each is a good companion to the other.  While the movie adds some Hollywood touches of suspense that aren't in the book, it also is able to show some of the tension of the situation both in Iran and Washington.  And the book provides valuable background that doesn't make it into the movie.

Without giving away the meat of the book (the plot of the movie and the real life events that it depicts are already well known), I will say that the most interesting parts of the book are Mendez's background and avocation as an artist, and that as an exfiltrator for the CIA with the job of extracting spies from sticky situations just like this one Mendez had actually rescued a spy from Teheran just seven months before Argo.  This is background the movie hints at but the book adds the details to flesh out the man (played by Ben Affleck) and his skills.

The measure of the quality of both movie and book is that even though we know the outcome, each rivets our attention to the story of how the outcome came to be, and even leaves us in suspense as we understand the what but find it hard to believe the how.

Mendez also gives us more background on the Hollywood connection, which further adds to both the intrigue and the entertainment value of the book and the movie.  The characters played by Alan Arkin and John Goodman in the movie are much more than comic relief, and in fact play a very important role revealed in the book.

Not a game-changer, but a fun way to learn and appreciate more about the man and the crazy idea behind Argo.

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March 18, 2013
Thanks for sharing.
More ARGO: How the CIA and Hollywoo... reviews
review by . February 03, 2013
Title: ARGO: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled off the Most    Audacious Rescue in History   Author: Antonio Mendez and coauthor Matt Baglio   ISBN: : 978-0-14-750973-4   Publisher: Penguin       Movies often create illusions for the world to see and take the viewer into places they might never visit in their lifetime. Viewers envelop themselves within the story portrayed on the screen and for 2 or more hours their lives outside the …
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Todd Stockslager ()
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I love reading and writing about what I have read, making the connections and marking the comparisons and contrasts. God has given man the amazing power to invent language and the means to record it which … more
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