Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Book Review: Argo by Tony Mendez

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (September 13, 2012)

Released just weeks before the motion picture directed by Ben Affleck, Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History tells the true story of what really happened.

Tony Mendez, the CIA agent who was portrayed by Ben Affleck in the film, wrote this book with Matt Baglio.

Whenever I see a movie based on a novel or non-fiction book, I like to read the book afterwards just to see how they compare and where things are different.  Oy, are there so many things that were different in the film!

Mendez pens a great book that shares what happened when Hollywood and the CIA worked together.  There were times that I found myself thinking why did Hollywood get the film wrong.  For everything that the film got right, there's a scene or two that strays far from what actually happened.

While the the Affleck movie was inspired by an earlier work of Mendez, this work finally describes in detail everything that happened.  Hollywood changed things in the film for dramatic licenses, which should come as no surprise.  However, the writing flows perfectly from page to page.  Yes, names were changed in some instances but Mendez tells us how the 6 house guests were rescued.

If you want to understand just how the CIA works, this is a great read.  It's not a James Bond action-packed thriller but it does the job just fine.

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