A "must read" for any self respecting espionage junkie My path to this book was quite backwards. I first fell in love with the score to the film "l'affaire Farewell" due to my interest in composer Clint Mansell. Although I've always loved spy related entertainment both real life and fictional, I'd not heard of farewell until seeing that film.
I thought the film was done really well and after hearing a podcast that brought up the Farewell affair I searched other forms of it and found not only my A "must read" for any self respecting espionage junkie My path to this book was quite backwards. I thought the film was done really well and after hearing a podcast that brought up the Farewell affair I searched other forms of it and found not only my favorite tv show "The Americans" but this book as well!
I won't say much about it, I'll leave the story to itself and the reader. It is a truly significant part of the Cold War and a great espionage story unlike any other you've probably already read or are familiar with. My only criticism is that the book drags a bit due to the overwhelming amount of technical specifics contained in it. Trying to keep up with the trajectory of some aspects of the story becomes becomes almost possible and impossible at the same time. Without the information the story would be incomplete, but it is a lot to keep up with.
There will be re-reading involved if you choose to start this book, but you'll be rewarded with a truly original and impressive story of a man, and how his actions and reactions to life within the KGB effected not only his friends, family and himself, but governments, presidents and the Cold War itself.
If you start the book and it lags for you, I highly suggest watching the film to get your appetite up for digesting more of the written version. It worked for me. Mar 01, Lew rated it it was ok. Short story made long by delving into the teenie, tiny cracks of the story, telling the same fact over and over as if you hadn't read the previous chapters, and just the non-flow of a bad translation job.
The sentence structure reads like an English literate, but unpracticed, Russian would speak. There was no sensationalism, or dramatizing of the story; straight forward reporting with turns into cul-de-sacs of not-so-important supporting facts. I made it to about chapter 25, then just skim read t Short story made long by delving into the teenie, tiny cracks of the story, telling the same fact over and over as if you hadn't read the previous chapters, and just the non-flow of a bad translation job.
I made it to about chapter 25, then just skim read the rest. I don't feel like I missed anything. Mar 03, Larry rated it did not like it Shelves: couldn-t-finish. Couldn't finish this one. The reading cadence took all the pleasure out of what was likely a good story. Read like a case file, with painful, uninteresting details. Oct 17, Kursad Albayraktaroglu rated it really liked it Shelves: espionage. It is a well-written book, with some dull sections that probably suffered during translation. The coverage of how Vetrov began spying, details of tradecraft during the operation, and how the whole thing unraveled are very thorough and interes "Farewell" is probably the definitive study of the Vladimir Vetrov spying affair; one of the very few major Cold War espionage stories that did not have the USA or CIA at its center even though USA gained the most from the information provided by Vetrov.
The coverage of how Vetrov began spying, details of tradecraft during the operation, and how the whole thing unraveled are very thorough and interesting. I am not sure if the Vetrov affair rates as "the greatest spy story" of the last century, though ; since there were far more important spies: certainly Aldrich Ames caused far more damage to the US intelligence apparatus, and Adolf Tolkachev singlehandedly delivered the crown jewels of Soviet technology to the US. But Vetrov's story is worth reading, if only to gain some insight into how the banality and injustice of the communist Soviet system drove an ambitious man into betraying his country.
Dec 05, Tony rated it liked it. This is the true story of Vetrov, presented with balance and objectivity, and the Farewell dossier handed to U. A French film was inspired by the French book, while an updated account was translated into English in 2 Vladimir Vetrov, a high-ranking KGB spy in Moscow during the Cold War, was assigned the code name 'Farewell' by the French intelligence service that recruited him. Yet, the writers succeed in painting a vivid picture of Vetrov from the accounts of his family, acquaintances and handlers. Does the KGB discover the mole? No spoilers here, go read the book.
Nov 22, Sterling Hardaway rated it liked it. While it has an incredibly slow start, it finally picks up momentum and begins to live up to its name as " The Greatest Spy Story" , documenting Vetrov's ascend and fall within the KGB and his impact on stealth impact on foreign policy and the Cold War through the 70s and 80s.
Though I think it could have been a bit shorter, I did like the very interpersonal touch that documented Vetrov's entire life from birth, not just his spy life, which is unique in this genre. Still, I really wouldn't recom While it has an incredibly slow start, it finally picks up momentum and begins to live up to its name as " The Greatest Spy Story" , documenting Vetrov's ascend and fall within the KGB and his impact on stealth impact on foreign policy and the Cold War through the 70s and 80s.
Still, I really wouldn't recommend unless you are a huge international security or Cold War nerd, because the writing itself isn't particularly captivating otherwise. Dec 13, Jennifer rated it it was ok. This book was a disappointment. Despite the sensational title, it was actually quite boring and was very poorly written. The book spent a lot of time giving an overly thorough back story and spent very little time focusing on the actual spying or contents of the dossier.
I wanted to quit reading so many times but forced myself to finish the book and really feel that I wasted two weeks of my life on it. Sep 25, Vhobart rated it did not like it. Horrible translation. The use of anachronistic metaphors and exclamation points are distracting. At one point it says the book from a certain point on is not necessarily fact but now in "quicksand. I stopped reading it when I got to the quicksand.
This book is supposed to be nonfiction. It is an interesting subject and I would love to see it revisited by another translation or another author. Feb 12, Douglas E. Gillis rated it really liked it. Wow what a tale It was very interesting reading about the inner workings of the period of life I lived. Dec 05, Ken Hines rated it liked it. Informative I really enjoyed this book and learning a lot from it as well. I enjoyed learning what was really going on during those years. I liked how this book gave different views.
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Dec 26, Judy Jack rated it it was amazing. Fascinating This book was made available by Amazon Prime and included an Audible version. It gives insight into life in Russia during the 80s, the KGB, and the politics of the time. It is also a profile of a disturbed man used by God to impact world events. Jan 27, Roger Carl rated it really liked it. A must read. There are a lot of unknowns about Vladimir Vetrov, but the author does a great job of looking at all different possible angles.
His actions and their implications to the end of the cold war are remarkable. Feb 11, Johnny rated it really liked it. Struggled to get to the end where it talked about Farewell's influence in the cold war over the leaked documents but was interesting reading towards then. I feel that maybe it teetered out in the end because it was difficult to get a first hand account of events from the protagonist. Dec 18, John Marcinkowski rated it it was amazing. Good read! Never knew and it helped fill in many historical gaps for me. Interesting read! Great balance through facts and story line.
Feb 14, Marianne rated it really liked it Shelves: read-harder. Better than I expected. Very engaging and just wow! Sep 10, Diane Wyss rated it liked it. Clunky, not sure whether poor translation or just nature of original book. You really need endurance and fortitude.
Not sure it was worth it. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. About Sergei Kostin. An emphasis on nouns and verbs rather than adjectives and adverbs. This is closely related to Hemingway's preference for the actual versus the abstract. Hemingway was fluent in three romance languages: French, Spanish, and Italian.
Each has a much smaller vocabulary than English, and yet each manages to be richly expressive. Hemingway may have been inspired by this phenomenon. Frequent repetition of the same words and phrases — a technique learned from Gertrude Stein. The best known sentences she ever wrote were "A rose is a rose is a rose" and "When you get there, there's no there there. Short sentences "The next year there were many victories. A lack of clarity in the relationship between one sentence and the next. Instead of writing "I drank much wine because it was good," Hemingway writes "The wine was good.
I drank much of it," merely implying the relationship. He thus forces us to be active readers, connecting the dots and filling in the blanks. Many storytellers Salter, Chandler, McCarthy, and others have attempted to recapitulate Hemingway's themes while mimicking his prose style. During the s and s, however, a group of American writers known as the Minimalists adopted the Hemingway style but rejected "grace under pressure" and so forth as distasteful and perhaps permanently outdated.
In her earliest stories, Ann Beattie wrote in the Hemingway style about well-off Baby Boomers paralyzed by the challenges of adulthood. Like Chandler and so many others, Beattie has specifically mentioned Hemingway as an inspiration, specifically the inter-chapter vignettes from In Our Time. Raymond Carver's down-and-out drunks could hardly be less heroic, and yet the use of diction and syntax in his masterly short stories is profoundly indebted to Hemingway.
Frederick Barthelme continues to craft stories and novels in an intentionally flat, unadorned voice about largely ineffectual men and sexy, aggressive women living in the so-called New South. All these writers jettisoned the sometimes embarrassing excesses associated with Hemingway's value system while retaining the lessons he taught them as a writer of prose.
Finally, in many ways Ernest Hemingway exemplified for the Twentieth Century what it means to live like a writer. The terminal was my gateway to America and — in — to Europe as I spread my wings in youth leadership. Two years later, my parents hugged me goodbye at the terminal as I boarded a train to southeast Ohio to attend Antioch College in Yellow Springs. I was on my way! Family image. My father, Staff Sgt. Joseph J. Horvatis, was a member of the 9th Infantry Division, th Infantry Regiment.
He was severely wounded in Monschau, Germany, trying to capture a German pill box. When he was able to make trips home to Buffalo, he would take the train to the Central Terminal. He often told us of the kindness of the people there as they would assist him getting on and off the train with his crutches. He suffered lifelong pain and disability from his injuries but went on to become a husband of over 50 years, father of five girls and the IRS Taxpayer Division Chief. He and my mother Mollie were truly a part of the Greatest Generation!
Mom is now 92 and remembers so well the days when Dad was finally able to travel home for visits! Life goes full circle because my daughter and her family live in Germany and she has been there for 17 years! We welcome her home at the Buffalo airport and like the terminal it will hold special memories for us. I have many happy and sad memories of being at the Central Terminal. Since I had three older brothers in World War II, it seemed like my parents and I were always at the terminal, waiting for one of my brothers to arrive on a little leave.
If they were leaving we frequently had dinner in the restaurant at the terminal. If they were arriving they were always anxious to get home. Sometimes we had to wait for long periods of time for the trains to arrive. At 10 years of age I would often get quite bored waiting. I soon discovered I could find a book at the store. Sometimes I read this whole book they were small and return it and they would exchange it for another book. The arrivals were happy times. The departures were sad times. I still remember the tears my mother shed on arrivals and departures.
As a high school student in the late s I lived near Central Terminal and visited it frequently. I was amazed by its grandeur and activity. I became interested in toy trains in and railroads in general. My toy train board circled the clock at Central Terminal for the 50th anniversary and was pictured in The Buffalo News. The NY Central had just vacated the terminal when interest in that beautiful edifice sparked interest in possible reuse and preservation from some people.
Shirley Stolarski contacted me regarding a railroad museum at the site. I sent him copies of various articles. He had more interest in Central Terminal than many local people do. Developers for Central Terminal have come and gone. Fortunately there is a group now maintaining and using Central Terminal. Other cities, some with much older terminals, have repurposed them.
Fort Erie has a small station and , which has recently been repainted. Buffalo could not even take care of , which was scrapped shortly after it went on display. My fondest memory is running my train board around the clock 40 years ago at the terminal's 50th anniversary. The Central Terminal always held a fascination for me — from a small boy to the older man that I am now, I was always, and still am, in awe of the structure, both inside and out. My mother belonged to the Niagara Chapter of the Eastern Star.
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Every fall the Eastern Star would have a convention in New York City to which many of the women of the local chapter would attend. They would take a train to New York for three or four days where they would attend the convention, go the Broadway shows and do a lot of shopping. There she was to board the train, most likely the New York Central 20th Century Limited, with the rest of the women from the Niagara Chapter. Many of her friends, and friends of the family, were there as the women were getting prepared to go down the long tunnel to the train.
On this particular day Dad did just that, leaving my brother Dick, my sister Judy, and me alone in the main concourse area; he would return in about 10 minutes as soon as he got Mom situated. No problem — or so we thought. So there we waited, in this huge, vaulted marble walled concourse for Dad to return, watching people come and go. And we waited Other husbands came back up the ramp, but not our Dad. And we waited. Soon the 10 minute wait was moving toward 20 minutes, and then 30 minutes.
Where was Dad? Where was our father? Family friends began to realize that Dad had not yet returned. One gentleman, who had just come up from putting his wife on the train, came over to tell us not to worry, everything would be fine. Yeah, right. Pretty soon there were a few other friends in the circle, trying to console us and all wondering what had happened, but none having answers. Then talk changed to who was going to take us home with them.
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Everyone would take Dick and Judy, but no one wanted me!! Suddenly, after what seemed like an eternity, but maybe closer to an hour, Dad came strolling up the ramp with a big smile on his face. Judy was not the least bit happy with him; how could he possibly have a smile on his face when he came close to abandoning his children?
Dad told us all what had happened; he obviously did not get off the Limited before it left the terminal on its way to New York City with the women, and our mother, from Eastern Star aboard. Telling the conductor what had happened, he was allowed to ride the train to Batavia where he disembarked and then boarded another passenger train back to Buffalo, where he got off and casually came up the ramp to tell us all of his adventure — all at no cost. A very short story about the Central Terminal in Buffalo.
My Uncle Oney Wellington worked for a furniture company in Jamestown. He traveled back and forth on the train from Buffalo to Jamestown. I remember riding by car with my parents his wife, Aunt Allie, and her sister, Elizabeth, from Medina to Buffalo. We walked into this Grand Space that I had never seen before with people moving in all directions. We could hardly take in all of the grandeur of the terminal and the gigantic stuffed bison in the center under a 4-sided hanging clock. For a 7-year-old, it was a sight to behold. While the train station was in full operation the main clock served many purposes other then telling visitors the time of day.
Perched on top there can be found a light bulb which was often used during the war time. If you were at the train station and a train full of veterans were to come into Buffalo, first a chime was heard throughout the station and then the light on top of the clock in the center of station would start flickering to inform the merchants to get ready with flags, sandwiches and a crowd would applaud the soldiers as they deployed to either another train or home to meet their families. Often on these occasions Yellow Cab would offer to drive them home for free.
On other occasions when prisoners were transported by trains — once again a blue light was seen flashing to inform the merchants to close up their small shops until these rowdy individuals were bused to the designated prisons. Along with the flashing blue light as the train entered the station once again a chime was heard throughout the station.
Once the prisoners were gone the light would flash white to keep the merchants aware of what was taking place. And on a regular business day, around the floor clock it also served as a information booth where they sold newspapers and magazines and candies. This information was given to me by my father who worked for the Penn Central train station for 36 years of his life. Unfortunately, he never lived to see his retirement; he passed in at the young age of Leo Powers. The first trip outside our Willert Park neighborhood on Jefferson Avenue was a train ride to visit our father.
One early morning in late June, 70 years ago, my mother took me and my brother to the Central Terminal to catch a train to Cleveland, Ohio. At first sight we were very nervous because the front of the terminal looked like a huge church, with large rounded windows. Of course, everything looked larger than life for a 7-year-old girl and her 6-year-old brother. We saw the big strange buffalo up close with our mouths opened wide. The benches where we sat with our feet dangling, were dark, shiny wood and very hard.
While our mother went to get the tickets, we looked around at this huge space; people walking fast in and out of doors. The gigantic windows we had just passed were filled with daylight filtering through the glass. The largest clock we had ever seen was fascinating; men with red caps and dark suits helping people with their bags, tipping their hats, all with polite smiles.
There were also several soldiers, looking proud in their uniforms. Then suddenly there was a startling loud voice all over the place, telling people about the times and places they were traveling to. Mom scooped us from the hard benches, gave us our lunch boxes, then waited in line for the train.
Mom reminded us how to behave on the train and while we visited our father. She took us to our seats, assisted by the man in the red cap, kissed us and waved goodbye, as we started our summer vacation. Unfortunately, he died in at the age of 30 with leukemia. Second, my sister, Patricia Boardman Hannon, worked there for 10 years starting in She started in "information" and advanced to reservations quickly.
She then became the first woman ticket seller. This was during the war and she greeted soldiers coming and going. She wrote numerous humorous letters to many. Then, one more time, she advanced to first woman ticket seller on the night shift. After marriage, she bid on a position in the accounting department for the day shift. One more time, the first woman in accounting. She continued her employment until when she had her first child.
She lived to be 86, dying in We had many memories of the terminal. I am now 95 and still active in bowling and golfing. I would like to purchase two tickets to the event if possible. He came back through the C entral T erminal with his military escort in a sealed casket on the NYC train 5 that was due to arrive at p. I have his individual deceased personnel file from the Army that contains many pages of records and letters pertaining to the time from his death through the time he was dug up from a temporary grave and shipped back home for burial. It includes the letter notifying the undertaker in Lackawanna of the shipment of the casket to Buffalo via rail.
Similar stories like his were repeated many times in the Buffalo area a few years after the end of the war when the military began the process of repatriating the fallen to the U. After reading your article about the Central Terminal, old memories came back. I was only 8 or 9 around and this is so vivid. My parents took our family there to welcome my grandpa, Frank Smith, as he came off the train, his final trip on the New York Central train. He was a train conductor for many years and he was retiring. I was so in awe at the beautiful and so big and glamorous building, inside and out.
To this day I am still recalling how it looked then. That was so exciting and memorable. Thank you for writing about this great building. This certainly is not a life-changing story, but one that will give you a sense of what it was like as a child seeing the sailors come home to Buffalo through the Buffalo Central Terminal. In those days, being 7 and 8 years of age, it was not unusual for us to walk by ourselves to the terminal to watch the soldiers coming home. I have to confess we really went there to check out the telephone booths to see if anyone left change in them.
Sometimes we collected as much as 50 cents for candy. One day while we were there we saw a bunch of sailors coming home. The sailors coming down the stairs heard us singing and showed their appreciation by putting coins in our cupped hands. My brother and I are in our late 70s and we will never forget that day at the beautiful Central Terminal.
I wouldn't say my story is life-changing but it is precious because it centers around my best friend, my father, who passed on a few years ago. My father owned a furniture store in Amherst, House of Fashions. In the '60s, when the terminal was viable, he used to take the trains to merchandise markets in NYC and Chicago. There he would buy the latest in high-end modern furniture and accessories for his customers in Buffalo. My mother and I would go to pick him up on his return. People dressed up more in those days, and my mother was no exception.
I remember her in her tailored L. Berger suits and high heels, the sound of them clicking on the marble floors of the Terminal as we went to greet my father. I was so small! I remember the lower legs of people rushing past. How happy I was that my father was home! I never forgot that feeling to this day.
All the money goes to the fund. Honest people, for an honest cause!!! I am 81 years old, raised in Lewiston. My father, Philip Hanrahan, worked for DuPont as a mechanical engineer. Every Friday, we would pick him up in Buffalo at the Central Terminal. I remember the big clock and all the servicemen coming and going. Many nights we would then have dinner at the station.
Tears when they left for service. I remember the big buffalo in the concourse as well as the interesting restaurants. My grandfather was an engineer on the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. Trains were always a great interest. It was early winter, November or December My mom was laid off from Curtiss Wright and had to sign in for her unemployment check somewhere in downtown Buffalo.
There had been a snowstorm that night and she was unable to find transportation running down Broadway to get her to the unemployment office. Someone told her she could probably get a bus at the Central Terminal that would take her downtown, since we lived just one block away from the railroad tracks. She took the shortest route to the terminal, walking on the tracks. Once inside amidst all the servicemen, she noticed a group of sailors. Lo and behold, my father was one of them! They were on their way to be discharged at some Naval base, and their train was delayed.
My mom ran up to my dad and planted a kiss and hug on him. He pushed her away, not realizing it was her. Well, this group of sailors followed my mom and dad back along the tracks to my grandparents' tavern where we lived. Drinks were on the house! Early that evening the sailors returned to the terminal to get their train, trudging in the snow amid laughter and tears, leaving evidence in the snow where an occasional sailor had tumbled. Over the years we had visited the stately terminal many, many times for out-of-town guests and actually once for a trip we were taking to Detroit.
My sister, Bette Potter, one of 10 children, recently passed away at age She worked for New York Central from approximately to , when she retired. Her brother, Francis, was already working there when their mother called the terminal one day saying her daughter was looking for a job. She was hired and thus began 45 years of fun, excitement, good pay and lasting memories.
As one of the perks of the job, she and her friends traveled the railroad for free. They especially loved going to New York City for the weekend. The conductor made sure all of their needs were met and treated them as royalty. One of her favorite jobs was working in the ticket office. The conductors, switchmen and engineers would often leave their paychecks with her, and when they picked up their cash at the end of their shifts would leave the change for her.
It sometimes added up to a decent amount of money, which she gleefully gave to her mother. For fear of making a mistake, she said she seldom looked up when selling tickets. However, she did remember Lucille Ball, trailing a fur coat behind her, because of the excitement she created. She was just one of the many famous people coming through the terminal. All left and returned at the terminal. One day, a voice asked her if she knew how to get to Fennimore Avenue, which happened to be where her family lived. When she looked up it was her brother Francis, home on leave.
She often spoke about the grandeur, the beautiful clock which was the centerpiece of the terminal , the restaurants and the hubbub of life at the terminal. She considered her 45 years of working there as the best of her life. I grew up on the East Side, at Broadway. If was even a shorter walk if I took the railroad tracks running along Curtiss Street and entering the CT through the back doors. My dad gave me my love for baseball catch ball and trains got my first Lionel train set in I was 8 years old. I grew up a Cleveland Indians fan because back then one of the local stations I think it was Channel 4 carried any Indians home games they played on Saturday afternoons.
On Sunday, June 25, , Dad had a surprise for me. We got up early to attend 6 a. Mass, had a little breakfast and then walked to the CT. We boarded a train that took a large group of baseball fans going on an excursion sponsored by a man named Ray Fischer to see a ball game in Cleveland.
We walked from the station in Cleveland to what was then called Municipal Stadium. The Indians played a doubleheader against the Washington Senators. I was a 9-year-old boy in heaven! We couldn't stay for the entire second game as our return trip by train was on a set schedule. I'm sure I probably slept all the way home holding the program that my Dad taught me how to keep score in.
We did several more trips to Cleveland. As an elementary school graduation present before starting high school we went on a three-day excursion to New York over the Labor Day weekend. Starting high school was the furthest thing from my mind. Needless to say I got to attend more major league games as a youngster. I cherish the games I took my son to see in Cleveland and Toronto. The '50s and early '60s saw my model railroad grow and grow to the point it became a permanent layout in our attic on Broadway.
When Dad sold Broadway my wife and I packed up the entire display and brought it to our home in Orchard Park. Some of it got to be displayed in the living room at Christmas time and I still have that first Lionel set engine, three cars and a caboose. Gee, I just realized this year it is 70 years old! That's my little story of the role both baseball and the Central Terminal played in my life growing up in its "backyard" so to speak. I felt like I was in a palace upon entering the terminal…so full of grandeur and full of life! The whole experience of the beautiful terminal and train ride was amazing.
We always dined on board and traveled in our best attire. Fine china, glassware and silver were used. Service was impeccable. I had my first encounter with a "finger bowl" after our meal, warm water with a lemon slice — which I started drinking until my mother corrected me!! My brother and I loved walking through the rail cars observing everything in sight both inside and out the scenic windows. It was a wonderful way to travel. My father, William Adam Pesch, was inducted into the U.
Army in Buffalo on March 13, , through the Selective Service. While home on leave, he had met my mother and they fell in love and started to correspond about their life together when he was discharged and returned to Buffalo. Then Pearl Harbor was attacked. We were at war. My father was then stationed in California and all thought was that he would go to the Pacific, however, no one could contact him, no mail got through.
Sadly, his father died of a massive heart attack at that time and he could not come home. As planning was now strong for our involvement in World War II and wanting to confuse possible enemy spies, my father and his company were shipped from California to England to fight in the European Theatre. They prepared for D-Day.
His family and my mother had no idea where he was. During this time of war his mother was diagnosed with cancer.