RaveThe New York Times Book Review\"... [a] wild roar of a novel ... Writing about music is tricky. Ninety-nine percent of the time hearing the actual song or going to the actual concert is far more revealing than any paragraph describing it. But Jackson pulls off this near-impossible feat, pulling the reader past the velvet ropes into the black-box theaters and sweaty, sticky-floored stadiums ... The prose can feel as cool as Rat Pack-era Sinatra and as sad as Lou Reed singing about a perfect day ... For all his insider knowledge and passion for music, Jackson is also at ease writing about the odd details of the everyday.\
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewIgnatius is a Washington Post columnist who has long covered the C.I.A., and he happily takes us for a jaunt through a world of anonymous hotel rooms and conference tables across Beijing and Vancouver and Dubai, where decisions to take someone off 'the shelf' (i.e., bring him or her back into action) are blankly relayed and executed ... The mood is mournful and restrained. The C.I.A.’s vibe feels like a highway motel with thin walls, a smell of chlorine, a vending machine where your Twix gets stuck on the glass. The most delightful aspect of the book is the characterization of the Chinese — their expletive-ridden insults, downbeat perspective ('Bad luck is always hiding inside the doorway, down the next hutong'), and quirks.