Favorite Lines from The Billion Dollar Spy

What’s up readers? It’s the 10th day of Blogtober! If you don’t know what Blogtober is, it is a series I am conducting that starts from the first of October where in I post on my blog eveyday until Halloween.

I’m back with another favorite lines post! I wrote a book review of The Billion Dollar Spy by David E. Hoffman which, if you haven’t read it yet, you can check out the book review that I’ve written in my post on the 7th day of Blogtober here

Favorite Lines

“I will not be discouraged by any answer from you.”

“I got a response from the front office of the division, ‘Risky. Dangerous. Won’t work.’ To which I replied, ‘Look, all this is risky and dangerous. But it will work.’ ” 

“Find out who has the secrets and build bridges to them.” 

“What works, works.”

“If a Soviet acquaintance seems eager to thrust an envelope into your hands, be careful; it may well be a deception.”

“She was motivated more by a can-do spirit than by any ideology.”

“Tolkachev knew his limits and how not to raise suspicions.”

“I have selected a course which does not permit me to move backwards and I have no intention of veering from this course. Since I have tasked myself with passing the maximum amount of information, I do not intend to stop halfway.”

“There were always fears at headquarters that an agent would panic and take the suicide pill unnecessarily or that it would be discovered and betray the spy.”

“At the time, the average Soviet pay was some 120 rubles a month. But money could not buy goods that did not exist.”

“World of shadows and shortages.”

“Tolkachev always kept his cool. He was absolutely unreadable.”

“In Turner’s mind, human agents were fallible and unpredictable.”

“Guilsher said there was a limit to good things.”

“Rolph felt angry at himself and sheepish about the accident, but he didn’t linger over it. He had been selected for Moscow duty and was proud to be going. He felt like an astronaut chosen for an Apollo mission.”

“His logic was simple: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

“The metaphor in Rolph’s mind was of an actor stepping on the stage: once the curtain came up, you just did your best to perform.”

“Sheymov believed the worst thing an intelligence professional could do would be to give in to fear. That meant losing control.”

“On a surveillance selection run, the case officer had to be as agile as a ballet dancer, as confounding as a magician, and as attentive as an air traffic controller.”

“In the Moscow station, one of the most basic principles of espionage was don’t ever carry out operational acts without a solid justification.”

“The most secret of all technologies is the one that the other person doesn’t suspect exists.”

“I apparently belong to those who love once.” 

“I get better intelligence judgements from the streetwise, on the ground operations people than the more academic analysts at headquarters.”

“Gerber remarked the Soviets were a nuclear-armed superpower but an economic basket case. ‘This is a country that can’t even make toasters,’ he said. And while they can make missiles, they can’t feed their population.”

“Isn’t that dangerous?” the officer asked.
Tolkachev laughed.
“Everything is dangerous,” he said.

“Tolkachev had a remarkable ability to just melt away. He looked like Mr. Everyman.”

“Deep cover officers worked at a distance from the station and from the agent. It was lonely, stressful, and risky.”

“He had to watch every word and every action. It was like acting on a stage, constantly, for months and months on end – never fogetting a line.”

“Tolkachev was concerned not with saving himself but with saving his espionage, a very practical and stubborn determination to weather out the storm and last as long as possible in order to do as much damage as possible to the Soviet government.”

“He approaches everything objectively, particularly his weaknesses.”

“Tolkachev exhibits legendary resilience and strength despite the shocking nature of the events and actions that he’s describing, his tone is quite positive and strong. He describes everything almost unemotionally, in a conversational style of narrative, as though talking about how he spent his vacation.”

“The Moscow station stashed some ginseng in the package and offered Tolkachev health advice, urging him to relax and cut down on salt in his diet. ‘We feel you are not only a colleague but a friend; as such, we ask you to please take care of yourself.’
After a carrier in espionage, he was determined not to let setbacks slow him down. He often compared the work to that of a surgeon or a cancer doctor. He did everything he could to save the patient, but if and when a patient died, he moved on to save the next. Gerber always felt it necessary to soldier on, even with the burden of loss. He did not torment himself over whether he should have done something differently.”

“She could not resume her profession as an engineer, so she found work as a duty operator in a boiler room. She kept her head high, read books, and paid attention to the lively politics of the Gorbachev period.”

“The U.S. Air Force downed every Soviet-built tactical fighter that it confronted. The reasons were many: superior technology, finely honed tactics, and vastly inproved pilot training. But all of these advantages were bolstered by something less visible. The United States had collected every svrap of information it could find about Soviet planes, pilots, and radars, every photograph, diagram, and circuit board that could be obtained – by any means. And for this, there was a spy.”

Don’t miss a day of Blogtober! 😄

Blogtober Day 1: October Book Releases 

Blogtober Day 2: Ask Me Anything

Blogtober Day 3: Q and A with Flexi Reads

Blogtober Day 4: Book Haul 3

Blogtober Day 5: September 2017 Book Wrap Up

Blogtober Day 6: Books to Read This Fall 2017

Blogtober Day 7: The Billion Dollar Spy by David Hoffman Book Review

Blogtober Day 8: Relatable to Book Lovers

Blogtober Day 9: Tea Haul

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Thank you for reading and cheers to more books! 🍷📚💕😄