Martin Cruz Smith
- Title: Stallion Gate
- Author: Martin Cruz Smith
- ISBN: 9780345310798
- Page: 452
- Format: Paperback
In a New Mexico blizzard, four men cross a barbed wire fence at Stallion Gate to select a test site for the first atomic weapon They are Oppenheimer, the physicist Groves, the general Fuchs, the spy The fourth man is Sergeant Joe Pena, a hero, informer, fighter, musician, Indian These four men and a cast of soldiers, roughnecks and scientists will change historyIn a New Mexico blizzard, four men cross a barbed wire fence at Stallion Gate to select a test site for the first atomic weapon They are Oppenheimer, the physicist Groves, the general Fuchs, the spy The fourth man is Sergeant Joe Pena, a hero, informer, fighter, musician, Indian These four men and a cast of soldiers, roughnecks and scientists will change history forever.
Recent Comments "Stallion Gate"
Intense readI balanced with a break away, then back again. It was not at all what I expected since my choice dovetailed North Korean missile hijinks, thinking it would be good to read about the participants at Los Alamos where it all started - the ultimate bomb making to eliminate or defend against enemies.I expected to read about the scientists. Wrong. This is centered around a New Mexican Indian, Joe, his physical prowess, success with other mens' wives, his knowledge of the belief systems of [...]
From a 2003 Usenet post:I'd make a note to avoid STALLION GATE, an early novel about Los Alamos & the A-bomb project. Seldom have I read a more tedious novelization of an interesting subject. The violence is tedious. Even the *sex* is tedious. Avoid, avoid!
Disappointingrhaps because my expectations were too high. Having recently enjoyed Smith's Polar Star, I had high hopes for Stallion Gate, but those hopes were dashed on almost all fronts.First, the plot. It cuts back and forth across a variety of story lines that for me built frustration rather than engagement. There's the making and testing of the atomic bombe spy among the good guyse retelling of previous war experiences. a quest for music and boxing. lonely, frustrated military wives who chea [...]
Wow. What a wonderful, beautifully crafted, intense read. Had to read the last 100 pages or so twice. Multiple, diverse and compelling story lines woven into the events leading up to Trinity, the testing of the atomic bomb in Los Alamos. That we know the outcome of this test will kill 100s of thousands of Japanese, ending WWII and give birth to the ongoing atomic threat, only adds fuel to the fire he creates in this book -- smoldering at first and erupting into a surprise, almost mystical final [...]
We are at Los Alamos where scientists are preparing the first tes firing of the atomic bomb. This is former Indian territory and a an Indian sergeant in the US military is part of the team - as a driver for Oppenheimer.The plot is complex but progressively more and more gripping. In time this may be seen as the best book by a deeply thoughtful author.The audio version is brilliantrly delicered
Cruz Smith had a terrific idea, to set a mystery thriller at Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project, and a great idea for a protagonist, a Pueblo Indian hired to be Oppenheimer's driver, and dammit, he pulls it off.
Plagiarism? I wonder about the relationship between Stallion Gate (copyright 1986) and Joseph Kanon's book Los Alamos (copyright 1997). Subterfuge, World War II, Los Alamos, personality quirks given room to run, infiltrators, and suspense are present in both. There is also confusion between required hidden agendas, unrequired hidden agendas, and spying, and Smith does it better. Smith's Joe Pena reminds me - and this is not a bad thing - of Smith's Arkady Renko. There is the same wryness, larger [...]
Captivating thriller surrounding events around the development of the 'bomb', culminating in the end of the war. The book tries to handle some of the psychological issues, as well as the 'conspiracy theories', but the depth of analysis is shallow. The book focuses a lot on the main character / hero, and in some ways 'overplays' his role, making him less plausible. The book also surprisingly ends rather abruptly, leaving the reader 'hanging' without a real conclusion surrounding many of the centr [...]
Cruz is my favorite author of this genre and his Renko books are a thrill to read. This book totally misses the target [no pun] in so many ways. Joe Pena is just not believable. Who is this guy who can do twenty things in ten places at the same time? Similarly, the other fictional characters were all just stereotypes. Very disappointed.
I did not enjoy this book as I was expecting something in the vain of Arkady Renko. The main theme is the atom bomb, which is based on fact. The hero is Joe Pena, a Staff Sergeant who is a lovable crook who really likes to play music. The rest of the cast are just there. A spy story I don’t think so. What the story was about other than the bomb is a mystery to me.
I always like a Martin Cruz Smith novel. This one has probably my favorite subject matter so far.
Pensavo fosse una spy story, forse è solo un romanzo drammatico, ma senza mordente, si salva forse solo nelle ultime pagine.
Always love this Author's books
Well-written historical fiction about the Manhattan Project (building of the bombs used on Japan at the end of WWII), from the perspective of a New Mexican Indian who is sprung from military prison to serve as an officers' guide during the project.
Los Alamos, in originale "Stallion Gate, è un romanzo di spionaggio dell'autore americano Martin Cruz Smith, edito nel 1986. L'autore è famoso per la sua serie di romanzi con protagonista Arkady Renko, capo della Polizia Criminale di Mosca e figlio di un famoso generale dell'Armata Rossa, tanto disilluso dal regime brezneviano quanto poco attratto dall'Occidente. Vero erede di Marlowe dallo sguardo cinico e acuto, Renko si muove in un'Unione Sovietica prossima al disfacimento, mostrando il vol [...]
Pueblo Indian war hero, sergeant Joe Peña, has a talent for jazz piano, boxing, & women of the forbidden fruit variety. The latter, with an officer’s wife, landed him in Leavenworth prison. But Robert Oppenheimer’s boyhood summer with Joe in the Jemez mountains of northern New Mexico & Joe’s hero status get him released. He is assigned as Oppenheimer’s driver at Los Alamos as the Manhattan Project counts down towards a brave new world. To Oppenheimer’s group their place of des [...]
STALLION GATE by MARTIN CRUZ SMITH Two days a year tourists in New Mexico are allowed to visit the site of an historic event that would change the world. On July 16, 1945 at precisely 5.29 a.m. an explosion here turned the sand into glass and shook the earth 250 miles away. The unassuming title of Martin Cruz Smith’s book relates to the turnoff to the ‘Trinity’ site, the site where Robert Oppenheimer remarked that he became “Death, the destroyer of worlds”. Stallion Gate intertwines we [...]
Not one of Smith's best, mainly because the main character doesn't totally ring true for me. Not sure why; Native Americans can be wonderful musicians and I suppose there's no reason why they can't be boxers too, although why they--or anyone--would want to follow that career path is not something I can remotely appreciate. But for whatever reason, this novel did not hold my interest as much as SMith's Arkady Renko novels, even the lesser ones. The same was true for his book Rose, which I read ye [...]
Smith published this book directly after his big hit, 'Gorky Park.' However, it never achieved that much success. Reading it, I can see why. It's an interesting concept, but not necessarily wholly successful.It's an historical novel about a Native American man, Joe Pena, in the US military who is assigned to work with Oppenheimer on the Trinity Project. (the nuclear bomb). Pena's been fished out of a jail cell due to his ties with Oppenheimer, and is really expected to spy on the man, whom his s [...]
I loved this book. Of course, I was already reading about Los Alamos by way of Richard Feynman's biographies and articles about Oppenheimer (I confess to being a Feynman fan; and no, I'm not a physicist or scientist of any sort, I just read science for fun). Rarely does a novel make me want to open up an atlas and find locations, but this one did. Not that I'd go anywhere NEAR the Trinity site for the next 500-600 years (it's still glowing invisibly, thanks to radiation residue). I also read oth [...]
I always find Martin Cruz Smith an enjoyable, absorbing read with a sense of literary style few other authors of 'thrillers' achieve. The characterisation of Joe Pena as he moves through the different worlds of the US army, Oppenheimer's driver and confidante and the Indian groups of the South West provide a lovely insight into all those areas. Perhaps not as good as an Arkady story (but what is) still it sits very comfortably on the shelf with all my other MCS books - for me they are keepers.
Smith is trying to do too much with his character. Joe is a prize fighter, professional grade jazz pianist, full blooded Indian, Army sergeant on-site and friend -- and eventual opponent -- of Oppehheimer during the Trinity test in New Mexico. We're almost in Noble Savage land here, I'm afraid. Joe is also an outstanding lover, seducing 'em in droves, by the way. Long sections on the morality of dropping the bomb (always a nonstarter with me). Some very nicely done inter-tribal politics among th [...]
Great historical fiction about the dawn of the nuclear age. The Hemingway-style hero is many things: native American, a boxer, and Oppenheimer's minder at the Nevada acreage where the first atomic bomb was developed. Needless to say, he drinks excessively, plays great piano, and is usually in trouble. While the various big minds of the atomic age continue their progress towards developing the bomb, our hero watches the players and continues his various involvements with his people, army brass an [...]
This page-turner describes the events and intrigues at the Los Alamos facility, as seen through the eyes of an Army sergeant who is a Southwestern Indian and in whose backyard the plot takes place. The sergeant has to find proof that Robert Oppenheimer is a spy, but actually (correctly) fingers Harry Gold and Klaus Fuchs. However, his superior is completely fixated on Oppenheimer, andGreat plot, credible real and fictional characters. I found the book in our room in a Fredericksburg B&B, and [...]
I can’t honestly say if I would recommend this book to anyone. I picked it up because it was set in Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project. I find this area of history fascinating and have read several works of fiction on the same topic before. I did not find the main character interesting at all. He seemed cold and sterile. I enjoyed the historical characters like Oppenheimer and Fuchs more. I don’t know if it is just the writer’s style, but this book left me feeling rather unfulfilled.
Fun to read about the process leading up to the testing of the plutonium bomb. The chief character, Joe Pena, is a Native American who also happens to be a veteran of Bataan, formerly rated heavyweight boxer and a very good pianist. His story unfolds along with the politics and paranoid secrecy surrounding the bomb test. Be prepared for a tale with many twists and turns.
Great thriller with a twist set at the Trinity site during the preparation for the testing the bomb. Besides the fascinating setting, the coming together of so many diverse ethnic backgrounds adds to the unique nature of this time and place. I found the style a bit sparse and the number of minor characters confusing, but the dramatic ending put that all to rest.
While I liked Cruz Smith's later book on a related topic, December 6, I really enjoyed his take on the testing of the first atomic bombs in New Mexico. His characters are always so complex and vibrant. It was so easy to picture the lead, Joe Pena, that I swear I know him already. Another fantastic novel by the sadly, always under-rated Martin Cruz Smith!
Martin Cruz Smith hits this one out of the park. Stallion Gate tells the story of Oppenheimer and the team that build the atomic bomb. We saw the mushroom cloud but this is the story of the characters who built it. The genius, petty jealousies, raw ambition and ultimately the horror of their creation.
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