Laced with errors in tense, misplaced modifiers, and bogged down in minutiae, Red to Black is the slowest read I've endured in a long time. It is marketed as a thriller, a spy story, a love story, and according to Emma Thompson "unputdownable". Stephen Fry says it is "brilliant and unforgettable" "compulsively readable" "nothing short of miraculous". My experience of this novel was so completely different that I am left to wonder if these reviews are invented like the stories in the book made up by the KGB. While presenting an informative and most likely true picture of Putin's Russia and the KGB, this book reads like a dry history text book and not an exciting novel. Part of the problem is the removal of the reader from the subjects. It is told in a sort of third person third person. The heroine, a beautiful KGB colonel Anna, reads the journals of the man she is tied to, an English spy, and the story is related in that way. It is not until the last three chapters that any action takes place. You have to slog through a slowly uncovering story that could have been told in a few chapters. Not only is the pacing agonizing but the editing is terrible. In one sentence the author describes a sum on money in millions of dollars and then the exact same amount but in pounds. Errors in tense fill the book as do misplaced modifiers. The writing improves toward the end and I did grow to care for the characters but I cannot recommend this book to anyone.