The Loo Sanction - Trevanian Everyone is no doubt familiar with the movie "Eiger Sanction" based on a book of the same name by Trevanian, pseudonym for a university professor who wrote a series of very popular genre novels. Miffed that critics and many readers did not get the spoof intended in the Eiger Sanction, he wrote the Loo Sanction which is not only a very successful spy thriller but a broad lampoon of British (and American) academia and the espionage community. The puns surrounding the word "loo," the name of the British section that evolved into MI-6-like sanction operation are ubiquitous and the scene in which Hemlock is giving a lecture on film criticism to a packed house of grad students while being approached by a evil set of agents is both hysterical, parodic and masterfully written. I was listening to this book while mowing and must have been a sight chuckling out loud and I tried to mow a straight line around trees.

Jonathan has been blackmailed (by killing a man in his apartment and leaving evidence of Jonathan's culpability) into helping the "Loo" bring down Maxwell Strange (I can't believe the names assigned to characters are coincidental) who runs a sexual debauchery house called "The Cloisters.) (Given the current scandals in the Catholic Church, perhaps Trevanian was prescient.) The Cloisters has been making films of the peccadilloes and sexual perversions of men high up in the government - not threatening overt blackmail, but the threat they might is omnipresent. Jonathan is charged with recovering the films and bringing down Strange - not shutting down the Cloisters, since it will then become a Loo operation and used to make the Loo self-sufficient budgetarily and of course will be used judiciously to keep the country on the proper path and finally settle that pesky "Irish problem."

There is a delightful scene as the Vicar and Jonathan walk through the countryside in the rain to discuss his proposed task. "Oh dear, you really should be more careful where you tread in a cow pasture, much like Paris streets," said the Vicar as they discuss Jonathan's task. "It does seem odd that a man who was so expert at mountain climibing should find a walk in the country so fraught with difficulty. . . . Permit me to hold this barbed wire up for you, oh well, you said you were not particularly fond of this jacket." "

He is quoted in his Wikipeadia entry as saying the following of his fans: "The Trevanian​ Buff is a strange and wonderful creature: an outsider, a natural elitist, not so much a cynic as an idealist mugged by reality, not just one of those who march to a different drummer, but the solo drummer in a parade of one."

Masterfully read by Joe Barrett. He does the Vicar with exactly the right amount of pretentoiusness and smug arrogance. The book is a nice mix of intelligent lampoonery with traditional thriller/hero/action.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​