Mobius: A Memoir – Available NowA Life of Deception and Frustrated Passion
A copy is US$25 + $5 mailing (in the US) by PayPal, Venmo, or check to Richard Thieme. Mailing costs to other countries provided on request. PayPal to [email protected] or Venmo to rthieme_thiemeworks.
Thieme considers Mobius: A Memoir his finest work. See About Richard Thieme
Here are two readers who responded to the existential challenge that faced Mobius… and faced them after they read it:
A veteran security practitioner in the Netherlands
My easy recognition of what I was reading had me worried about overexposure to tradecraft and general deviousness. I tried explaining this to my partner but found it impossible. After muttering a few descriptive horrible memories that made neither head nor tail of it (but didn’t exactly lighten the atmosphere) I called it quits.
From an assistant deputy director at NSA
Mobius arrived. I opened the package and, of course, immediately started glancing through the book to get a sense of it. I became intrigued and could not put it down. Other matters I needed to be attending to became nuisances, interfering with my desire to be reading Mobius.
As I got into it, I came to fully appreciate the multiple matters-are-not-what-they-seem levels the real author, Richard, constructed. Readers who have had or still have careers in the IC will know that Richard well understands their “world”, and they will be able to identify with the feelings, thoughts, and conundrums.
Readers who know Richard, have worked in the IC, and have shared experiences and thinking with him may get the surprise I got when I suddenly realized – this is me! It stopped me cold. This is not fiction.
I wanted to share with my “Penny” the memories, thoughts, and feelings being generated by the book. Then I realized I was where Nick found himself: she would not understand. It would sound as if I had gotten myself mentally tangled around in a Mobius fiction.
Thank you Nick-Divor-Richard for the memories, thoughts, and feelings.
Richard Thieme, a legendary guru of young hackers everywhere and a guy excruciatingly well-versed in life in the bowels of governmental secrecy, manages a raw and at times even tender, deep dive into a world of secrecy and nigh capricious bureaucracy that extracts a great human price. Read it at your peril, but in doing so emerge ready to better treasure your simple and honest pleasures. Thieme writes Mobius with all the tragic beauty of a fallen Angel.
pitfalls that so often plague the hero. I also loved the
structure—the impressionistic painting of the broad narrative with
the honed in story of the narrator and Penny. I frequently Googled
people or events to see which ones were openly known to be real.
And I sat there musing about who Richard Thieme really was. What
work and books are phenomenal but this one caps them all. A must have, not
only for our clans, but for any library that has any security/intel books at all”
An incredible story, pick it up and you won’t put it down. Richard Thieme’s level of consciousness and storytelling is spellbinding. A hall of mirrors, instead of hiding what’s true, the mirrored kaleidoscope becomes the truth. An old Jewish proverb has it that ‘story is truer than truth’, here the turning and twisting story becomes the truth. Here lies our unseen contemporary history, told from the inside about the people who make history.
Definitely a book that is sorely needed inside the fence. I hope that it makes it into our libraries.
Richard Thieme’s “Mobius: A Memoir” is written on at least three levels of rhetoric (as was Moby Dick, according to Wikipedia): It is a very enjoyable read as an instructive spy-like novel for lay readers; it is also a wise book for techies, and a thoughtful challenge to Intelligence-aware insiders as to what is really going on — often invisibly. Recognizing that a mobius strip is a one-dimensional surface on which we unavoidably keep coming back to where we started, Mobius is actually a metaphor for the entire novel: while doubling back on itself, this book encourages us to incrementally reflect on where we have been, where we might be headed, and when we might need to move off the treadmill. Intriguingly, the author of the novel might be referred to as Mobius Dick (Richard), who in turn declares that the memoir is attributed to Mobius Nick (Cerk). I really loved the book, but then I am both a reader for enjoyment and also a lurking insider.
This is Richard Thieme’s best work to date. Mobius is a trip through a surreal hall of mirrors known as the Intelligence Community, at times gripping or depressing, but always dazzling. Knowing something of that world, I feel Thieme nailed it. The only unrealistic thing in Mobius was the happy ending – unlike Nick, most IC officers never pay the terrible price required to save their souls. What made the difference for Nick was his love for Penny, for at its heart, Mobius is a love story. Nick’s love for Penny (regardless of whether she loves him back) gives him clarity and strength to fight the darkness threatening to engulf him. Penny’s patients also move Nick (and the reader), especially Paul, an Iraq vet with PTSD who Thieme brings to life in quick, deft strokes. As for the main character Nick, he’s a George Smiley for our times, world weary, cynical, yet retaining enough idealism for us to root for him despite the terrible
things he does. Highly recommended.