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Sunday, 07 August 2011

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So many books to read, so little time to read them. I've read one le Carré but can't remember which one. I remember enjoying it so I'll try another on the basis of your recommendation and my flaky memory. I much prefer the opinion of real readers to critics - re your earlier post.

AK, his classic, of course, is 'The Spy Who Came In from the Cold', such a pity that the film didn't quite work. The 'Smiley' books are terrific, too; but treat yourself at Christmas to the DVD set of 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy', one of the truly great TV series ever made - anywhere! However, if you are looking for something more recent then you can do no better than the book I 'reviewed' above - 'Our Kind of Traitor'. Le Carré really does have a bitter, jaundiced view of the British establishment but cannot quite suppress his admiration for 'decent British chaps' doing their duty, which is 'A Good Thing' because it saves him from sourness.

Just finished reading it as well, and I'd have to agree with you about it being a 'not to be missed', and with your comments.
I'd characterise the tone as 'bleak' and 'sparse',(whatever that means), but extremely well written, and with a sort of lurking background menace throughout.
His characterisation of the establishment quite surprised me as well, jaundiced doesn't even begin to describe it.
I hadn't read anything by him in years, The Constant Gardener was the last attempt, and I found it foul and just about unreadable. Consequently, this was a most pleasant surprise.

Yes, 'Chuck', it was the reviews of 'The Constant Gardener' which put me off him until fairly recently. I must say that in this latest book he details his characters so well that you end up almost thinking of them as friends! I was quite devastated by the end and I still keep thinking about them - which is why I hope he writes a follow-up book featuring some of them. (Must be careful what I write because I don't want to spoil the book for others.)

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