In John le Carre's electrifying novel Our Kind of Traitor, innocents abroad are drawn into the darkest recesses of the financial world. Britain is in the depths of recession. A left-leaning young Oxford academic and his barrister girlfriend take an off-peak holiday on the Caribbean island of Antigua. By seeming chance they bump into a Russian ...
In John le Carre's electrifying novel Our Kind of Traitor, innocents abroad are drawn into the darkest recesses of the financial world. Britain is in the depths of recession. A left-leaning young Oxford academic and his barrister girlfriend take an off-peak holiday on the Caribbean island of Antigua. By seeming chance they bump into a Russian millionaire called Dima who owns a peninsula and a diamond-encrusted gold watch. He also has a tattoo on his right thumb, and wants a game of tennis. What else he wants propels the young lovers on a tortuous journey through Paris to a safe house in the Swiss Alps, to the murkiest cloisters of the City of London and its unholy alliance with Britain's Intelligence Establishment. "If you want to know about the state of Britain today, forget the Booker shortlist. Just read John le Carre's latest thriller". (Evening Standard). "Few recent plays have had dialogue as good, and few recent literary novels can boast a set of characters so vividly imagined. Our Kind of Traitor is a teasing, beguiling, masterly performance". (Sunday Times). John le Carre was born in 1931 and attended the universities of Bern and Oxford. He taught at Eton and served briefly in British Intelligence during the Cold War. For the last fifty years he has lived by his pen. His most recent novel, A Delicate Truth, is also published by Penguin. He divides his time between London and Cornwall.
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Once again Le Carré displays his superb skill as a storyteller, but again he ruins his story through a pervasive bitterness toward the West; i.e., Britain and America, and their governments. What was a tolerable skepticism in his early works (cf. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold) has become virtually an obsession, and this work only leaves a sense of the sour venom that motivates its author.
Mar 31, 2012
Not my cup of tea
It was a disappointment. The most boring book I have read of late. Was there a point to it?
Dec 16, 2010
a better "recent" Le Carre
one of his better books in a while. Great storytelling.
Publishers Weekly, 2010-08-09 Those readers who have found post-cold war le Carre too cerebral will have much to cheer about with this Russian mafia spy thriller. While on holiday in Antigua, former Oxford tutor Perry Makepiece and his lawyer girlfriend, Gail Perkins, meet Dmitri "Dima" Vladimirovich Krasnov, an avuncular Russian businessman who challenges Perry to a tennis match. Even though Perry wins, Dima takes a shine to the couple, and soon they're visiting with his extended family. At Dima's request, Perry conveys a message to MI6 in England that Dima wishes to defect, and on arriving home, Perry and Gail receive a summons from MI6 to a debriefing. Not only is Dima a Russian oligarch, he's also one of the world's biggest money launderers. Le Carre ratchets up the tension step-by-step until the sad, inevitable end. His most accessible work in years, this novel shows once again why his name is the one to which all others in the field are compared. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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