John le Carre's classic novels deftly navigate readers through the intricate shadow worlds of international espionage with unsurpassed skill and knowledge, and have earned him unprecedented worldwide acclaim. Immersing readers in two parallel dramas -- one about the making of a spy, the other chronicling his seemingly imminent demise -- le Carre ...
John le Carre's classic novels deftly navigate readers through the intricate shadow worlds of international espionage with unsurpassed skill and knowledge, and have earned him unprecedented worldwide acclaim. Immersing readers in two parallel dramas -- one about the making of a spy, the other chronicling his seemingly imminent demise -- le Carre offers one of his richest and most morally resonant novels. Magnus Pym -- son of Rick, father of Tom, and a successful career officer of British Intelligence -- has vanished, to the dismay of his friends, enemies, and wife. Who is he? Who was he? Who owns him? Who trained him? Secrets of state are at risk. As the truth about Pym gradually emerges, the reader joins Pym's pursuers to explore the unsettling life and motives of a man who fought the wars he inherited with the only weapons he knew, and so became a perfect spy.
Truly absorbing on all levels, but especially on the narrator's early life - his childhood relationships and the way they form him into being, as the title names him, the perfect spy; that is someone thoroughly insecure, eager to conform to conflicting interests and socially adaptable as well as highly intelligent.
The quality of the writing is flawless; so many apt, diamond -like expressions - really on every page, so that you constantly go back to capture them. This, with the compulsive urge to move on, creates a tension of its own.
I believe this book represents le Carre at his best' It's a work of genius.
Mar 21, 2013
Le Carre's most personal book
In an introduction to the Kindle version of this book, John Le Carre refers to this as his favorite among his books, at least until the much later CONSTANT GARDENER. In that introduction he describes his relationship with his own father, who was something of a con-man. I found the book profoundly moving.
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