The Little Drummer Girl: Now a BBC series (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 27 September 2018
Enhance your purchase
Frequently bought together
About the Author
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter mobile phone number.
- ASIN : 0241322375
- Publisher : Penguin Classics (27 September 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 656 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780241322376
- ISBN-13 : 978-0241322376
- Item Weight : 420 g
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
- Generic Name : Book
- Customer Reviews:
Review this product
Top reviews from India
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Top reviews from other countries
The plot is undeniably clever, but even for a spy novel, somewhat far-fetched. To render it convincing Le Carre freights his account with copious detail of person, place and circumstance. This significantly slows down what action there is to a crawl then a standstill – noting the numbers of every car in the queue does not make a traffic jam any more bearable.
The author loads his characters with complex psychologies and back stories. Acts and counteracts must emerge from a tangled forest of lost childhoods, idiopathic personality traits, and misconstrued passages from Regis Debray or Frantz Fanon. He gave his imagination full rein, and drops names merrily but he failed to persuade me of either the truth or necessity of it all. The motivation of Palestine organizations for using violence is rather simple, the response of the Israeli state equally straightforward - whatever your position on the Middle East.
The novel was written in 1983 to be fair – much has changed and much has not indeed. For certain the portrayal of female characters, especially of Charlie, is very much of its time and its male authorship. If women are shallow, men are deep, subtle and complicated. OK but it does not work in 2018 and I am reading it in 2018.
Before abandoning the book – and I persisted for some time – I looked at other negative reviews on Amazon. It was not going to get any better. I will reserve judgement on the TV series.
POSTSCRIPT the TV series was much better, shorter and it dispenses with Le Carre's self-indulgent ramblings. The plot is still implausible but watchable when the book was - in the end - unreadable.
With Israeli’s been blown up, who is behind the terrorist actions? Although the Israeli intelligence services have a good idea, it is one thing to know who the person is, and another to locate them and put them out of action. And thus, small-time British actress Charlie makes an appearance. A radical with differing views and quite often on demonstrations what is it about her that seems to make her a good candidate to bring down a terrorist organisation?
Le Carré’s novel is a great read and works on so many levels. There is a good and believable story which is well plotted, and with fully realised characters, but this goes beyond that as we are made to think of certain actions that are carried out. For Kurtz, who is leading this special operation, with the acceptance of deniability by the State of Israel, so we see how Charlie is broken down and then rebuilt to become the person that is wanted for the mission. Kurtz, who is a moderate thinks that by carrying out a successful mission he may be able to hold off certain insurgences against Palestinians, but is he right? Charlie finds herself having to give the performance of a lifetime, but will she stay loyal to her employers, or will she go native and help the Palestinians?
With such questions and others, we have to contemplate the grey world of such activities that have people manipulating and lying to each other, all with their own ideologies, ones that may alter as times progresses, and also the problems that occur trying to bring a peaceable solution to matters that can seem incomprehensibly hard.
In all then this is a great read, that could do well for book groups, and is more of a thinking man’s story than an action thriller. There is a TV series of this I believe coming in November, and as I am writing this I have my fingers crossed that it will be good and do justice to this novel.
The Little Drummer Girl moves away from the Cold War and into a new arena: Arab/Israeli terrorism. It's well constructed, and the writing is excellent as always - I didn't realise when I picked up my first le Carre book that there's a literary turn to his spy writing. He actually writes very well indeed.
The Little Drummer Girl doesn't disappoint - my only criticism, and this goes for all his work, is that he only able to write one lead female character. Charlie is every other woman he's written... but at least he writes her well!