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I was disappointed with this book. If it was possible to give it a 3.5 stars on the Amazon system I would have. I missed the film but if it was as drawn out as the book I probably didn't miss much. I persevered until the end thinking that it would get better but it didn't. The story was not bad but it was just so slow I could have had a sandwich mid chapter and missed nothing. There was no urgency within me to get back to the book as there is when a book has a great story, is full of action and plenty of tension. This book lacked all three.
This book is made difficult to review by the fear of spoiling the whole read for someone by the remarks I am tempted to make. Suffice to say, it is mostly a good read because of le Carre's style of writing. Even in what might be mundane sections, they are amusing with the ironic quips or the reference to something from the Classics world that one of the characters used to inhabit. The main characters from the SIS world also make compulsive reading though I did find myself hoping there aren't those kind of people in charge now, looking after us with the current threat and trying hard to undermine each other. It always makes a good tale when you don't know who to trust and the suspense is built in the way le Carre can but I still wish endings sorted a few things out. Whilst accepting all loose ends are not tied up in real life so books have an excuse, there are still some things left hanging in this that could have been mentioned.
An interesting story, but Le Carre hasn't changed his style greatly, and this one really does jump about meaning that backtracking after one puts it down for a while becomes a necessity. Smiley's People was the only book that I've read and that he wrote that really flowed, but one needed to know the story of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy to really follow that one.
I don't know how true to life this story really is, but I have a nasty suspicion it could be entirely plausible... Either way, I found it entertaining and a page-turner. There is something rather seductive about the idea of an "ordinary" (well, sort of ordinary) couple becoming involved in the murky world of Intelligence and being able to eavesdrop on their de-briefing. I couldn't decide how I thought it would end. It is part of le Carre's enduring skill to keep you guessing and to deliver the unexpected. A good read, thank you, Mr Cornwell.
Somehow this one never really pulled me in and made it un-put-downable. The principal characters were a bit too formulaic. The side story of a girl being seduced in a casual sexual encounter that means so much to her, only to find he is married and hasn't given her another thought is a bit too cliched. But the story rattles along in the usual John Le Carre style, taking up cudgels against underhand financial dealings with prominent participants. Not, I felt, one of his best.
Not one of his best efforts but a good read all the same. Character descriptions are vivid and the storyline rolls along quite weel. Bit of an abrupt ending though as if the author could not spare the time to tell us what happened to all of the characters who were strongly part of the plot.
Wading my way through it,not an easy read but enjoyable once I got my head round it.I have more than one book on the go which is usual for me so it gives me options to read and variety of storylines.I would recommend this book,not a quick read type novel.