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A moving and eloquent polemic on the plight of Ingushetia, pre- and post-cold war, which makes compelling reading in itself - but do not expect a conventional storyline. As in the case of several of the author's more recent works, the meandering tale - or what there is of a tale - comes to an abrupt end, with no clue as to the resolution, or otherwise, of the protagonist's major problems. The ending is a definite let down.
Le Carre is a rare genius! It's very hard to adequately praise him without resorting to clichés. However, here we go: The narrative will leave you gasping for air as you are left breathless by the exquisite prose and completely mesmerised by the wonderfully complex characters. In Our Game, he has masterfully captured our paranoia and fear of the on-going East/West struggle with extraordinary skill and insight. We find ourselves questioning the actions of all parties and considering which side truly has the moral high ground. You will carry this superb book in your head long after you turn the last page.
I love John Le Carré but this is not his finest work. He was known as a chronicler of the Cold War, and perhaps, in the mid-nineties, he wanted to show his readers the realities of the world after it ended. Unfortunately, at times the book seemed like propaganda rather than a work of fiction. There are things I liked about it. The relationship between the three main characters is fascinating and at times the writing is very compelling, even beautiful. For some reason, Le Carré has made a lot of the minor characters into caricatures and the plotting, normally his strong point, lacks tension.
This is one of le Carre's better post Cold war novels, although it suffers from his usual inability to create real characterisations, so as the main characters we have the pathetic cuckold protagonist, the irritating Jerry Westerby type antagonist (who of course dies a 'heroic' death) and the cardboard cut-out slut. It articulates the now discredited bourgeois liberal belief that independent Muslim republics are better than Russian controlled colonies. Twenty years of Islamic terrorism has taught us that sometimes it is better to have a bad strong-man like Assad than ISIS! I would also like to know what happened to le Carre in Bath to make him despise the city so!
Just enough modern political background, with exquisite descriptions. Accessible characters. The usual Le Carre reveals as the story unfolds. At the end it stops abruptly, but on reflection this is an obvious conclusion.
A very strong narrative - but you expect nothing less from le Carre - that draws the reader along through the myriad of conflicting and competing positions. Not fully fulfilling but still to use the cliches of old "a rattling good yarn" that held me in its grip.
a great plot,with the usual le carre education in the ways of the world.not his best......that would be "a perfect spy".....get the recorded television series-then,quickly,watch the unacknowledged american homage......."the good shepherd".but a great plot......bad point,he can confuse dignity with slow plot development.but;superb prose,poised,faultless,unpretentious.
Powerful and tense prose but somewhat disjointed and incomprehensible. Very pessimistic, dispirited and depressing tone throughout. The cuckolded relationship between the major male characters was well developed but barely credible. Worth the effort but don't expect to be uplifted.