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A Delicate Truth: A Novel | [John le Carré]

A Delicate Truth: A Novel

A Delicate Truth opens in 2008. A counter-terrorist operation, codenamed Wildlife, is being mounted on the British crown colony of Gibraltar. Its purpose: to capture and abduct a high-value jihadist arms buyer. Its authors: an ambitious Foreign Office Minister, a private defense contractor who is also his bosom friend, and a shady American CIA operative of the evangelical far right. So delicate is the operation that even the Minister’s personal private secretary, Toby Bell, is not cleared for it.
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Publisher's Summary

A Delicate Truth opens in 2008. A counter-terrorist operation, codenamed Wildlife, is being mounted on the British crown colony of Gibraltar. Its purpose: to capture and abduct a high-value jihadist arms buyer. Its authors: an ambitious Foreign Office Minister, a private defense contractor who is also his bosom friend, and a shady American CIA operative of the evangelical far right. So delicate is the operation that even the Minister’s personal private secretary, Toby Bell, is not cleared for it.

Cornwall, UK, 2011: A disgraced Special Forces Soldier delivers a message from the dead. Was Operation Wildlife the success it was cracked up to be - or a human tragedy that was ruthlessly covered up? Summoned by Sir Christopher ("Kit") Probyn, retired British diplomat, to his decaying Cornish manor house, and closely observed by Kit’s beautiful daughter, Emily, Toby must choose between his conscience and duty to his Service. If the only thing necessary to the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing, how can he keep silent?

©2013 John le Carré (P)2013 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

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4.2 (312 )
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  •  
    T Rex 10-02-13
    T Rex 10-02-13

    T Rex

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "British, Smooth, and Fully Armed"

    How can you go wrong with a John le Carre novel. That's it in a nutshell, folks. I don't want to bore you with a 50 line exegesis, just buy and enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David TS 09-11-13
    David TS 09-11-13

    reader who hates the new look of the webpage (which has stayed really bad)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    "Good and Serviceable"
    Any additional comments?

    This one is more of a page turner and clear storytelling and apart from the opening scenes in Cornwall about halfway through the book and less like some of the more indirect and streamy style for which his earlier classic novels are celebrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre Laval, Quebec, Canada 09-07-13
    Andre Laval, Quebec, Canada 09-07-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    44
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    "Excellent from the master"

    This is pure Le Carre. Subtle, tense, dark, exciting, and most of all plausible. Gets you thinking. And as always completely unsentimental.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell 07-22-13
    Russell 07-22-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "By George, He's Got It"
    If you could sum up A Delicate Truth in three words, what would they be?

    Unfortunately too believable


    What did you like best about this story?

    It stays with you after it's over


    Which character – as performed by John le Carre – was your favorite?

    He does them all well, which a quite a feat for an author. I had no idea he had such skill. He avoids the pitfalls of doing women's voices as an impersonator rather than an inhabiter.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Who really is our own worst enemy?


    Any additional comments?

    The silken elegance offsetting the horror and suspense are terrific.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Bettendorf, IA, United States 07-13-13
    Mark Bettendorf, IA, United States 07-13-13 Member Since 2010

    Father,Husband,Photographer,Book Fiend. 1st Audiobook was 1776 byDavid McCullough;listened while putting up Xmas lights in snowstorm-Hooked!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stunning, as always. Read by the master himself!"

    My mother-in-law turned me on to the works of John LeCarre more than 15 years ago, with "Smiley's People" and since that time I've read everything I could get my hands on. John LeCarre is not only a master of the spy genre, but literature itself. His prose is precise and beautiful; often times I'll find myself re-reading lines or paragraphs just to enjoy the way he phrases things so artfully. His characters and the stories they inhabit are unmatched. No punches are pulled and his works are based in a world much closer to reality than the "we're good/infallible/always heroic and justice driven" world of most fiction (and most politicians). If near-immortality is ever scientifically possible, I'm hoping LeCarre uses whatever contacts he may still maintain in the intelligence world to prolong his life (and continue writing).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Georgetown, Ontario, Canada 07-08-13
    Katherine Georgetown, Ontario, Canada 07-08-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Refreshingly good"

    I've read most of John Le Carre's books and I used to consider him my favourite writer. But I haven't enjoyed his other more recent books, plus through Audible, I'd found other outstanding writers that I enjoyed more. But I'd have to agree with someone named Allan Massie in the Scotsman who calls it "the best novel Le Carré has written for some time" and its author "far more serious in his themes than the majority of those who write so-called literary fiction".

    Right from the start, it was so delightful to be listening to excellent writing, whatever the topic. And I found I wasn't put off by some cliched characters in minor roles, as I'd feared from other reviews. It's not upbeat, but then again that seemed realistic. I particularly enjoy a minimum of gore and explicit sex, while still presenting our modern world.

    Despite wishing for perhaps a different ending, I enjoyed it very much and couldn't put it down.

    I found it surprising that John Le Carre was such a good narrator! He did several accents very believably and the narration was part of the appeal of the book for me.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.W. Pittsburgh, PA, United States 07-02-13
    J.W. Pittsburgh, PA, United States 07-02-13 Member Since 2009
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    "A great book"

    I enjoy LeCarre. Every time he reads a book, it is a delight to listen. He has a real knack for accent and listening to the author's voice characterizations is always a delight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill NOVA 06-11-13
    Bill NOVA 06-11-13 Member Since 2009

    Bill

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    "This book is on target"

    This is a great book and very topical for what is happening in the world today in the world on intelligence and contracting out wars

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann K New York, NY USA 06-11-13
    Ann K New York, NY USA 06-11-13 Member Since 2002

    Ann

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    "Hang in there, it gets great"
    Any additional comments?

    le carre reading le carre, what could be better? I found the first few hours to be confusing and sometimes tedious, but once the story takes off, it is riveting. And ripped from the headlines: what an opportune time to be thinking about surveillance, privacy, outsourced military action, and overstepping governments. Terrific story, beautifully drawn characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Sare Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada 06-05-13
    Robert Sare Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada 06-05-13 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superb Narration"
    If you could sum up A Delicate Truth in three words, what would they be?

    A must listen


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to several hundred audible books, and this narration is probably the best I've ever heard. The writing is very good, but Le Carre's reading brings an extra dimension. He captures the humour and pathos in his own writing in a way I couldn't imagine picking up if I were to just read the physical book. If you want to understand how well a story teller can master his art, listen to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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