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
Le Carre is a wonderful author, and I have enjoyed his books in the past. I suspect there is in fact a good story in this one, somewhere, I have just found it impossible to listen to. With the author as narrator, I expect the accents and inflections are genuine and accurate, but it strikes me as listening to an aged relative recounting a story from their youth that you've heard a hundred times before. You love them dearly, but sitting through the story makes you want to scream. I've made it through an hour or so, and can't go any further. Can't recommend it.
A Fabulous Treat! Thank you Mr LeCarre. I look for your genius in print and the wait is always worth the while. Now in Audio you deliver the package of your brilliance as the Master of all masters! Encore! Encore!
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!
Say something about yourself!
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.
Unfortunately too believable
It stays with you after it's over
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.
Who really is our own worst enemy?
The silken elegance offsetting the horror and suspense are terrific.
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.
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.
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.
A must listen
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.
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