London's security officer, Alan Turner, is sent to Bonn to find a missing man and files, as Germany's past, present and future threaten to collide in a nightmare of violence.
©1968 le Carré Productions (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
trying to see the world with my ears
This can be an Interesting and engrossing listen if approached as a novel of its time. If you can get past the women crying into their elbows when confessing to premarital sex and the blackmailable-treasonable position of gays, you can be drawn into a taunt psychological hunt for a possible defector, carried out in office interviews and dinner table double entendre rather than 007 style.
Like Graham Greene???s early entertainments, it accents the human in the espionage; like a PD James' Adam Dalgliesh mystery, the procedural unfolds through dialogue. It???s more reminiscent of LeCarre???s early mysteries combined with the charged atmosphere of the Bonn Cold War setting. The larger political situation didn???t come to pass (the rise of Right in West Germany) but the portarit of the Cold War inching along like a glacier and the hints of the subtler class and dominant culture wars are more prescient
LeCarre assumed his contemporary readers would know the political context, so unless you want to google Cold War events or already familiar, stay away from this listen!
Jayston???s dry readings are not to every listener???s taste but I think he nails the different Brit accents ??? midlands, Oxbridge, Welsh??? very well, and delivers the listen like he???s reading to you, not emoting on the stage (not that there???s much emoting among 1968 Bonn diplomats/ spys!)
Le Carre' should have won the Nobel for literature. His books are all great, and probably better listening to than read. Jayston has the perfect voice for the job, and varies it professionally. Even if you have read all of Le Carre' (as I have), it is well worth hearing it all again - there is always something more to get out of it.
one of his earlier, but already a mature work of the human psyche and espionage, offering an alternative to the bang-bang high action thrillers of the cold war era and beyond. it appears that Michael Jayston will narrate one-by-one all le Carre's novels. an excellent call, that should delight many current and future "reader-listeners".
Thoroughly worth its reputation as one of his best books. Classic suspense and believable plot, both on a factual and psychological level. Very well read.
"Another fine offering from John LeCarre"
A good fascinating novel by the master of the genre. If you are a regular follower of his work you wont be dissapointed by this novel.
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