Lured by Israeli intelligence into the world of espionage, Charlie, a young actress, is plunged into a deceptive and delicate trap to ensnare an elusive Palestinian terrorist.
©1983 David Cornwell (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
Considering starting a 12-step program for audio book addicitions
I had to work at this one because the plot line was complex. Just as I was going down one road, something happened that made me question if I really understood what was happening. In fairly short order, I came to understand that was the point. Brilliant, in retrospect. If you're a fan of the safe "beginning, middle, end" story arc genre, this book is not for you. But if you can park expectations and just go along for the ride, it is a most gratifying read. The narrator was excellent though the sound quality wasn't great. Otherwise it would have been 5 stars across the board.
I am a glass artist, working from my studio at home. Audio books keep my mind stimulated while my hands are busy.
John le Carre tosses the reader back and forth between bitter enemies; Israel and Palestine. A captivating read.
"The perfect post-Cold War spy story"
I love this book, probably my favourite of John Le Carre's novels. Its use of the Iraeli/Arab conflicts as an alternative to the old Cold War, us against the Russians, is inspired. Filled with an array of compelling characters, lovingly detailed, beleiveable, flawed in a very human way. Absolutely gripping from start to finish. And Michael Jayston is the perfect narrator, his tired, jaded, roué voice fits the story well and he has a remarkable range of consistent voices and accents. Hardly a laugh-a-minute but I highly recommend this book.
"Such a disappointment"
I am a le Carre fan, but I really am finding this book tedious in the extreme, I should have read the reviews more thoroughly, it is very political, which is not my taste. I know le Carre does always have an element of politics through his books, but I usually find his stories woven really well, but this one doesn't grab me at all. I think it is because I cannot particularly like these characters - so I lost interest - and perhaps don't care about them.
I may try leaving it for a while and picking up later! Certainly I regret buying this one - but I seem to think it was on offer - so I probably haven't lost anything.
"Not bad, but not all that good either"
I have read or listened to alot of Le Carre's work recently, and usually I really enjoy them, but alas not this one.
I found that I kept on getting lost in the details of the sub-plots, and the story wasn't actually all that compelling to listen to. I also found it almost painful to listen to the middle third of the book as it keeps going back and forth into imaginary world of false characters and stories. I kept waiting for it to get good, but then it ended...
I think Michael Jayston is perfect as the narrator, so its certainly not him that put me off. It might be better as a book, rather than an audio version, but for me it's a far cry from his other works.
"Good, but not Vintage Le Carré"
Michael Jayston, as usual, delivers an excellent performance in the narration of the novel. The story itself however, and in particular the recruitment of Charlie, a young left-wing English actress, by Israeli Intelligence, strains credulity and I found the development of the plot and its denouement singularly unconvincing. One doesn't expect a-thrill-a-minute in a Le Carré novel but even so I found long sections of it tedious. Judged by the standard of his best work I would describe it as good but it certainly is not in the same league as the Karla trilogy.
this is an absorbing story, distinctive use of language and expression, with an array of interesting characters, joyful escapism.
"Well researched and believable"
snapshot of a conflict
Joseph - war weary but humane
Description of the Palestinian refugee camps
Helps to understand the Stockholm Syndrome
"only one thing"
The story was excellent keeping my attention for every minute.
Michael Jayston was, as ever, perfect with every character clear, distinct and consistent.
Only one thing took away from my enjoyment of this recording. At the end of many sentences the final sound was cut off. So, for example "watch" would become "wat" or "language" would sound as "langui" . A minor annoyance and a shame for an otherwise excellent audio book.
"Superb. lé Carre at his best"
Very, very good. lé Carre gives you a fascinating, terrifying look into international terrorism that will leave you reading newspapers uneasily and watching the news with a jaundiced eye for the rest of your life.
Whatever side of the Arab / Israeli conflict you believe yourself to be, you'll get a naked look at the other side. It's cause for pause.
Essential reading that will haunt you.
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