Bruno Salvador has worked on clandestine missions before. A highly skilled interpreter, he is not a stranger to the Official Secrets Act. But this is the first time he has been asked to change his identity – and, worse still, his clothes – in service of his country.
Whisked to a remote island to interpret a top-secret conference between no-name financiers and Congolese warlords, Salvo’s excitement is only heightened by memories of the night before he left London, and his life-changing encounter with a beautiful nurse named Hannah.
Exit suddenly, the unassuming, happily married man Salvo believed himself to be. Enter in his place, the pseudonymous Brian Sinclar: spy, lover and perhaps, even, hero.
©2006 David Cornwell (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
"An incendiary tale ... le Carré's understanding of how the world ticks is, as always, machete sharp." (USA Today)
"Le Carré's insight into the dense, dangerous nexus of corporate and government interests is chillingly assured." (The New York Times Book Review)
"To categorise le Carré, as many do, as a 'spy' novelist is to do him a disservice; he uses the world of cloak-and-dagger much as Conrad used the sea – to explore the dark places in human nature." (Washington Post Book World)
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"The Mission Song"
Carre intuitively details character and circumstance to write a beautifully human story. It is wonderfuly read by David Oyelowa whose narration is sensitive and energetic. I'll look out for other titles he's read.
"Hard work but rewarding"
This le Carre book is magnificently narrated which helps makes sense of the different players of all nationalities and persuasions. There's a lot to keep up with but it is a well crafted tale which leaves you feeling that it is all too true.
"The Mission Song"
Perfectly written, perfectly read.
I took much longer to finish than expected, because I kept going over parts because of the beauty of the writing.
Salvo's realistically delineated character emerges naturally from his background , and the plot is exquisitely crafted.
"good le carre"
good story but fairly predictable plot twists. spoilt somewhat by the incidental music between chapters.
"well worth the pay off!"
moody, different, atmospheric
I liked that this book is another brilliant insight into the world of espionage but is narrated from a very different point of view to many of the other books I've read / listened to and highlights African conflict which is a different setting for me. In the classic Le Carre way, this book builds slowly but delivers with a satisfying conclusion.
David Oyelowo brings the characters in this book to life
more of a slow burner
"Not one of his best works"
John le carre was on his soap box again, not to sure why he has started to write like this of late, I loved all of his first writings.
"A story of corruption, beautifully read."
Having visited afrika on several occasions, this story took me right back there. Excellent, well researched and believable.
"Not particularly enjoyable"
I had high expectations from such a famous author, especially after enjoying the TV adaptations of Tinker Tailor and Smilie's People, but unfortunately this proved a dull book. Very slow to get going, the story did not engage me, and I soon found myself concentration drifting, which rather defeats the purpose of an audiobook whilst traveling. I found the main character somewhat tedious, and could not engage with the rest. The story plodded along like a history lesson, and listening felt more like a chore. If you know something about African politics and Western manipulation, you may be better able to engage with the story.
The narrator is a well established professional actor who, due to his Nigerian roots, handled the African accents and voices with convincing ease and (as far as I know, not being African myself) authenticity. Unfortunately he overreached with Scottish, and alas I cringed at his Welsh. Can't win them all I suppose, and would again stress that he is otherwise, a good actor.
Overall I did not enjoy this book.
"Loved it in the end"
A slow burn but stick with it. Delightful in the end.
Read the other reviews for a summary.
"Teach me not to be a sceptic - Brilliant 5*"
They are for different audiences, but the telling of the story on this is absolutely superb.
Salvo - performed with just the right degree of irony and arrogance.
Ditto - Salvo - the narrator - is absolutely spot-on.
No - I couldn't have concentrated on the story adequately.
I was sceptical about a Le Carre not told by the author. As soon as it starts though you realise why JLC would have been the wrong choice and just how good David Oyelowo is.
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