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The British Embassy in Bonn is up in arms. Her Majesty's financially troubled government is seeking admission to Europe's Common Market just as anti-British factions are rising to power in Germany. Rioters are demanding reunification, and the last thing the Crown can afford is a scandal. Then Leo Harting - an embassy nobody - goes missing with a case full of confidential files. London sends Alan Turner to control the damage, but he soon realizes that neither side really wants Leo found alive.
Set against the threat of a German-Soviet alliance, John le Carré's A Small Town in Germany is a superb chronicle of Cold War paranoia and political compromise.
©2013 John le Carré (P)2013 Penguin Audio
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
"All power corrupts. The loss of power corrupts even more."
Throughout most of this early le Carré novel, I was convinced I would probably rate it three stars. It was interesting, but plodded at times. It seemed a little provincial, a bit dated, ended up being historically incorrect, and seemed almost like le Carré was writing a Henry James ghost story more than a le Carré thriller.
However, by the end I loved it. Chapter 17 (Praschko) right before the Epilogue (a conversation between Praschko, Turner and Bradfield) was absolutely genius. It was one of the most powerful chapters in any book I've come across that wasn't originally written in Russian.
i must preface this review by saying that I came to this straight after listening to the entire Smiley series and thoroughly enjoying all of its intricacies and Smiley himself is a great character and so I didn't quite enjoy this as much as i should perhaps. it is again well written, well narrated, well plotted etc and I enjoy the more cerebral spy novels without all the shooting and blowing things up. the mystery aspect and chess game maneuvering is great in LeCarre, but this one is a touch reminiscent of Forsythe's Odessa File near end, which came first i don't know. still enjoyed it but maybe i need to break from LeCarre for a bit and come back and get a little distance from Smiley, as I keep hoping he will somehow pop up in one of his cameo's.
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