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Absolute Friends

Narrated by: Michael Jayston
Length: 13 hrs and 40 mins
4 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The friends of the title are Ted Mundy, British soldier’s son born 1947 in a new independent Pakistan, and Sasha, refugee son of an East German Lutheran pastor and his wife who have sought sanctuary in the West.

The two men meet first as students in riot-torn West Berlin of the late 60s, again in the grimy looking-glass of Cold War espionage and, most terribly, in today’s world of terror. Spanning 56 years, Absolute Friends is a savage fable of our times.

©2010 John le Carre (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A sort of accidental spy

Masterfully read by Jayston, brilliant ending that would never be the same in a movie version.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 06-21-11

The perfect voice for the master's story

John Le Carre writes quite amazing stories - about flawed innocents with pure intentions caught up in the mendacities of the real word. There is something about Michael Jayston's voice, the slightly jaded world-weariness, that makes it quite the perfect vehicle for Le Carre's writing.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • bignewshound
  • 11-18-15

Absolute

This was never one of Le Carre's best received novels. But with the wisdom hindsight, I the cold light of a post 9/11 day it it perhaps his most brutally honest and terrifying. I read it when it came out and listed to it again in November 2015. It is Jayston - the best reader of Le Carre my a long chalk mark - at his very best.
Presentation aside, it is the content which on second visit I found so astonishing. I listened to the final few hours of the story on the weekend Paris and the world was reeling in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. What the novel is driving at. What it is implying and what it is explicitly saying are screamingly apt. This is not a subtle novel. This says it for all to hear. Everything that happens to us. The horrors which drive us to take cover under our duvets or seek solace and distraction in box sets, mobile technology and consumer goods of all shapes and sizes can all be traced back to one source: an unholy and utterly cynical alliance between power brokers and gun toting thugs across the political divide with the good old U S of A gluing them all together. Sleep well in your beds.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • bibliophile
  • 06-12-14

Superb reading

A very good listen. The reading was superb. The plot was resolved with a little too much paranoia, though!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Georgie
  • 04-09-14

One of le Carre's best

Whether you're a fan of le Carre or a newcomer, this one is a must. It's his insight into what happens behind the scenes that is so important - this is an educational book as well as a great thriller.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Diana Brighouse
  • 04-12-17

brilliant

Fantastic (and chilling) story, performance pitch perfect. If I could give more than 5 stars I would.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chalk the Sun
  • 10-19-16

Complex and engaging

The Cold War to the War against terrorism told through an ambiguous friendship between two extraordinary vividly created character s Wonderful reader too

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Chrissie
  • 08-06-16

BrillIant Le Carre'.

Brilliant, complex, and so many dislikable characters in one novel! Well worth a read, and best in as near to one sitting as possible if the plot is not to be lost!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • peter
  • 05-27-13

WOW

it's a must for all le care enthusiasts. It’s a must for thinkers of topical contemporary concerns. It’s a must for anyone interested in great writing. the author is the most underrated english writer of our times. and naturally, michael jayston does it again!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Martin Amison
  • 12-28-19

Melancholy

Le Carré’s book moves out of the Cold War into near history. I found it long-winded in parts but ultimately very entertaining. As usual the characters are flawed, reflective, amateur and stumble through their parts. The eventual dominant feeling is one of melancholy: a familiar emotion after completing any Le Carré. But then a more moderate British melancholy than the drowning kind of Hemingway. Best appreciated by the English (of which I am one) I suggest.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • DartmoorDiva
  • 11-27-19

Not his best…

I am a huge John Lecarre fan, but I’m afraid this book left me cold. He was obviously going through a phase