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Publisher's Summary

A Delicate Truth opens in 2008. A counter-terrorist operation, codenamed Wildlife, is being mounted on the British crown colony of Gibraltar. Its purpose: to capture and abduct a high-value jihadist arms buyer. Its authors: an ambitious Foreign Office Minister, a private defense contractor who is also his bosom friend, and a shady American CIA operative of the evangelical far right. So delicate is the operation that even the Minister’s personal private secretary, Toby Bell, is not cleared for it.

Cornwall, UK, 2011: A disgraced Special Forces Soldier delivers a message from the dead. Was Operation Wildlife the success it was cracked up to be - or a human tragedy that was ruthlessly covered up? Summoned by Sir Christopher ("Kit") Probyn, retired British diplomat, to his decaying Cornish manor house, and closely observed by Kit’s beautiful daughter, Emily, Toby must choose between his conscience and duty to his Service. If the only thing necessary to the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing, how can he keep silent?

©2013 John le Carré (P)2013 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    290
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    204
  • 3 Stars
    72
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    14

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    132
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    36
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    9
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    10

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good plot/story, tough listen

If you could sum up A Delicate Truth in three words, what would they be?

Rich, layered and interesting.

What did you like best about this story?

The normality of the characters.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John le Carré?

Another Brit?

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No

Any additional comments?

The audio was tough to listen to as every "s" was a sibilant whistle in my ear. It was a significant distraction from the story. This was a problem on 2 of 3 audio devices I tried.

  • Overall

Masterful!

Wonderful narration by the author. Feels like he's reading for me alone in authentic voices of the characters, just as he imagined them.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Lawrence
  • Birmingham, AL, United States
  • 12-17-14

If only there was a sequel

le Carre shows why he's so highly regarded. I'm always concerned when a book is read by the author, but he's superb. It's hard to classify this book, but it's realism is such a relief in contrast to the exaggerated plot lines and actions too often seen in spy/thrillers.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • William
  • Attleboro, MA, United States
  • 04-22-14

Tough to listen to.

Le Carre is a wonderful author, and I have enjoyed his books in the past. I suspect there is in fact a good story in this one, somewhere, I have just found it impossible to listen to. With the author as narrator, I expect the accents and inflections are genuine and accurate, but it strikes me as listening to an aged relative recounting a story from their youth that you've heard a hundred times before. You love them dearly, but sitting through the story makes you want to scream. I've made it through an hour or so, and can't go any further. Can't recommend it.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Brilliant All The Way Around

A Fabulous Treat! Thank you Mr LeCarre. I look for your genius in print and the wait is always worth the while. Now in Audio you deliver the package of your brilliance as the Master of all masters! Encore! Encore!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

British, Smooth, and Fully Armed

How can you go wrong with a John le Carre novel. That's it in a nutshell, folks. I don't want to bore you with a 50 line exegesis, just buy and enjoy!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good and Serviceable

Any additional comments?

This one is more of a page turner and clear storytelling and apart from the opening scenes in Cornwall about halfway through the book and less like some of the more indirect and streamy style for which his earlier classic novels are celebrated.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

By George, He's Got It

If you could sum up A Delicate Truth in three words, what would they be?

Unfortunately too believable

What did you like best about this story?

It stays with you after it's over

Which character – as performed by John le Carre – was your favorite?

He does them all well, which a quite a feat for an author. I had no idea he had such skill. He avoids the pitfalls of doing women's voices as an impersonator rather than an inhabiter.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Who really is our own worst enemy?

Any additional comments?

The silken elegance offsetting the horror and suspense are terrific.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Katherine
  • Georgetown, Ontario, Canada
  • 07-08-13

Refreshingly good

I've read most of John Le Carre's books and I used to consider him my favourite writer. But I haven't enjoyed his other more recent books, plus through Audible, I'd found other outstanding writers that I enjoyed more. But I'd have to agree with someone named Allan Massie in the Scotsman who calls it "the best novel Le Carré has written for some time" and its author "far more serious in his themes than the majority of those who write so-called literary fiction".

Right from the start, it was so delightful to be listening to excellent writing, whatever the topic. And I found I wasn't put off by some cliched characters in minor roles, as I'd feared from other reviews. It's not upbeat, but then again that seemed realistic. I particularly enjoy a minimum of gore and explicit sex, while still presenting our modern world.

Despite wishing for perhaps a different ending, I enjoyed it very much and couldn't put it down.

I found it surprising that John Le Carre was such a good narrator! He did several accents very believably and the narration was part of the appeal of the book for me.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • J.W.
  • Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • 07-02-13

A great book

I enjoy LeCarre. Every time he reads a book, it is a delight to listen. He has a real knack for accent and listening to the author's voice characterizations is always a delight.