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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

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
  • 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.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Wras
  • 05-09-17

Revolution in order to establish the dictatorship

George Orwell.

The character set up takes the entire book and in the end, you realise that you knew nothing of their real motivations, I could not care for either; Ted Mundy is a bitter dislocated man that lives in between cultures and belongs to no culture he just touches the surfaces without feeling or understanding the motivations and is influenced by all that have authority over him, he is a chameleon responding to external colours but he has none of his own. Sasha is the revolutionary friend that just wants chaos to rule but has no real convictions just a promoter of self-destruction and anarchy for the sake of anarchy as a response to his hate for his father. They are not likeable or easy to understand they are after 465 pages but shadows of political animals that feed at the bottom of political intrigue.

Also surprisingly the great taboo of Islamic criticism is evident here, no real explanation is given for the shadowy money moving from Dubai or the ideas that promote it, we can talk of all other isms but not Islamism, this self-sensorchip is astonishing to me when it comes from such a great author; Milos Forman said "The worst evil is - and that's the product of censorship - is the self-censorship, because that twists spines, that destroys my character because I have to think something else and say something else, I have to always control myself". that is the influence that this evil gives the book, in the end, the only bad people are the ones we can be criticised the others float like angels by the side of God no matter how covered in blood they are, unbalancing the story and the message supporting all the allegations that all terror attacks are but the product of a political misunderstandings, or secret societies, that everyone knows about.

Disappointing ending and plot, with interesting descriptions of historical events throughout the life of the two characters.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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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.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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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!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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

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  • rodney
  • 10-31-14

Jayston genius

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Jayston and le Carré have done it again; the most fabulous duo since laurel and hardy.. In a 'word' unputdownable..

What about Michael Jayston’s performance did you like?

Michael has the rare ability of instantly transforming the written word into something utterly real. If his narrating was compared to a cake it would be something made of solid gold with a diamond cherry on top.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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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

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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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!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful