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I suppose John Le Carre could write a bad book. I just never have read one. He also is a superior reader and/or actor.
What seems to be different about "Absolute Friends" is that instead of world- weary agents with murky allegiances more contingent on place of birth and chance, this book, in the end, has a passionate point of view. One that many fans of Le Carre may disagree with. Well, I can personally read about spies without becoming one. Highly recommended.
22 of 25 people found this review helpful
I have never enjoyed an audio book more! This is a magnificent and timely tale reminiscent of A Small Town in Germany or Le Carre's other earlier works. It is deeply rooted in the cold war, yet quite contemporary, bridging the gap from the Berlin Wall to the current conflict in Baghdad.
The abridged version no doubt comes at the cost of some of the protagonist's more introspective self-examination, though the characters remain complex, human and compelling. And what a treat to have the author narrating. His reading adds a great deal to the authenticity and enjoyment of the novel.
Despite passages such as:
"The easiest and cheapest trick for any leader is to take his country to war on false pretenses," spoken by the book?s hero Mundy, Le Carre is quite even handed in his disdain for the entire cast of global players.
As with so many of Le Carre's imperfect characters, our "perfect friends" follow their highest ideals into the self serving world of political intrigue and the seedy realities of global greed. For those readers who shallowly declare that the book is an indictment on the West, listen more closely. It is an indictment on the human condition which repeatedly demonstrates its inability to translate our shared ideals into a political system that reflects those ideals.
All in all, an absolute little truffle of a spy book as engaging and satisfying as one could hope for from the greatest writer of the genre.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful