Friday, June 02, 2006

John LeCarre, Absolute Friends

I have been a John LeCarre fan for more years than I care to remember. He is one of the great writers of our time. With one exception I have read all of his books many times. That book, took me 10 years to read, I'd pick it up, get 50 pages in, and return it to the bookshelf for another year!

I guess if I was asked to describe his style, it would be James Bond without the Armani Suits, the martinis, the women, the fast cars, and the gadgets. LeCarre's heroes, are always anti heroes, they are down trodden, the 'working class' of the spy industry.

When the Berlin Wall came down, and the USSR collapsed into a gazzilion countries that all seemed to end in ...stan, Khazakstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, etc. I was worried, no 'Cold War' would put John LeCarre on the shelf. Not so, He continued to produce some fine books, maybe not quite as good as the ones with George Smiley, Karla, Peter Guillam, and the always engaging Connie Sachs, but they were fun romps into the 'New World Order'.

I recently managed to get hold of a copy of his latest book, "Absolute Friends", anyone that is a LeCarre fan will fall in love with this book. It is classic LeCarre. Although the time is present, most of the action is 'Cold War'.

A couple of years ago LeCarre made a minor stir with an article that he wrote regarding America's penchant of anointing themselves the saviors of the universe. This generally being achieved by using lots of big bombs, and fine technology.

Absolute Friends is in many ways the novel based on the essay. It is so well crafted that it is not till you get to the last page that you realize you have been conned!

I like the book so much, that as soon as I read the last page, I started again on page one.

A leCarre book always needs a couple of reads till you get the whole plot.

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