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The Little Drummer Girl by John Le Carré
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The Little Drummer Girl (original 1983; edition 1983)

by John Le Carré

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1,977None3,444 (3.82)35
Member:Porscheboy
Title:The Little Drummer Girl
Authors:John Le Carré
Info:New York : Knopf, 1983.
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:SPYFIC, TERROR

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The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carré (1983)

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English (15)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (18)
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Le Carre leaves Britain behind and heads for southern Europe and the Levant. The Israelis are the agent runners in this one, although it's not well explained how they got the agent, Charlie, to run. She seemed mostly unwilling, but for unexplained reasons did it anyway.

This is one of Le Carre's bigger books, at 534 pages. Le Carre spent an enormous amount of time on the "interview" of Charlie by the Israelis. (Way too much. It should have been cut down, especially since it didn't really add much to the story, other than letting us know that the Israelis spent an enormous amount of time talking endlessly to Charlie.)

I've been reading all of Le Carre's spy novels chronologically and this is the weakest of the lot since "A Small Town In Germany," which was marginally better. ( )
  br77rino | Jan 3, 2014 |
It begins with the 19th Century picture of the child with the smashed drum facing a number of irritated soldiers. The caption relates that the drum was smashed by the French Drummer boy rather than the boy take up a new life drumming for the German soldiers who are fighting Napoleon. The story of how Mossad recruits a sympathizer with the Palestinians and finally uses/betrays her into being part of an-anti-Hezbollah operation. First rate about how it's done in the shadow world of international intrigue. An excellent cautionary tale. Don't read the last half when depressed already. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Oct 29, 2013 |
Was this novel just too long? Did Le Carré stretch his material that bit too far? I’m not sure but I know I lost some interest in both Charlie and Becker. Charlie never became a convincing character for me. I wonder if this is because of the difficulty of men portraying women and female writers creating authentic men. This, of course, is sweeping but a little topical as I wrote this with JK Rowling revealed as the mystery ‘male’ writer of the well received crime novel, ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’, but only after it had been remarked on how capably a male writer had described women’s clothes. Still, back to Charlie. Perfect memory, wonderful acting, brainwashed by events and then carried off by her white knight – not a construction that appeals to me.

What I found more interesting was the way Le Carré portrayed the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. On the one hand he seemed to give on at least a couple of occasions convincing arguments about how badly the Palestinians had been treated by both the English and the Israelis but he also created caricatures of Arabs – flashy, arrogant and singing by rote to the same tune. It was a contradictory presentation and the way the Israelis win so sweepingly at the end also seems to suggest he felt the good guys won, Kurtz especially being created as a warm, paternal character.

In brief, this novel left me uncomfortable and unfulfilled but Le Carré’s style of writing, the way he strings words together, remained as enjoyable as in his other novels. ( )
1 vote evening | Jul 20, 2013 |
bargain = 1 of 29 books for $5.
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
I drool at his ability to create complex characters. I’m trying to learn as I read, but we write in such different styles. ( )
  JoAnnSmithAinsworth | Aug 9, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Mr. le Carré's novel is certainly the most mature, inventive and powerful book about terrorists-come-to-life this reader has experienced. It transcends the genre by reason of the will and the interests of the author. The story line interests him but does not dominate him. He is interested in writing interestingly about things interesting and not interesting. Terrorism and counterterrorism, intelligence work and espionage are, then, merely the vehicle for a book about love, anomie, cruelty, determination and love of country. ''The Little Drummer Girl'' is about spies as ''Madame Bovary'' is about adultery or ''Crime and Punishment'' about crime. Mr. le Carré easily establishes that he is not beholden to the form he elects to use. This book will permanently raise him out of the espionage league, narrowly viewed.
 
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A David et J.B. Greenway, Julia, Alice, et Sadie... pour leur temps, leur hospitalité et leur amitié.
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It was the Bad Godesberg incident that gave the proof, though the German authorities had no earthly means of knowing this.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0394530152, Hardcover)

In this enthralling and thought-provoking novel of Middle Eastern intrigue, Charlie, a brilliant and beautiful young actress, is lured into 'the theatre of the real' by an Israeli intelligence officer. Forced to play her ultimate role, she is plunged into a deceptive and delicate trap set to ensnare an elusive Palestinian terrorist. THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL is a thrilling, deeply moving and courageous novel of our times.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:13 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Charlie, a young English actress, meets a man on a Greek beach who draws her into a world of espionage and terror in the Middle East.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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