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The Tailor of Panama (original 1996; edition 1996)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345420438, Mass Market Paperback)John le Carré, the greatest spy novelist of the Cold War era, continues his post-Cold War quest to define the genre he helped perfect. The classic spy novel was essentially a story of good (England, the United States) vs. evil (Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union), in which good more or less prevailed. The Tailor of Panama is something else entirely: a spy novel with no spies in which the bad guys reap most of the rewards. It is also a viciously funny satire. The novel is set in Panama, where a plot is in place to make void the Panama Treaty, which would return control of the Panama Canal to the Panamanians in 1999. At the center of events is Harry Pendel, the tailor of the title. Coerced into working for British Intelligence, he concocts out of whole cloth a left-wing movement with the goal of luring the American military to do the dirty work--invade Panama à la 1989 and nullify the treaty. From the characters to the setting, le Carré has succeeded in setting new parameters for an old genre.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:14 -0400)
An English tailor working in Panama is hired by the British government as a spy because of his contacts at the highest level. He proceeds to tailor his reports the way he creates his suits, giving the client what he wants, and the result is tragicomedy.
(summary from another edition)
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