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A Small Town in Germany by John Le Carré

A Small Town in Germany (original 1968; edition 2011)

by John Le Carré

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Title:A Small Town in Germany
Authors:John Le Carré
Info:Penguin (2011), Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Collections:Your library, Read, E-books
Tags:2012-12, Crime Fiction

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A Small Town in Germany by John le Carré (1968)

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English (15)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Substance: Suspense in post-WW2 Bonn, digging up old secrets, artful misdirection. Anything more would spoil things for the next reader.
Style: A bit terse for my taste. ( )
  librisissimo | Jan 8, 2015 |
Great writing. Okay plot. Wonderful ending. Not what one would expect. This is a good book and a fun read if you like le Carré. ( )
  TJWilson | May 27, 2014 |
An odd spy tale in Bonn, Germany, that revolves around a character who is spoken of but never revealed.

Most of the action takes place in the British embassy in Bonn. ( )
  br77rino | Jan 3, 2014 |
Interesting look inside the British diplomatic community in Germany in the post-British-Empire world. It's clear that le Carre really really hated it! ( )
  Netherto | Oct 17, 2013 |
So I will now join the hundreds of people who rave about Le Carre and his wonderfully literate and yet suspenseful and well-plotted spy novels. This is the antidote to Tom Clancy and his ilk's warmongering, or to the mindless cool of James Bond and his many worsening sequels. When I say that this is a good book, I do not mean that it is a likeable story about likeable people. The protagonist-spy is thoroughly unpleasant, a suspicious, misogynistic pragmatist. He describes himself: "I'm the abortionist. You don't want me, but you've got to have me. A neat job with no aftermath--that's what you're paying for." The object of his search doesn't seem any less of a sneaky, manipulative bastard. Of course there are surprises in the end, but the point of this book, for once, isn't to root for the good guys, but simply to realize (as much of the world probably could by 1968) how useless the whole Cold War thing was, and how none of these hijinks get us much closer to justice. ( )
  louistb | Jul 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
The final explanation is unexpected -- but, when it comes, is immediately convincing. "A Small Town in Germany" is an exciting, compulsively readable and brilliantly plotted novel. Le Carré has shown once more that he can write this kind of book better than anyone else around -- and he has done so without repeating himself.
added by John_Vaughan | editNY Times, Richard Boston (Jul 20, 1968)
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Way over there in a
Small town in Germany
There lived a shoemaker:
Schumann was his name.
Ich bin ein Musikant,
Ich bin fur das Vaterland,
I have a big bass drum
And this is how I play!

-A drinking song sung in British military messes in Occupied Germany, with obscene variations, to the tune of the "Marche Militaire."
First words
Ten minutes to midnight: a pious Friday evening in May and a fine river mist lying in the market square.
Mezzanotte meno dieci: un pio venerdì di maggio e una bella nebbia fluviale stagnante nella piazza del mercato. Bonn era una città balcanica, sporca e segreta, rigata con i fili dei tram. Bonn era una casa buia in cui qualcuno aveva esalato l'ultimo respiro, una casa dai neri drappeggi cattolici, sorvegliata da poliziotti. Le loro giubbe di cuoio luccicavano alla luce dei lampioni. Si sarebbe detto che tutti tranne loro avessero udito l'allarme e fossero fuggiti. Ora un'automobile, ora un pedone passavano rapidamente, e subito seguiva il silenzio come una scia. Un tram sferragliò, ma lontano. Nella drogheria, su una piramide di barattoli, il cartello scritto a mano annunciava l'emergenza: "Fate subito le provviste!" Tra le briciole, maialetti di marzapane, simili a topolini senza pelo, proclamavano il dimenticato giorno del santo.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743431715, Paperback)

John le Carré's classic novels deftly navigate readers through the intricate shadow worlds of international espionage with unsurpassed skill and knowledge, and have earned him unprecedented worldwide acclaim.

A man is missing. Harting, refugee background, a Junior Something in the British Embassy in Bonn. Gone with him are forty-three files, all of them Confidential or above.

It is vital that the Germans do not learn that Harting is missing, nor that there's been a leak. With radical students and neo-Nazis rioting and critical negotiations under way in Brussels, the timing could not be worse -- and that's probably not an accident.

Alan Turner, London's security officer, is sent to Bonn to find the missing man and files as Germany's past, present, and future threaten to collide in a nightmare of violence.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:28 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

West Germany, a simmering cauldron of radical protests, has produced a new danger to Britain: Karfeld, menacing leader of the opposition. At the same time Leo Harting, a Second Secretary in the British Embassy, has gone missing - along with more than forty Confidential embassy files. Alan Turner of the Foreign Office must travel to Bonn to recover them, facing riots, Nazi secrets and the delicate machinations of an unstable Europe in the throes of the Cold War. As Turner gets closer to the truth of Harting's disappearance, he will discover that the face of International relations - and the attentions of the British Ministry itself - is uglier that he could possibly have imagined.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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