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A Most Wanted Man by John Le Carre
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A Most Wanted Man (original 2008; edition 2009)

by John Le Carre

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,628554,450 (3.45)49
Member:Minthe
Title:A Most Wanted Man
Authors:John Le Carre
Info:Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (2009), Paperback, 417 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites, Fiction, Owned, For recommendations
Rating:****
Tags:zb2010, zfbubl, zr2013, germany, hamburg

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A Most Wanted Man by John le Carré (2008)

Recently added bybookgeeks, fambrun, pgmcc, crazylilcuban, private library, zabs, hoksanen, Marie_Powell, amyem58
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English (48)  German (2)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (55)
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
A Most Wanted Man by John Le Carré

While A Most Wanted Man was a well written page turner it lacked the complexity I have come to love in Le Carré’s novels. Published in 2009 it was topical and I suspect it was the author’s way of bringing the practice of extraordinary rendition carried out by governments that keep quite about what they are doing and, when their actions are exposed, justify everything under the banner, “The War on Terrorism”.

Le Carré gives the reader a glimpse of the shady world of international counter espionage and the pervasive nature of modern surveillance.

A somewhat linear tale told by a master whose stories are not normally so straightforward. ( )
  pgmcc | Jul 15, 2014 |
It started out fairly promising but I never was able to figure out who was who, who was telling the truth( I suspect very few), and who was double-crossing who (just about anyone in an intellgence service). The different sercret services seemed so intent on one-upping each other that it hardly seemed to matter if either of the two targets were guilty of anything. Issa was totally incomprehensible, as was his lawyer, Annabel. The rest were only slightly better. Please, let the next one be better.
  amyem58 | Jul 15, 2014 |
Like the best of le Carré’s novels this one uses an engaging plot to examine issues to do with everyone – in this case how to act morally in a corrupt world. This emerged most overtly when Brue, the merchant banker, wonders about the description of Dr Abdullah being 95% good and 5% bad and then assesses where he himself stands – and finds himself wanting.

I think le Carré is showing how people are generally well-intentioned but can too easily compromise themselves although he is not at all equivocal about those carrying on their war against ‘terror’ and how cruelly and callously they act. I guess the ending was always predictable, something which perhaps diminished the plot aspect but ending with injustice is an effective way to stop the reader from feeling complacent. ( )
  evening | Jun 5, 2014 |
Can't believe anyone gave this 5 star rating! Obviously not familiar with Le Carre's earlier works: Tinker, Tailor, Honourable Schoolboy, Night Manager etc. all FIVE STAR quality thriller-fiction. Sadly, Most Wanted was MOST definitely not so! Being polite this was mediocre Le Carre. The reader is short-changed from start to finish. Poor characterisation with the 3 mains hardly more than light-weight efforts, lacking description, vigour, emotion and wholly unbelievable for the "wanted Chechen" to have a relationship of any sort with the female lead - - she seemed to drift in and out of pages without reference to any reality of a life - - and the banker was never convicingly explained. As for the ending: Suddenly some Americans who barely got a mention for hundreds of pages are there in abundance and kidnap the wanted lad running roughshod over the principle German character in his own backyard! Sorry Mr Le Carre, but where've you been the last decade or so? Aside from their aggressive over-reaching military muscle, the Yanks don't get to play spy games in everybody's hometown anymore without permission. The ending bordered on risible and more or less confirmed my overall impression of the novel, the author was as unconvinced by the narrative as me. ( )
  tommi180744 | Sep 21, 2013 |
Over elaborate , and who cares? 3 lines of story centred on a refugee, presumed Chechen: the lad himself, a Scottish banker resident in Hamburg who finds himself the fellow's sponsor, and the German police. The lad has had a complicated journey through various countries and their prisons, he's pretty inarticulate and a mystery - so far so intriguing. His host, a Muslim boxer settled in Hamburg, at first wants nothing to do with him, but then, somewhat randomly comes to consider him a brother. The banker is drawn in by some tie in his own past, also kept mysterious, and from being the cool- headed financier, switches to funding the lad, also pretty randomly. The police as so often in le Carré, and perhaps in life, are embroiled in interdepartmental strife and u fathomable relationships, sexual and other. As reader/ listener I just couldn't get involved. Apart from the banker, the characters are ciphers, and even the banker's reactions are presented rather mechanistically. I used to enjoy le Carré's cold pessimism, especially Spy who came in, but this is overcomplex, lifeless stuff. I gave up.

The reading by Michael jayston didn't help: characters poorly differentiated and almost every foreign word mispronounced. ( )
  vguy | Aug 10, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
 

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John le Carréprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rees, RogerNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The golden rule is, to help those we love to escape from us.
~ Friedrich von Hügel
Dedication
For my grandchildren,
born and unborn
First words
A Turkish heavyweight boxing champion sauntering down a Hamburg street with his mother on his arm can scarcely be blamed for failing to notice that he is being shadowed by a skinny boy in a black coat.
Quotations
The staple of your private banker's life, Brue liked to pontificate after a scotch or two in amiable company, was not, as one might reasonably expect, cash. It wasn't bull markets, bear markets, hedge funds or derivatives. It was cock-up. It was the persistent, he would go so far as to say the permanent sound, not to put too fine an edge on it, of excrement hitting your proverbial fan. So if you didn't happen to like living in a state of unremitting siege, the odds were that private banking wasn't for you.
The driver was holding open the rear door. He was young and blond, a boy in his prime.
I am a Muslim medical student. I am tired and I wish to stay at your house.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Haiku summary
Lawyer; terrorist;
Banker; lots and lots of spies.
But who can you trust?
(Noisy)

No descriptions found.

A half-starved young Russian man claiming to be a devout Muslim, an idealistic young German civil rights lawyer, and a sixty-year-old scion of a failing British bank based in Hamburg form an unlikely alliance as the rival spies of Germany, England and America scent a sure kill in the "War on Terror," and converge upon the innocents.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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