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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
1,596524,539 (3.45)44
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

Work details

A Most Wanted Man by John le Carré (2008)

(8) 2009 (10) 21st century (13) banking (14) British literature (8) crime (13) crime fiction (9) English literature (12) espionage (110) fiction (215) Germany (54) Hamburg (26) hardcover (8) Islam (24) John Le Carre (10) Le Carre (10) literature (8) mystery (37) novel (41) oil (12) read (13) Roman (9) spy (71) spy fiction (15) spy thriller (11) suspense (14) terrorism (49) thriller (67) to-read (23) War on Terror (12)
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  4. 00
    Harbor by Lorraine Adams (davidpwhelan)
    davidpwhelan: Both books share plots that deal with mistaken identity, circumstantial evidence, war on terror, ascribing hostility to others based on race or religious background, and are well-written thrillers.
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    Flygtningen by Olav Hergel (2810michael)
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    Indvandreren by Olav Hergel (2810michael)
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» See also 44 mentions

English (45)  German (2)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (52)
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
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 |
Masterful as ever, but the end was appalling - up to the last I was hoping for a positive twist, but should have known better - I was shattered by the ending. ( )
  mont1ms | Apr 4, 2013 |
Masterful as ever, but the end was appalling - up to the last I was hoping for a positive twist, but should have known better - I was shattered by the ending. ( )
  mont1ms | Apr 4, 2013 |
Masterful as ever, but the end was appalling - up to the last I was hoping for a positive twist, but should have known better - I was shattered by the ending. ( )
  mont1ms | Apr 4, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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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