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A Most Wanted Man by John Le Carre

A Most Wanted Man (original 2008; edition 2009)

by John Le Carre

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1,645564,382 (3.45)62
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
Tags:zb2010, zfbubl, zr2013, germany, hamburg

Work details

A Most Wanted Man by John le Carré (2008)

  1. 00
    The Mission Song by John le Carré (John_Vaughan)
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    Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carré (John_Vaughan)
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    The Night Manager by John le Carré (John_Vaughan)
  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.
  5. 00
    Flygtningen by Olav Hergel (2810michael)
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    Indvandreren by Olav Hergel (2810michael)

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» See also 62 mentions

English (49)  German (2)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (56)
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
I wouldn't evaluate Rembrandt based on paintings he did in kindergarten, and it seems similarly unfair to judge a past master of the spy thriller genre by the output of his emeritus years. Though I have known his name all my life, A Most Wanted Man was the first John le Carré book I've read. I found it a steady, workmanlike novel, not the type of intricate, shape-shifting page turner I had come to expect. Its themes of Islamic terrorism and corruption are topical, but the characterisations are thin and the plot lacks a sense of urgency - never a good sign for a thriller. ( )
1 vote whirled | Aug 17, 2014 |
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. ( )
1 vote 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 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (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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The golden rule is, to help those we love to escape from us.
~ Friedrich von Hügel
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.
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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Lawyer; terrorist;
Banker; lots and lots of spies.
But who can you trust?

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)

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