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Un traître à notre goût…
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Un traître à notre goût (original 2010; edition 2011)

by John Le Carré

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1,547684,746 (3.37)91
Member:lcottereau
Title:Un traître à notre goût
Authors:John Le Carré
Info:Seuil (2011), Broché
Collections:Your digital library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carré (2010)

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» See also 91 mentions

English (60)  Danish (3)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  All (68)
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
It took me a while to immerse myself in the story. It was probably because I've been no longer [[Le Carré]] read more and therefore have to get used to his writing style again.
A young couple spends his holidays in Antigua. There they meet Dima a Russian money launderer on a large scale, with his whole family and entourage. Dima wants to know his family protected because he can not expect much support from the Russian money mafia anymore. It's a race with time as Dima soon signs the papers that cut him off. The British secret service, on the other hand, is taking the time to acknowledge him as a defector, as senior members of the government are involved in this money laundering.
It was an exciting quick read. ( )
  Ameise1 | Mar 4, 2018 |
This is another of those books that got thrust into my hands with a admonition that I'd "LOVE this book." Sadly, the opposite is true. I even made sure to put space between the giving and the reading to keep expectations down.

The writing itself isn't bad, which is why the book has two stars and not something lower. The execution leaves MUCH to be desired.

There are constant breaks in the text, even through the middle of the chapters, which designate the change of some form to the scene. Not bad, expect that you had to really pay attention to know if this was going to a flash back, another point of view during the same time, or some melding of the three. This is made worse when the obvious character of who's the point of view is very nebulous. I think the author wanted to write an omnipotent point of view, but this is just a muddled mess.

From what I could discern before giving up at page 102, this was an ordinary couple who took a holiday to Antigua, met a Russian money launderer who wanted out, and their conversation with MI6 after they got back to the UK.

I might try this author again, as I'm told his books are decent, but if this is his style, he won't be on my regular read list. ( )
  gilroy | Oct 30, 2017 |
Wonderfully written, with the tension slowly building throughout the story and lots of unanswered questions at the end. Brilliant. ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Aug 14, 2017 |
I usually enjoy about 2 out of 3 of Le Carre's novels. I loved the Constant Gardener (and the film is just as good as the book). Our Kind of Traitor is a little slow to start and I almost abandoned it (as I did with Mission Song) but kept going and then hit that miraculous place in a good book where things just start to "click" and then settled in for a great read.

Le Carre is not in a good mood. He is not hopeful. Which is not to say that there are no more heroes in Le Carre’s world because thank goodness there are; and they are compelling and we still root for them right until the end.

One of his central characters is a Russian mobster trying to make a deal with British Intelligence. In a world where the rules are changing rapidly and old loyalties may no longer matter, doing a deal involves more than logistics, courage and safe houses. It involves complex bureaucracies with shifting loyalties.

As usual, he brings his great sense of first-hand knowledge and authenticity to the story which always make the “bones” of a good Le Carre novel. But it is the characters and their fates that draw us in and I found myself worrying and wondering what was going to happen to every one of them right through to the end.

This is certainly one of my favorite Le Carre’s of recent memory. (Others would include Our Game and Absolute Friends as well as the above-mentioned Constant Gardener. I also really loved the The Little Drummer Girl which is more of a thriller than Le Carre’s somewhat “contemplative” style of late. (If you liked Forsythe’s “Day of the Jackal” you will probably love Drummer Girl, or vice-versa. Though, in general I think Le Carre is a much better writer.)
( )
  blnq | Dec 27, 2016 |
Had I the power, I would confer on David John Moore Cornwell, aka, John le Carré, eternal life. As long as he promised never to retire from writing. While Our Kind of Traitor may not be his absolute best novel, it's very good and worth remarking on for these reasons.

First, it's the first novel of his that doesn't revolve around a disgruntled (usually spy) idealist. This time the central character is a pure idealist, a man of high vision, aspiration, and spirit -- a mountaineer.

Second, le Carré, pairs his hero with a heroine who is his equal in solid English character, also not too sophisticated to have become cynical, and filled with the same kind of intrepid courage to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do, as is her lover.

Third, the object of attention, a Russian money launderer who wishes asylum for himself and his family in exchange for everything he knows about the international financial crimes racket that centers on money laundering and could incriminate Big Wigs in the British government and Russian oligarchs is so well drawn, complex, sympathetic, alarming, and naive all at the same time that he is easily one of the author's most memorable characters.

The plot is simple, deviously simple, in comparison to most of le Carré's oeuvre but is rich in examination of character. In fact, he has written a novel entirely motivated and driven by the exploration of the iconic aspect of English character that we identify with Eton's playing fields. That of fair play.

To say any more about what happens, who is who, and what is what will spoil the enjoyment of the next reader of this novel. But I will add this observation: For all that is unique in this work, separating it from his previous books, there are at least two "things" that all readers will recognize as le Carré's signature -- the curmudgeonly Smiley operative is named Hector and a nemesis of fair play is named Longrigg. How could they be named otherwise? ( )
  Limelite | Nov 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
Le Carré describes a shifting world where mobsters can be of use to the government, where the Secret Service doesn't care whom it sacrifices—British citizens or parts of itself—to reel in their quarry, and where the rule of law, or even what is considered to be legal, won't always apply.
 
added by lophuels | editThe Observer, Tim Adams (Sep 26, 2010)
 
Our Kind of Traitor is on an uplifting and pleasingly-familiar course, though it is one that confirms the depths of the author’s discomfort and anger at the world.
 
Somerset Maugham, another writer of dark spy stories, once had a character say of an aspiring grand old man of letters: "It is no good his thinking that it is enough to write one or two masterpieces; he must provide a pedestal for them of forty or fifty works of no particular consequence." Our Kind of Traitor may fall into the second category, but it's good to see Le Carré having fun as he reinforces the pedestal under his classic productions.
 
His most accessible work in years, this novel shows once again why his name is the one to which all others in the field are compared.
added by Shortride | editPublishers Weekly
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John le Carréprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jayston, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waltman, KjellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Princes in this case
Do hate the traitor, though they love the treason.

Samuel Daniel
Dedication
In memory of
Simon Channing Williams
film-maker, magician,
honorourable man.
First words
At seven o'clock of a Caribbean morning, on the island of Antigua, one Peregrine Makepiece, otherwise known as Perry, an all-round amateur athlete of distinction and until recently tutor in English literature at a distinguished Oxford college, played three sets of tennis against a muscular, stiff-backed, bald, brown-eyed Russian man of dignified bearing in his middle fifties called Dima.
Quotations
Federer is a bit perplexed about what to say - they clearly haven't met before - but he preserves his on-court nice manners, although he looks a tad irritated in a grouchy, Swiss sort of way that reminds us that his celebrated armour has its chinks.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670022241, Hardcover)

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The unrivaled master of spy fiction returns with a taut and suspenseful tale of dirty money and dirtier politics.

For nearly half a century, John le Carré's limitless imagination has enthralled millions of readers and moviegoers around the globe. From the cold war to the bitter fruits of colonialism to unrest in the Middle East, he has reinvented the spy novel again and again. Now, le Carré makes his Viking debut with a stunning tour-de- force that only a craftsman of his caliber could pen. As menacing and flawlessly paced as The Little Drummer Girl and as morally complex as The Constant Gardener, Our Kind of Traitor is signature le Carré.

Perry and Gail are idealistic and very much in love when they splurge on a tennis vacation at a posh beach resort in Antigua. But the charm begins to pall when a big-time Russian money launderer enlists their help to defect. In exchange for amnesty, Dima is ready to rat out his vory (Russian criminal brotherhood) compatriots and expose corruption throughout the so-called legitimate financial and political worlds. Soon, the guileless couple find themselves pawns in a deadly endgame whose outcome will be determined by the victor of the British Secret Service's ruthless internecine battles.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:42 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

While on holiday in Antigua with his barrister girlfriend, a young Oxford academic crosses paths with a Russian millionaire with Mafia connections who wants the young lovers to do something for him. Soon the guileless couple find themselves pawns in a deadly endgame whose outcome will be determined by the British Secret Service.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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