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A Most Wanted Man [Mass Market Paperback]

John Le Carre
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 11.25 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

July 27 2010
A half-starved young Russian man is smuggled into Hamburg in the dead of night with an improbable amount of cash secreted in a purse around his neck. He is a devout Muslim. Or is he? He says his name is Issa.

Annabel, an idealistic young German civil rights lawyer, determines to save Issa from deportation, even if the price is her career—and her safety. Searching for clues to his mysterious past, she confronts the incongruous sixty-year-old scion of a failing British bank—and a triangle of impossible loves is born.

Meanwhile, scenting a sure kill in the “War on Terror,” the rival spies of three nations converge upon the innocents.

Thrilling, compassionate, peopled with characters the reader never wants to let go, A Most Wanted Man is a work of deep humanity with uncommon relevance to our times.

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A Most Wanted Man + The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

When boxer Melik Oktay and his mother, both Turkish Muslims living in Hamburg, take in a street person calling himself Issa at the start of this morally complex thriller from le Carré (The Mission Song), they set off a chain of events implicating intelligence agencies from three countries. Issa, who claims to be a Muslim medical student, is, in fact, a wanted terrorist and the son of Grigori Karpov, a Red Army colonel whose considerable assets are concealed in a mysterious portfolio at a Hamburg bank. Tommy Brue, a stereotypical flawed everyman caught up in the machinations of spies and counterspies, enters the plot when Issa's attorney seeks to claim these assets. The book works best in its depiction of the rivalries besetting even post-9/11 intelligence agencies that should be allies, but none of the characters is as memorable as George Smiley or Magnus Pym. Still, even a lesser le Carré effort is far above the common run of thrillers. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“Le Carré continues to be the world’s most reliable witness to the vicissitudes of international paranoia; his books conceive of a Western world that has a costly obsession with its possible enemies; he shows you this world’s secret missions; its botched jobs, its manifold attempts to thwart the corrupting and sometimes terrifying idealism of others, while keeping the reader close to the exact lineaments of the way we live now.” - New York Review of Books

“Astounding, nearly perfect . . . beautifully paced, awesomely crafted . . . desperately readable” - San Francisco Chronicle

“If novels…keep the moral imagination alive, then…A Most Wanted Man brilliantly performs the function…and does so as compellingly as the work which first made his name, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.” - The Globe and Mail

An instant classic…Provocative and incendiary.” - USA Today

“Black, brilliant, hypnotic…Unhesitatingly recommended.” - Independent on Sunday

"Le Carre's singular genius is to tell small, exquisitely crafted human tales...that shed light on great worldly endeavours." - Winnipeg Free Press

"John le Carre, eminent novelist and former spy..has done more than almost any other writer to forge our idea of how the game is played." - Whig-Standard (Kingston, ON)

"An appealing, morally-engaginag nd terrifying novel, which exemplifies Le Carre's take on modern social injustice...A suspenseful masterpiece of intriguing and complicated subplots with a realism that captivates one's attention from page to page." - Tandem

"[Le Carre] is still sharp, still fizzing with ideas, and fuelled by a righteous fury...his latest book...speaks to one of his preoccupations: the excesses...of American foreign policy and the immoral nature of the intelligence practices that underpin it. - Hamilton Spectator

"A first-class novel about the most pressing moral and political concerns of our time." - The Telegraph (UK)

“…the famous British author has used the genre of the spy novel as subtle exposures of the meaning of loyalty, betrayal and deceit. Le Carre burst on the scene in the 1960s as an antidote to the posturings of Ian Fleming’s superhero James Bond. Le Carres’s heroes were the anti-Bond… They were lovable for their often futile strivings for the Western way of life.” - The Globe and Mail

“As the greatest spy novelist of our times John le Carre has always used as the bedrock of his craft the strange ways people are bound to each other.” - Calgary Sun

“[A Most Wanted Man] stands as one of the most sophisticated fictional responses to the war on terror yet published, a humane novel which takes on the world's latest binarism and exposes troubling shades of grey.” - The Guardian (UK)

“Le Carré's prose remains clear and unflashy; as unflashy as his spies, who are far more cloak than dagger. This lack of James Bond gadgets and dead bodies make the story all the more credible.” - The Telegraph (UK)

“Le Carré’s strongest, most powerful novel…. Extraordinary.” - The New York Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I thought that this was the best spy novel about the War on Terror that I've read by quite a large margin. Don't miss this book!

Only John Le Carré could take us to delicately into the middle of the War on Terror to show, not tell, what's wrong with the approach. In the process, he reveals how the ego of power overwhelms the scruples of even the most moral, those who hope to improve, and people who just want to keep promises. At the same time, he displays the problems that occur when many different spy and police agencies try to work together. Regardless of your political and ethical views, this story will shake you to the soles of your feet.

A most wanted man makes his early appearance as a quiet, ill-looking beggar-like person who can't be driven off. Even to a Muslim family in Hamburg, Germany, this newcomer seems pretty odd. When they see the seeming beggar a little more closely, they are shocked and want to help. Others have the same reaction, beginning with the lawyer, Annabel Richter, who is summoned to help a most wanted man "regularize" his situation. That contact soon draws in a Scottish banker, Tommy Brue, who isn't too happy with his life.

But there are larger interests at stake, and those interests all have different plans for the most wanted man, a man with secrets and with a moral position he wants to assert. Is there forgiveness in the world? Will past wrongs be considered?

We only hear dialogue from the most wanted man and what others have to say about him. But from those sources, we gain insights into someone whose life is much different from our own. It's a challenging task of character development, but it works well in Le Carré's masterful hands.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I thought that this was the best spy novel about the War on Terror that I've read by quite a large margin. Don't miss this book!

Only John Le Carré could take us to delicately into the middle of the War on Terror to show, not tell, what's wrong with the approach. In the process, he reveals how the ego of power overwhelms the scruples of even the most moral, those who hope to improve, and people who just want to keep promises. At the same time, he displays the problems that occur when many different spy and police agencies try to work together. Regardless of your political and ethical views, this story will shake you to the soles of your feet.

A most wanted man makes his early appearance as a quiet, ill-looking beggar-like person who can't be driven off. Even to a Muslim family in Hamburg, Germany, this newcomer seems pretty odd. When they see the seeming beggar a little more closely, they are shocked and want to help. Others have the same reaction, beginning with the lawyer, Annabel Richter, who is summoned to help a most wanted man "regularize" his situation. That contact soon draws in a Scottish banker, Tommy Brue, who isn't too happy with his life.

But there are larger interests at stake, and those interests all have different plans for the most wanted man, a man with secrets and with a moral position he wants to assert. Is there forgiveness in the world? Will past wrongs be considered?

We only hear dialogue from the most wanted man and what others have to say about him. But from those sources, we gain insights into someone whose life is much different from our own. It's a challenging task of character development, but it works well in Le Carré's masterful hands.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I thought that this was the best spy novel about the War on Terror that I've read by quite a large margin. Don't miss this book!

Only John Le Carré could take us to delicately into the middle of the War on Terror to show, not tell, what's wrong with the approach. In the process, he reveals how the ego of power overwhelms the scruples of even the most moral, those who hope to improve, and people who just want to keep promises. At the same time, he displays the problems that occur when many different spy and police agencies try to work together. Regardless of your political and ethical views, this story will shake you to the soles of your feet.

A most wanted man makes his early appearance as a quiet, ill-looking beggar-like person who can't be driven off. Even to a Muslim family in Hamburg, Germany, this newcomer seems pretty odd. When they see the seeming beggar a little more closely, they are shocked and want to help. Others have the same reaction, beginning with the lawyer, Annabel Richter, who is summoned to help a most wanted man "regularize" his situation. That contact soon draws in a Scottish banker, Tommy Brue, who isn't too happy with his life.

But there are larger interests at stake, and those interests all have different plans for the most wanted man, a man with secrets and with a moral position he wants to assert. Is there forgiveness in the world? Will past wrongs be considered?

We only hear dialogue from the most wanted man and what others have to say about him. But from those sources, we gain insights into someone whose life is much different from our own. It's a challenging task of character development, but it works well in Le Carré's masterful hands.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
typical john le carré
Published 2 months ago by Anthony C Wright
1.0 out of 5 stars Barely one star
I couldn't agree more with the other two one-star reviews. This is one of the most ploddingly pedestrian books I've read in a long while. Read more
Published on Feb. 23 2011 by Paul Lovett
4.0 out of 5 stars War on Terror, Germany Dept. (as seen from the Left)
In the same leftish political slant as all his recent novels, Le Carre's "A Most Wanted Man" is a nice read, thanks for the consistency JlC! Read more
Published on June 5 2010 by Pol Sixe
1.0 out of 5 stars Wretched
Once again le Carre cranks out a barely intelligible novel with a plodding plotline, hateful characters and no real ability to write a story. Read more
Published on April 17 2010 by John Edwards
1.0 out of 5 stars Fumbling and overblown
The characters were wooden, unlikable and unbelievable. Some were introduced, developed over the span of a chapter or two, and then disappeared never to be heard from again. Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2010 by Lynn
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit too convoluted
Natural Law, Science, and the Social Construction of Reality

I approached this book with great expectations. I was somewhat disappointed. Read more
Published on May 14 2009 by Bernie Koenig
2.0 out of 5 stars The book with no ending...
A good spy novel, but should have an ending....need 2 or 3 more chapters in my own opinion. But probably it's how it's in the real world...
Published on Feb. 18 2009 by Louis
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