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Night Manager [Mass Market Paperback]

John Le Carre
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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5.0 out of 5 stars Pine's quest July 10 2007
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Jonathan Pine, sometime hotelier, soldier, killer, lover and agent, is swept up in a complex international intrigue. Weapons for sale is the pivot around which money, power and even romance impinge on Jonathan's life. The many roles, varied and useful as they are, leave him with no particular purpose in life. Until he encounters "the worst man in the world". The prompt is Sophie, who might have been a lover, but who belongs to Freddie Hamid. Freddie is aligned with Richard Onslow Roper, of Nassau, the Bahamas. The name and location are almost a slap in the face, since the Caribbean island-nations are host to shady firms. Little or no taxes and even less government supervision make it possible for the unscrupulous to engage in many forms of chicanery. Drugs and weapons loom large in that realm.

Left at loose ends by the fall of the Soviet Union, British Intelligence services need a fresh cause. If nothing else, all those bureaucratic structures and their personnel need to turn their expertise to new tasks. The problem is that the Cold War enabled influential people to develop links through the various spy networks. How many wealthy aristocrats are now involved in picking up the pieces to further enrich themselves? And which ones are doing so? Pine, picked up by one of the new spin-off intelligence organisations is set to learn answers to these questions. A faked murder sends him to unreachable places with a new identity. It puts him in a position to penetrate the Roper organisation. Throughout this tale, Pine is driven by the ghost of Sophie, who was found beaten to death in Egypt. Even in the backwoods of Quebec, hiding from authorities and maneuvering to complete his mission, he is beset by the image of her in his mind.
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5.0 out of 5 stars His Best To Date April 10 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Let's face it. John's works (or should I say David's?)is not for everyone. Other reviewers suggested a pot of coffee to get through a chapter. Yes, if your particular area of interest in books lies with action-follow-action-follow-some-more-action-and-for-a-change-a-little-action, then JLC is not your writer. And if you're trying to get into JLC, for god's sake, don't start with The Perfect Spy. Almost made me quit. But Our Game, Night Manager, Russia House and Tailor of Panama are the top of his line and are to be enjoyed to the max...if you happen to like his slow but thorough character development. There is the old saying from Hitchcock that a movie is "life, with the boring parts cut out". John's art is in putting in the boring parts and making them sound interesting and the least bit exciting. I, for one, have fallen in love with Jed, got to know Dicky so well (can you see Roger Moore?), and leared to relate to Pine in so many ways, it's emberassing. I'm a writer myself, and if I maybe so bold, The Night Manager is my bible. Read it if you are taken aback by the fast-paced story lines of Clancy and his clones. Spying is waiting. Spying is taking in life, gruesome inch by gruesome inch, seeing characers rise and fall and be tossed half-dead into boats while evil sails on. Spying means that the only thing you will get after spending a day being a different version of yourself is love...and only maybe.
Oh, boy....see how JLC gets to you?
/Alec Corday
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2.0 out of 5 stars All characterization, no plot, no interest Feb. 27 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Le Carre spends far too much effort on his characterizations and too little time on developing much of a theme or course for this novel to follow. What is this novel about? Having read it about four years ago, my answer (prior to reading some of the reviews) would be "I don't remember." However, if I was asked that same question immediately after completing the book, my answer would have remained the same.
This novel seems to follow the same trend of most of Le Carre's novels of the past dozen or so years: whole chapters without an action verb; constant flashbacks; characters that are unique among fiction in their detail, yet completely unremarkable and forgettable. Le Carre gags the reader with so much stylish yet pointless introspection that it requires a full pot of coffee to complete each chapter. Each of these recent novels is merely a poor caricature of the preceeding novel, replaying old themes and failing to develop original ideas.
I have read nearly all of Le Carre's novels and felt that they were all brilliant or close to it through our last views of Smiley fading into the distance. The characterization in those novels and underdramatization of Smiley was perfectly set and required no further plot action, resulting in a novel that was not light reading but was imminently satisfying. In contrast, TOP and his other, more recent works are mindnumbingly tedious.
Reading this book is like eating gruel served upon the finest Royal Doulton china - from first spoon to last, it is still gruel notwithstanding the elegant presentation.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Night Manager stalks the 'Heart of Darkness' Dec 21 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is a departure from the usual espionage intrigue typical of Le Carre - there is no Cold War, East West undertones. This is a straight fight between good versus evil. Evil here is represented by the drug dealing arms trader Richard Onslow Roper. Good would be Jonathan Pine, the English night manager of a Zurich Hotel. But here it gets deliberately fuzzy and we have the shifting moral sands that make these characters come alive. Good could also include Roper for after all he is an Englishman and at face value would be included in what Pine calls 'Us'. "Us being Englishmen of self evident loyalty and discretion. Us being the Good Chaps" That's only at face value though, for Roper is evil and Pine volunteers to get evidence to bring him to Justice. It is in this pusuit that the moral sands shift again for Pine shows that he is himself quite capable of brutality and his vengeful unleashing of his malevolence on Ropers' forces hints at the darkness in him.
This book and two other earlier novels ('A Perfect Spy' and 'The Honourable Schoolboy') where the titles so perfectly describe and define the central characters would make a nice trilogy of Le Carre's art of character development.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Le Carre In the Sunlight
A very un-Le Carre Le Carre, but a fascinating journey nonetheless. Our hero, a British ex-serviceman, is a night manager at a Swiss hotel when he comes across a roving gang of... Read more
Published on Dec 5 2001 by Matherson
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read
le carre delivers as usual a novel with good character development that shows how complicated and confilcted people can be. Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2001 by tunde smatt
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read
as usual le carre delivers when it comes to explaining the motives of the characters it was also cool tosee people from the russia house and the secret pilgrim in the book... Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read
as usual le carre delivers when it comes to explaining the motives of the characters it was also cool tosee people from the russia house and the secret pilgrim in the book... Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2001 by tunde smatt
4.0 out of 5 stars John le Carre on the upward swing
Mr le Carre seems to blow hot and cold, one good book, one pot boiler. The Night Manager definitely falls into the former category. Read more
Published on Sept. 25 2001 by W. Weinstein
4.0 out of 5 stars Le Carre Revisits a Classic
While not meaning this as an insult, it's helpful to know that _The Night Manager_ is essentially a rewrite of _The Spy Who Came In From The Cold_ -- except that the Berlin Wall is... Read more
Published on May 1 2001 by E. Scoles
3.0 out of 5 stars a denouement that only partially denoues
A middling good LeCarre read. He fails to serve up his quota of fascinating voluable oddballs and sleazebags. And the denouement leaves a lot of unexplained loose ends. Read more
Published on Nov. 7 2000 by Earl Kulp
3.0 out of 5 stars -
Pleasing spy novel for times when spies should be outdated.
Published on July 30 2000 by Jacob Blair
3.0 out of 5 stars Something is missing . . .
I am bond to read everything that Le Carre writes because he has so often in the past created fiction that satisfied both because of the beauty of the language and the pleasure of... Read more
Published on Dec 6 1999 by Doug Vaughn
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