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Our Game [Paperback]

John Le Carre
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 7 2009 0143171097 978-0143171096 Reprint

With the Cold War fought and won, British spymaster Tim Cranmer accepts early retirement to rural England and a new life with his alluring young mistress Emma. But when both Emma and Cranmer's star double agent and lifelong rival, Larry Pettifer, disappear, Cranmer is suddenly on the run, searching for his brilliant protégé, desperately eluding his former colleagues, in a frantic journey across Europe and into the lawless, battered landscapes of Moscow and southern Russia, to save whatever of his life he has left...

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From Publishers Weekly

Le Carre's latest-which revolves around a breakaway attempt by Chechnya and a former British agent's attempt to track down his double-crossing old protege-was a PW bestseller for 13 weeks.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

YA?Another tautly written, well-researched spy novel from LeCarre. The Cold War is over. The Russians are our friends. Consequently, spy handler Tim "Timbo" Cranmer and his specially groomed double agent, Larry Pettifer, are put out to pasture. Tim, a somewhat stolid and unimaginative civil-servant type, has removed himself and his much younger mistress, Emma, to his late uncle's vineyard in Somerset, while the idealistic Larry is uncomfortably ensconced as a professor at Bath University. Then Larry and Emma disappear. They have apparently run off together. They have also apparently relieved the Russians of more than 30 million pounds. The British police, guessing at Tim's previous occupation, and the Russians, knowing it, suspect Tim's active participation in, or at least knowledge of, the scheme. All parties concerned attempt to force him to reveal the whereabouts of the fugitives, which he honestly does not know. He does, however, still possess some of the skills of his former profession, and in a suspenseful journey through England, France, and finally Russia, he tracks down his friends while eluding his followers. In the process, readers learn much about the dissident Russian regions and some pre-and post-Stalinist history. An engrossing, exciting spy story.?Susan H. Woodcock, King's Park Library, Burke, VA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Game This!! Dec 12 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
We all, lovers of John Le Carre's spy thrillers thought that the collapse of the Soviet empire, end of cold-war, and emergence of a unipolar world, will make writers like Lecarre unemployed, and deprive us of any more interesting books. Not so. Great, creative writers like Lecarre, can never be unemployed, can never let down their fans.
This is one of most fascinating books that I have ever read. It's not a typical Lecarre, but all the specialties of Lecarre's writing skills; superb detailing, suspense and power of drama, study of treachery and trust, strange phenomenon & bond of relationships that defy any definition, gripping storyline, seamless narration, are all there, in much better form than ever.
Tim Cranmer, a spymaster with British secret service, had recruited and trained Larry, a renegade political thinker as a double agent. Tim ran Larry for over 20 years, and developed a very close, personal relationship which was much more than a spy and a master.
Tim, now retired, lives in countryside growing vine. A divorcee has befriended Emma, a musician half his age, who often lives with him. Larry too is now out of the "service", and is a teacher at a university. Larry keeps visiting Tim for old time's sake. The friendship continues.
One fine day, Larry is missing, and so is Emma. Police investigators have stumbled across many imponderables and inklings of something big and sinister. Tim is interrogated and harassed by the Police. Tim seeks help from his former employers. The "office" not only disowns him totally; rather they too start an investigation of their own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My First, but not last, Le Carre book Nov. 23 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was the first time I have picked up a John Le Carre novel. As much as I read, even I am surprised by that record. Don't ask me why I chose this one and not the more famous "The Spy That Came in From the Cold" or "The Russia House." I think when I read the book jacket, something jumped out that interesed me more--perhaps because many of the events in Chechnya are straight from todays' headlines.
John Le Carre is a master of language and of character development. Patrick O'Brien comes to mind in the same veign of storytelling elegance. You just know that you are dealing with someone who is the man among boys in the NY Times Bestseller List realm. Le Carre is highly intellegent in his approach and how he makes intricate details centerpieces to plot. I truly enjoyed just being sucked into this novel, which is sometimes hard to say when describing strict genre writers. You can tell Le Carre is writing this because he enjoys his work.
I have a hunch this is not his best work. I have heard so much about Le Carre from friends and reviews that I know that his works are worthy and necessary reading. Perhaps this is a book I may have to come back and read again after I have become more acquanted with his artistry. My only criticisms are that Tim Cranmer was hard to penetrate as a main character and the story has several complicated flashbacks. Most assuredly they are necessary (I hope), but I found myself getting confused and distracted. Like I said, maybe I need to read more of his work and come back to this novel at another time in the future. Perhaps I will pick up some technique or formula I was missing that only fans of John Le Carre can pick up on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where is the ending? April 2 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my first spy novel. I started out, finding the setting very intriguing; real spy stuff from secret lairs, alternate identifications, laying false trails. The book takes you across England, and through Europe, only to get you to the end of the book, and find that there was no end. You arrive to find that the characters that you've been chasing are gone, or dead. No climatic endings. No drama. Just done. If you could have a good book without an ending, this one is it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irresistible- Le Carre's latest may be his best June 9 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read everything LeCarre has published, I found "Our Game" an absorbing, well written thriller, with a rich and complex plot, superb character development, and the pacing we have come to enjoy so much in this author's work. This is not the book to give someone who must complete an important project on time; - they may miss their deadline once they start reading this volume!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant May 2 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Excellent, both in how it reads and in its overall story; simultaneously a fine place to begin with LeCarre and a great vantage point to look back on the Cold War.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars le Carre adds ethnic authenticity to a good story March 28 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read this book, twice, and have read the reviews posted on Amazon.com. Only one of them hinted at the substory involving the Ingushi nation of the former Soviet Union. Maybe most of the readers thought that such an ethnic group was fictitious, which it very much is not. Being married to an Ingush, I was most astonished to discover le Carre's accurate representation of the nation's history, something absolutely unattainable in the former Soviet Union where they are systematically maligned. Some of the Ingush warriors and mafia depicted were perhaps a bit seedier than in reality, but the level of authenticity in general was very gratifying, and lent an extra layer of meaning to the book. Yes, there is a love story, certainly, but the real story of the book is the transformation of a citizen of a superpower into a citizen of the world. There is a difference and it does matter.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars This Game is Missing Something
The title of "Our Game" plays on a version of Winchester football (English football), a version so arcane that even the players don't always know the rules. Read more
Published on June 4 2002 by Eric Wilson
3.0 out of 5 stars Our Game
Stylish, well-written and intelligent. So why was I so impatient to finish this book and get on to another one? Read more
Published on June 20 2001 by jamesa31
1.0 out of 5 stars Please someone wake me up.
I happened to listen to the book tape in my car (unabridged--something like 12-15 hours). There should be a warning posted on it to keep people from emulating me and falling asleep... Read more
Published on Oct. 7 1999
2.0 out of 5 stars Too slow for spy novel
I find Le Carr's more recent post-soviet works slow read. "Our game" is a case in point. It took some effort to move through the book. Read more
Published on Sept. 21 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional novel...
This book was one of the most exciting, exhilirating, and enriching reading experiences I have ever had. Read more
Published on Aug. 6 1998
4.0 out of 5 stars Le Carre doesn't need the Cold War to be riveting
This post-Cold War novel is told from the slightly warped first-person perspective of a retired British spymaster. Read more
Published on July 23 1998
4.0 out of 5 stars Old Cold Warrior deals with some newer World Situations.
Tim Cranmer, a retired Cold War spy, had started a quieter new life with Emma Manzini, a fine young hippie less than half his age. Read more
Published on Feb. 1 1998
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