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Our Kind of Traitor Hardcover – Oct 12 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Canada; 1st Edition edition (Oct. 12 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670064785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670064786
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.7 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ted Feit TOP 500 REVIEWER on Dec 25 2010
Format: Hardcover
This novel could easily have been entitled 'The Money Launderer Who Tried to Come in Out of the Cold.' It is the story of Dima, a Russian gangster, the Mickey Cohen of the Russian Mafia, who launders all the billions amassed in illegal activities. He makes contact with a visiting English couple on holiday in Antigua and leads them to contact British intelligence in an effort to defect with his extended family, exposing his erstwhile cohorts, as well as British politicians and notables.

The plot evolves around plans to extract Dima et al by a few intelligence operatives who not only have to free the Russians, but fight their own organization's superiors. The characterizations of each of the principals is outstanding, with the foibles, strengths and weaknesses of each displayed to the utmost. That's more than can be said for the various subjects under study: money laundering, banking, the Mumbai stock market and other supposed contemporary themes intended to replace the author's past dependence on the Cold War and its brand of spies.

Despite his reputation for research and detail, le Carre treats these essential topics in summary form, rather than in the depth one would expect from the list of experts he consulted. For instance, Dima gets a telephone call telling him to 'sell Mumbai,' only a while later to be informed to buy it back. For this, one has to consult a pro? And not even mention inside information. As for Dima's specialty, money laundering, there is virtually no hard description, just sort of a lackadaisical recounting of common knowledge. Despite this criticism, the author has written an entertaining tale, and it is recommended.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Robin Kuritzky on Oct. 13 2010
Format: Hardcover
A great read with many intriguing hints of twists-of-plot to come, tantalizing character development,all let down at the end with a (even for Le Carre!)lazy and unsatisfying end. One feels he got up that day and felt "today I have to finish it" and did so in about two paragraphs, resolving absolutely nothing. Very disappointing after what promised so much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vitale on Jan. 19 2011
Format: Hardcover
I found this book interesting, intriguing and the characters entirely believable. As usual, the characters are many faceted, with a healthy dose of good and bad in each one. The main characters' behaviour were almost predictable in the sense that I could see myself acting the same way.

I truly loved this book. Again, Le Carre has managed to take on one of the greatest scam happening throughout the world and show it for what it really is and show us for what we really are, willing, all too willing, to simply go on as usual.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Nov. 11 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Nor from a foreigner's hand shall you offer any of these as the bread of your God, because their corruption is in them, and defects are in them." -- Leviticus 22:25 (NKJV)

Many of the best espionage stories involved Russian spies who wanted to defect to the UK or the US during the Cold War. A key question was always, "Is this person on the up-and-up?" Otherwise, a double agent might be brought on board and do untold damage. Careful vetting followed, which might or might not turn up the truth. But in the process, the suspense was tangible and rewarding.

There was an ultimate irony in all such fictional stories because the true history of Cold War espionage was filled with great success in infiltrating Western spy organizations . . . but the information wasn't taken very seriously by the Soviet leaders. So it didn't really matter all that much.

There's suspense here, too, but more of a "what else could happen next that's weird?" type. Although the story was certainly original, it didn't sustain my interest very well despite Mr. Le Carre's best efforts to make me care about the characters.

The story also moved very slowly and jerkily. A little more pace would have been nice.
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Format: Paperback
I've been somewhat dissatisfied with Le Carre's recent novels that seem to be heavily slanted towards either African intrigue or thinly veiled commentary on the War on Terror.

I'd call this novel a bit of a return to form, the story of a couple of amateur spooks trying to smuggle a big time Russian money-launderer into the West. I'm not sure if I'd consider Le Carre more ambitious or less ambitious for sticking to his strengths on this novel, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.
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