Customer Reviews


10 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Laid Plans
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...
Published on Dec 25 2010 by Ted Feit

versus
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lazy Ending to a good book.
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.
Published on Oct. 13 2010 by Robin Kuritzky


Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Laid Plans, Dec 25 2010
By 
Ted Feit (Long Beach, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Our Kind of Traitor (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent read from Le Carre, Jan. 19 2011
This review is from: Our Kind of Traitor (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lazy Ending to a good book., Oct. 13 2010
By 
Robin Kuritzky (New Westminster, BC Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Our Kind of Traitor (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars The Russian spy novel turns to finances., Jan. 31 2011
By 
Len (Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Our Kind of Traitor (Hardcover)
The focus of espionage since the days of the Cold War has largely turned toward the West's obsession with terrorism minus a reflection of the underlying causes. A novel that exposes corruption in the financial industry is a nice change of pace. Perry and Gail, an attractive British couple meet Dima, Russian oligarch on vacation in the Caribbean. Dima sees his days whose laundering money for the rich and powerful of today's Russia and seeks the help of Gail and Perry to gain contact with the British secret service. He will trade names and account numbers for the safety of life in Britain for he and his family. Through his contacts at the university where he's employed Perry meets Hector Meredith who investigates Dima's claims and then begins the process of negotiation with his superiors in the British government. Unfortunately, for Hector, Perry and Dima, nobody wants his story made public least of all the British government. Mr. Carre provides interesting insights into a spy service fighting the criminal elements of the Russian political elite while coping with a pragmatic government bureaucracy aimed at advancing political objectives with little or no concern about the moral imperative.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Got me!, Dec 2 2010
This review is from: Our Kind of Traitor (Hardcover)
I think Le Carre is saying in this novel it's possible despite being intelligent and sensitive and maybe even because of being intelligent and sensitive to get it all wrong. Hemingway had a character say something like 'little boys always know what to do'. I think there is a similar theme in 'Our Kind of Traitor'. This is yet another examination of the moral complexity of international politics and the dubious motives of the bureaucracies that effect national policy.
\
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Espionage Procedural That May Leave You Yawning, Nov. 11 2010
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Our Kind of Traitor (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, but pretty solid., Nov. 15 2011
By 
Dave (Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada) - See all my reviews
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Many English are spy, Aug. 25 2011
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Our Kind of Traitor (Hardcover)
John le Carre is one of those authors that everybody tells me I should read, and whom I really want to read. But his towering body of work is... a little intimidating.

So I decided to start with "Our Kind of Traitor," his latest thriller. And it's a solid place to start -- new characters that don't require previous books to understand, heart-pounding suspense, and a genteel British gloss. It's an intelligent and gripping story, but at times le Carre seems to just lose his enthusiasm..

Young Oxford don Perry and his lawyer girlfriend Gail are on vacation in Antigua when they encounter Dima, a Russian millionaire with a large, grim family, a hearty love of the English, and a lavish hand with money. It turns out that he's a professional money-launderer in trouble with a mobster called The Prince. He's willing to spill everything he knows, as long as he and his family are kept safe.

Enter Hector Meredith, an aging spy who runs his own little sub-agency, and who is Dima's best chance of not getting killed. But Perry and Gail "have wandered by sheer accident into a richly planted minefield," and under Hector's guidance they soon find themselves whisked on an international adventure...

"Our Kind of Traitor" is a brilliant novel that's been hobbled. The first few chapters are mostly told in flashback, which saps some of the tension from the story. And the last few chapters feel as if John le Carre got tired of the story he was telling, so he slapped together an ending and pasted it on the end.

So as you can guess, the best part is the middle. Le Carre's prose is smooth, genteel and distinctly British, but fractured with some gritty looks at the underbelly of civilization. The cynicism is heaped high everywhere, whether it's contemptuous looks at the British government, the corrupt banking world, or the bleak, cutthroat world of Russian mobsters.

And le Carre does a pretty good job with the characters, who all feel realistic, flawed and sympathetic. Perry and Gail are a pampered, slightly self-righteous British couple who end up waaaaayyyyy in over their heads. Hector is a tweedy, outspoken old spy, while Dima is a sort of Russian Tony Soprano, whose genial exterior hides his fear and rage.

"Our Kind of Traitor" is a smooth, rich thriller with its ankles shackled -- great writing, rich characters, but it suffers from a limp beginning and a slapdash ending.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars le Carré :Our Kind of Writer, Aug. 20 2011
This is another great read by le Carré which keeps the reader turning pages. I have read all of le Carré's novels ( over many years) and I have enjoyed them for their brilliant and complex plots and wonderfully developed characters whose humanity ( and in a few cases eccentricity) comes through even in morally ambiguous situations. The setting is well described without being irksome or wordy. As a bonus this novel does have a love story which threatens to unravel like a thread in the tapestry of the main plot. This lends an extra dimension of interest to the novel, which only enhances the suspense of the main plot, not diminishing it as some might fear. It has made the rounds of my family-my husband and daughters, aged 19 and 22, have also read it and enjoyed it, so it seems to appeal across gender and age.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing ..., Jan. 14 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Our Kind of Traitor (Hardcover)
This book has quite an odd writing style that does not form interest in the reader. The ending is quite dull as well. Overall quite a disappointment.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Our Kind of Traitor
Our Kind of Traitor by John Le Carre (Hardcover - Oct. 12 2010)
CDN$ 32.00 CDN$ 20.06
Usually ships in 1 to 3 weeks
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews