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Our Kind of Traitor Hardcover – Oct 12 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; 1st Edition edition (Oct. 12 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670064785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670064786
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.8 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #159,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Our Kind of Traitor, John le Carré’s bullet train of a new thriller, is part vintage John le Carré and part Alfred Hitchcock…. The suspense in Our Kind of Traitor is genuine and nerve-racking…. The result is the author’s most thrilling thriller in years.” - Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Let me be specific: I think the man deserves the Nobel.” - The Globe and Mail

“Our Kind of Traitor is a teasing, beguiling, masterly performance.” - The Sunday Times (UK)

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

“In a world where villains can bleed tragedy and heroes may not be so heroic, le Carré is still our keenest arbiter.” - Winnipeg Free Press

“Le Carré’s mission keeps changing, but not his mastery…. If a better thriller than Our Kind of Traitor has been published this year, I’d like to see it.” - Washington Post

“With his 22nd novel, Our Kind of Traitor, John le Carré—our greatest living master of espionage fiction—definitely is back at the top of his game.” - Ottawa Citizen

“No other contemporary novelist has more durably enjoyed the twin badges of being both well read and well regarded.” - Scott Turow

“Return of the master.” - The Times (UK)

“A brilliant linguistic artist with a keen eye of the exotic and not-so-exotic locale, a crafty moralizer with an occasional bent for sentiment.” - The Wall Street Journal

“Daring… A ripping good story steeped in ugly truths.” - USA Today

“Le Carré, always an intriguing blend of patrician and populist, gives voice to all our contempt for hot-money deals.” - Independent (UK)

“[A] compelling tale of deceit, dialogue and the author’s own despair.” - The Telegraph (UK)

“I would suggest immortality for John le Carré…. May he write forever!” - Chicago Tribune

“Le Carré spins a characteristically taut, uneasy tale…. [Our Kind of Traitor] unfolds, in customary le Carré style, with a growing sense of foreboding to a dark climax.” - Financial Times

“It is no secret that I have, on a number of occasions, confessed that John le Carré is an author who, in many different ways, has been an inspiration to me and my own work…. His latest novel, Our Kind of Traitor, is a remarkable book by the master who will not give up.” - Henning Menkell, The Daily Telegraph (UK)

“Swift and exciting … Le Carré’s pages are full of sharp insights and quick bits of information, of nuance and crosshatching, backstory and foreshadowing. He shifts the narrative point of view with an easy hand, and his deft use of flashback (even of flashback within flashback), reconstructing the then and there in the here and now, is at once unsettling and suspenseful: building tension even as it draws a reader close.” - San Francisco Chronicle

“Our Kind of Traitor confirms that le Carré’s work is still the gold standard of espionage fiction.” - Seattle Times

“A witty and absorbing page-turner.” - Belfast Telegraph

“Our Kind of Traitor is John le Carré’s purest espionage novel in years.” - Chicago Sun Times

“Powerful and sure-footed.” - The Times Literary Supplement (UK)

“John le Carré’s newest gem…well-paced… He is a master of irony, the dominant attitude of our time. But it is a provisional irony, aware of its own contingency. He’s our kind of novelist.” - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“No doubt in my mind: the best thriller of the year came from one of the modern masters of the craft. Le Carré’s 22nd thriller … was terrific … an essay in ennui and intrigue written with Le Carré’s sublime precision and eye for human failings.” - Daily Mail (UK)

“Our Kind of Traitor is one of the deftest of his recent novels and certainly the most timely.” - Time

“If you want to know about the state of Britain today, forget the Booker Prize shortlist. Just read John le Carré’s latest thriller, Our Kind of Traitor.” - The Evening Standard (UK)

“This chilling and astute post-Cold War thriller proves that John le Carré is still on top form. In Our Kind of Traitor, there is not a hair out of place. Having plumbed the devious depths of the Cold War, le Carré has done it again for our nasty new age.” - The Times (UK)

“True devotees of le Carré … appreciate that he’s best read slowly, savoured—like a peaty malt—sip by sip, sentence by sentence.” - The Herald (UK)

“A literary master for a generation.” - Observer (UK)

“Beautifully written and wonderfully observed.” - Mail on Sunday (UK)

“A well-crafted spy novel that exerts a strong page-turning grip…. First-class thriller entertainment.” - Metro (UK)

“Le Carré spins a long and increasingly tense plot…. Our Kind of Traitor builds to a masterful climax.” - The Scotsman (UK)

“Our Kind Of Traitor is a very satisfying thriller, combining exquisite pacing with a denouement that has implications far beyond the page.” - Singapore Straits Times

“Le Carré has exhibited a remarkable ability to turn multiple forms of international chicanery into gripping, incisive fiction…. [International money-laundering] is a complex but fascinating subject, and le Carré dissects it brilliantly.” - Booklist

“His most accessible work in years, this novel shows once again why his name is the one to which all others in the field are compared.” - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Trust le Carré to make his story of international money laundering, political infighting and unwitting treachery into a chamber symphony of exquisite delicacy.” - Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

John le Carré was born in 1931. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; The Honourable Schoolboy; and Smiley’s People. His recent novels include The Constant Gardener, Absolute Friends, The Mission Song, A Most Wanted Man, and Our Kind of Traitor. A Delicate Truth is his twenty-third novel.

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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: 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.
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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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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Aug. 25 2011
Format: 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.
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