Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Reading Recommendations > Book Clubs

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-15-2019, 05:19 PM   #16
Victoria
Guru
Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Victoria's Avatar
 
Posts: 652
Karma: 7355824
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nova Scotia Canada
Device: ipad, Kindle PW 4, iphone 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuartjmz View Post
I wonder if it was inspired by a real event. Le Carré's anger at the commercialisation of politics and the military is so palpable in the book, that perhaps it's a veiled vent at something that actually happened. The tone of it reminded me of some of Pratchett's later works, when his disgust for the politics he was satirising wore the sheen off his usual detached humour.
Maybe it was. He’d be constrained by the same Official Secrets Act that Toby and the others were. So he wrote a parable instead.
Victoria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 05:21 PM   #17
Victoria
Guru
Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Victoria's Avatar
 
Posts: 652
Karma: 7355824
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nova Scotia Canada
Device: ipad, Kindle PW 4, iphone 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuartjmz View Post
I read fiction to escape reality, not to be reminded of it, and so the matter-of-fact reality of the story was very depressing for me. I found the story well told, and the characters well-drawn, but by the time I'd reached the inevitable end, the feeling that what I'd read barely qualified as fiction at all left me feeling flat and in urgent need of some frothy escapism. I salute his skill as a writer, and strongly sympathise with his obvious anger at the system he writes about, but for me the entertainment value of the book was only non-zero by a statistically insignificant amount.
Me too - I admired his truth-telling, but it was bloody depressing to read.
Victoria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 05:50 PM   #18
Victoria
Guru
Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Victoria's Avatar
 
Posts: 652
Karma: 7355824
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nova Scotia Canada
Device: ipad, Kindle PW 4, iphone 7
[QUOTE=issybird;3811196] I entirely agree with this. Paul was a total buffoon. Kit was much better..
[/QUOTE

I thought Jeb was completely unbelievable. I guess he was necessary to set up the story, but the scene on the hill seemed quite farfetched. Paul was deliberately chosen because he had no experience, and would be impressed by the demanding tone of a Junior Minister. But I just couldn’t see a well trained military Field Commander proceeding on the word of an political jackass like Quinn. Jeb wasn’t required to take Quinn’s orders, and I doubt anybody in his position would.
Victoria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 06:38 PM   #19
Victoria
Guru
Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Victoria's Avatar
 
Posts: 652
Karma: 7355824
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nova Scotia Canada
Device: ipad, Kindle PW 4, iphone 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
Ultimately, though, here's where it fell flat for me, and maybe I'm just too jaded ten years after the book was published and given what's going on in the world; I didn't think the collateral death of an illegal migrant and her baby would have been sufficient as the first cause of all this, especially not for a career soldier and foreign office wonks who've signed on to the Official Secrets Act. It needed to be more.
Maybe I’m reading more in to it than is there. But I read it as being about much much more. Le Carre said this was his most autobiographical and his most British book. He was sounding an alarm about the direction of a powerful faction with the British gov & police, and allies.

A recent example would be showing greater concern about the sale of military weapons to a certain allie, than their brutal repression of a free press.

(I’m sorry about multiple posts at once. A family member is in intensive care after a very difficult surgery, so I’m at the hospital most of the day. She’s likely to be there for several days, so I only have a small window of time to partipate.)

Last edited by Victoria; 02-15-2019 at 06:48 PM.
Victoria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 06:55 PM   #20
gmw
cacoethes scribendi
gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
gmw's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,291
Karma: 99439955
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Australia
Device: Kobo Aura One & H2Ov2, Sony PRS-650
Quote:
Originally Posted by Victoria View Post
[...] Sorry for the long diatribe. I worked within a completely different sphere, but which has similar risk management protocols and procedures. So this book just happened to grab me I guess. I won’t make a habit of ranting
Please don't feel as if you need to apologise for disagreeing. It would be a boring world if we all liked the same thing. Besides which, I am very interested to see that there is a way to be more appreciative of this story.
gmw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 07:29 PM   #21
stuartjmz
Contrarian
stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 711
Karma: 2839068
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Te Ika a Māui
Device: Kobo Aura H2O2 v2
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRussel View Post
Yes, wasn't it?!

Or maybe a bit of P.G. Wodehouse.
An excellent idea! Or, to blend their worlds Jeeves and the King of Clubs
stuartjmz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 07:31 PM   #22
stuartjmz
Contrarian
stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.stuartjmz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 711
Karma: 2839068
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Te Ika a Māui
Device: Kobo Aura H2O2 v2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Victoria View Post
Maybe it was. He’d be constrained by the same Official Secrets Act that Toby and the others were. So he wrote a parable instead.
Thank you! I'd forgotten that Le Carré was in a related line of work and would signed the Official Secrets Act.
stuartjmz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 07:45 PM   #23
gmw
cacoethes scribendi
gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
gmw's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,291
Karma: 99439955
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Australia
Device: Kobo Aura One & H2Ov2, Sony PRS-650
Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
[...] I have a lot of issues with the book and I'm sure we'll get to them, but there was a lot I enjoyed about it, also. This was absolutely a page-turner, from the start in medias res, to teasing out who the players were, to jumping around in the action and the point of view. The writing evoked action, timing and consequence. [...]
The problem with in medias res is the need to go back and catch up. When you're not careful that starts to sound very much like an info dump. The background catch-up for "Paul" (as we knew him in the opening) felt very much like that. We get "Describe, please, in a few well-chosen circuits of the room, the precise circumstances of your unlikely journey from blessed monotony to solitary confinement on a British colonial rock." - to which I added the note "Permit the following info dump". And when we return to the hotel room I felt as if I'd learned very little worth the distraction. Some cliché politician looking for the thrill of being important without any risk - we could easily have worked that out from the subsequent telephone conversations.

Toby's background, after a rough start, became more adroitly blended, even if it did make some of the timing a bit confusing in places, although nothing too serious. (But for all the background we were given, Toby still never became a real person to me, he was always just the cipher through which events were revealed.)

Too much of it seemed like stuff I'd seen on TV too often before. That made it easier to keep up with the time-chopping, because I knew what was coming at pretty much every change, but this didn't lend any suspense or sense of intrigue for me. Even the death of a innocents were what I was expecting (I was hoping for something less predictable, which was about the only suspense I felt through this story). I had hoped he might at least make that part credible, but I really didn't buy the shot while cringing in the dark bit. If there had already been gun fire then maybe, but as the first shorts? While it can be an easy sell to claim Americans can be trigger happy (blame it on your movies), this was stretching things too far for me.
gmw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 07:56 PM   #24
gmw
cacoethes scribendi
gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
gmw's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,291
Karma: 99439955
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Australia
Device: Kobo Aura One & H2Ov2, Sony PRS-650
Quote:
Originally Posted by Victoria View Post
I thought Jeb was completely unbelievable. I guess he was necessary to set up the story, but the scene on the hill seemed quite farfetched. Paul was deliberately chosen because he had no experience, and would be impressed by the demanding tone of a Junior Minister. But I just couldn’t see a well trained military Field Commander proceeding on the word of an political jackass like Quinn. Jeb wasn’t required to take Quinn’s orders, and I doubt anybody in his position would.
Yes, I completely agree here, and this just made the fob off explanation (questioning Jeb's sanity) that much easier to swallow - it was a believable explanation. And even if things had played out as described, Jeb was being sold to us readers as a loyal soldier - whistle-blower really didn't fit very well.
gmw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 01:02 AM   #25
CRussel
Grand Sorcerer
CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
CRussel's Avatar
 
Posts: 10,153
Karma: 58907534
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
Device: 10th Gen Paperwhite, Oasis, Voyage, original Paperwhite, Fire HD 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuartjmz View Post
An excellent idea! Or, to blend their worlds Jeeves and the King of Clubs
I went with The Foundling, with the Audible book read by Phyllida Nash.
CRussel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 03:04 AM   #26
Bookpossum
Snoozing in the sun
Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookpossum's Avatar
 
Posts: 9,795
Karma: 99485697
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: iPad Mini, Kobo Touch
Sorry to be late to the party: I have been out all day and am just catching up.

Firstly, I'm so sorry to hear about your family member, Victoria. I do hope all goes well with her recovery from the surgery.

I certainly enjoyed reading this book and I think that le Carré writes well. Yes, he is angry about the evil things which are done, supposedly in our name - aren't we all? I certainly am.

Sadly, it says a great deal about what is and has been going on in the world to think that the death of an "illegal immigrant" (and how I hate that term) and her child wasn't big and bad enough to be the cause of the actions taken by Kit, Jeb and Toby.

I didn't get the feeling that Toby and Emily were going to end up dead. In describing the time leading up to Toby's beating, le Carré says:

Quote:
... though he could never be sure, he never saw or afterwards found it, and only remembered it, if at all, by its gluey smell - ...
in reference to a piece of sacking being put over his head. That doesn't suggest to me that he was about to be gunned down by whoever was coming for him with sirens wailing. The final sentence certainly suggests that several organisations might be coming for him at once.

Maybe I'm being too optimistic in thinking that Toby and Emily would survive. But the fact that le Carré doesn't end with a pile of corpses at least leaves the possibility that the decent man might live to fight another day.
Bookpossum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 07:02 AM   #27
issybird
o saeclum infacetum
issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
issybird's Avatar
 
Posts: 13,011
Karma: 125700000
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New England
Device: H2O, GloHD, Aura One
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
I didn't get the feeling that Toby and Emily were going to end up dead. In describing the time leading up to Toby's beating, le Carré says:

Quote:
... though he could never be sure, he never saw or afterwards found it, and only remembered it, if at all, by its gluey smell - ...
in reference to a piece of sacking being put over his head. That doesn't suggest to me that he was about to be gunned down by whoever was coming for him with sirens wailing. The final sentence certainly suggests that several organisations might be coming for him at once.

Maybe I'm being too optimistic in thinking that Toby and Emily would survive. But the fact that le Carré doesn't end with a pile of corpses at least leaves the possibility that the decent man might live to fight another day.
I'm going to be working my way backwards, I see, but I thought I'd respond to this first.

I thought this quite clever of le Carré, as the structure made either outcome plausible. When I initially read this and other comments, I thought it meant Toby survived. But as the story played out, I realized that they all could have referred to the time in between his beating and when the sirens came. A The Lady or the Tiger? ending, or possibly The Sopranos, to be a little more current, and very effective, for me, as it pulled me up short; there's that tendency to think that the good guys are going to win.
issybird is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 07:50 AM   #28
Victoria
Guru
Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Victoria's Avatar
 
Posts: 652
Karma: 7355824
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nova Scotia Canada
Device: ipad, Kindle PW 4, iphone 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
Firstly, I'm so sorry to hear about your family member, Victoria. I do hope all goes well with her recovery from the surgery.

I didn't get the feeling that Toby and Emily were going to end up dead.

The final sentence certainly suggests that several organisations might be coming for him at once.

Maybe I'm being too optimistic in thinking that Toby and Emily would survive. But the fact that le Carré doesn't end with a pile of corpses at least leaves the possibility that the decent man might live to fight another day.
Thank you! She developed an infection following surgery, but seemed to be much better last night. So we’re hopeful she’s back on the mend.

I read the ending the same way. And successfully sending Oakley’s copies of the internal inquiry, reports, etc. to the press would have been a major tide turner. Even if they were killed by rogue police, the cat was out of the bag.
Victoria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 11:10 AM   #29
Victoria
Guru
Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Victoria's Avatar
 
Posts: 652
Karma: 7355824
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nova Scotia Canada
Device: ipad, Kindle PW 4, iphone 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
Yes, I completely agree here, and this just made the fob off explanation (questioning Jeb's sanity) that much easier to swallow - it was a believable explanation.
That’s an excellent point - I hadn’t picked up on that.
Victoria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 12:33 PM   #30
Dazrin
Wizard
Dazrin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dazrin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dazrin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dazrin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dazrin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dazrin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dazrin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dazrin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dazrin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dazrin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Dazrin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Dazrin's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,202
Karma: 49166217
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: PDXish
Device: Kindle Voyage, PW2, various Android devices
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
Sadly, it says a great deal about what is and has been going on in the world to think that the death of an "illegal immigrant" (and how I hate that term) and her child wasn't big and bad enough to be the cause of the actions taken by Kit, Jeb and Toby.
Actually, I meant to imply something different. The death of the woman and her child was not enough to have caused the actions by Quinn and Crispin and even Oakley. Kit and Toby at least were justified in what they were doing because they didn't know what had gone on till near enough to the end. I'm saying the dominoes never would have fallen that way in the first place and I am surprised they needed to have as much cover-up as they did and that they resorted to murder to keep it covered up. We hear some of the stories of what private "security" has done in the mid-east and it makes me wonder how this was any worse than that. It would have been much more plausible, for this atrocity, for Crispin or Quinn to explain it as an accident. Maybe with incentives to keep Jeb quiet. The "intelligence" they were getting was garbage and maybe they were more concerned about that getting out than anything but that wasn't really explained enough for me to think that was it.
Dazrin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The 2019 Annual Reading Challenge Discussion Thread pdurrant Reading Recommendations 110 07-03-2019 06:17 PM
New Leaf January 2019 Discussion • The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin issybird Book Clubs 109 02-13-2019 08:13 PM
New Leaf Nominations for February 2019 • Let's Make a Deal: Trade Secrets issybird Book Clubs 47 01-07-2019 07:11 AM
Free (nook/Kindle/Kobo UK] A Murder of Quality by John le Carré [Vintage Spy Mystery] ATDrake Deals and Resources (No Self-Promotion or Affiliate Links) 2 07-04-2015 12:41 PM
(UK/ROI) Free John le Carré audio books avantman42 Deals and Resources (No Self-Promotion or Affiliate Links) 23 09-23-2011 09:09 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:16 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.