Read A Perfect Spy by John le Carré Free Online
Book Title: A Perfect Spy|
The author of the book: John le Carré
Date of issue: September 21st 2006
ISBN 13: 9780340937655
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 33.31 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.2
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Let me start this review with these words; this book is devastating. It is the best writing John Le Carre has ever done, and will ever do.
That's not to say that it's a better spy novel than Tinker Tailor or The Spy Who Came in From the Cold; it's not. If spycraft is what you crave, it's here, but it definitely takes a back seat to everything else. In A Perfect Spy, Le Carre's writing rises easily to the level of the 20th Century's greatest authors.
After the death of his father, Magnus Pym, debonair, flawless British spy, has disappeared with the station’s burn box. His wife, his son, his handlers, and his friends have no idea where he is, due to the fact that he has doled each of them a different piece of the truth. In the meantime, he has checked himself into a safe house, where he is determined to write a book that will set everything straight.
A Perfect Spy is largely autobiographical. Le Carre's mother vanished when he was three, in the same way that Pym loses his mother at an early age. Like Pym's father Rick, Le Carre’s father Ronnie Cornwell was a charismatic, larger-than-life con man who spent time in prison. When the young Le Carre wasn’t away at various boarding schools, (the tuition sometimes paid for with black market dried fruit), he was palling around with his father’s unsavory acquaintances. Like Pym, he worked for the British Secret Service in Switzerland and in Austria and attended Oxford. Pym is a gifted intelligence officer, but he tells everyone that what he really wants to do is write, and good God, how Le Carre writes.
At its heart, this is a book about a boy's relationship with his father. As a parent, I am achingly aware of my responsibility; children are fragile little creatures whose fates depend completely on the mercy of the adults who take care of them. For better and for worse, it is we who teach them what is right, or wrong, or normal. It's we who teach them how to love, and who to trust, it's we who twist and shape their vulnerable little psyches. And it is we who are capable of damaging them the most. Rick loves his son, and his son loves him, and it is painfully clear how this criminally self-absorbed and self-deluding narcissist destroys "the natural humanity" in little Magnus, turning him into the perfect spy of the title. How Le Carre was able to write this stuff down without wetting every page of the manuscript with his tears is a mystery to me.
With all that, the book is surprisingly funny, full of mocking self-deprecation and gorgeous British slang. The facts make wonderful fiction. There are hilarious letters from Rick to his son and lovingly recreated conversations between his father's business associates. It is also surprisingly sexy, as the young Pym navigates between lust and yearning, all things we don't expect from John Le Carre.
A Perfect Spy is a breathtaking act of catharsis, warm and funny, wry and rueful, unexpectedly, nakedly human. Instead of burying his painful past, Mr. Le Carre illuminates it for us as a masterpiece of fiction. Happily, he has come to terms with his father, resurrecting him for us with humor and with love.
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Read information about the authorJohn le Carré, the pseudonym of David John Moore Cornwell (born 19 October 1931 in Poole, Dorset, England), is an English author of espionage novels. Le Carré has resided in St Buryan, Cornwall, Great Britain, for more than 40 years, where he owns a mile of cliff close to Land's End.
See also: John le Carré - Wikipedia
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