The friends of the title are Ted Mundy, British soldier's son born 1947 in a new independent Pakistan, and Sasha, refugee son of an East German Lutheran pastor and his wife who have sought sanctuary in the West.
The two men meet first as students in riot-torn West Berlin of the late 60s, again in the grimy looking-glass of Cold War espionage and, most terribly, in today's world of terror. Spanning 56 years, Absolute Friends is a savage fable of our times.
©2010 John le Carre (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
John Le Carre writes quite amazing stories - about flawed innocents with pure intentions caught up in the mendacities of the real word. There is something about Michael Jayston's voice, the slightly jaded world-weariness, that makes it quite the perfect vehicle for Le Carre's writing.
This was never one of Le Carre's best received novels. But with the wisdom hindsight, I the cold light of a post 9/11 day it it perhaps his most brutally honest and terrifying. I read it when it came out and listed to it again in November 2015. It is Jayston - the best reader of Le Carre my a long chalk mark - at his very best.
Presentation aside, it is the content which on second visit I found so astonishing. I listened to the final few hours of the story on the weekend Paris and the world was reeling in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. What the novel is driving at. What it is implying and what it is explicitly saying are screamingly apt. This is not a subtle novel. This says it for all to hear. Everything that happens to us. The horrors which drive us to take cover under our duvets or seek solace and distraction in box sets, mobile technology and consumer goods of all shapes and sizes can all be traced back to one source: an unholy and utterly cynical alliance between power brokers and gun toting thugs across the political divide with the good old U S of A gluing them all together. Sleep well in your beds.
Jayston and le Carré have done it again; the most fabulous duo since laurel and hardy.. In a 'word' unputdownable..
Michael has the rare ability of instantly transforming the written word into something utterly real. If his narrating was compared to a cake it would be something made of solid gold with a diamond cherry on top.
Whether you're a fan of le Carre or a newcomer, this one is a must. It's his insight into what happens behind the scenes that is so important - this is an educational book as well as a great thriller.
it's a must for all le care enthusiasts. It’s a must for thinkers of topical contemporary concerns. It’s a must for anyone interested in great writing. the author is the most underrated english writer of our times. and naturally, michael jayston does it again!
Brilliant, complex, and so many dislikable characters in one novel! Well worth a read, and best in as near to one sitting as possible if the plot is not to be lost!
"A sort of accidental spy"
Masterfully read by Jayston, brilliant ending that would never be the same in a movie version.
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