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Single & Single Audiobook

Single & Single

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Publisher's Summary

A corporate lawyer from the House of Single & Single is shot dead on a Turkish hillside for crimes that he does not understand. A children's entertainer in Devon is hauled to his local bank late at night to explain a monumental influx of cash. A Russian freighter is arrested in the Black Sea....

The logical connection of these events and more is one of the many pleasures of this story of love, deceit, family and the triumph of humanity.

©2010 David Cornwell (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (123 )
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4.1 (89 )
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4.5 (90 )
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  •  
    Peter Bristol, United Kingdom 21/06/2011
    Peter Bristol, United Kingdom 21/06/2011 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfect voice for the master's stories"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Co GalwayIreland 21/06/2010
    Kate Co GalwayIreland 21/06/2010
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    "A good listen"

    Le Carre rarely disappoints, and this one, while not one of his very best, is still a gripping yarn, with great characters and chilling realism. Michael Jayston is the perfect reader for his books, and brings the characters alive without interfering with the narrative.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DT 05/10/2015
    DT 05/10/2015 Member Since 2011
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    "A very angry book"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes - see below


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Brock - less mannered than the others, though still a type and probably a descendant of George Smiley.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Jayston’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Yes - just as good as the others.


    Do you think Single & Single needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It already has follow-ups.


    Any additional comments?

    Oliver Single, the hero of John Le Carré’s fourth post-Cold War novel, seems, if anything, more troubled by internal demons than George Smiley, though probably not Alec Leamas. He is damaged by disillusion as he is drawn into Single & Single and suffers, as do many of Le Carré’s heroes, from his public school up-bringing. Oliver generates in himself and many readers, I expect, considerable outrage and without even the ambiguous moral high ground of Western values that Le Carré occasionally defends in his earlier fiction. He finds himself a stranger in his own country and turns double-agent within his father’s business empire. Single & Single is in the business of investment and asset and portfolio management in the world of holding companies, usually off-shore and sometimes owned by foundations. It is the business of money and of dirty traders with smart addresses. “Everyone’s a trader”, someone remarks.

    Le Carré is remarkably good at “showing”, rather than “telling”, to use Henry James’s distinction, and the interconnections between people, places, events, and activities are only bit-by-bit revealed. The significance of the shocking opening on a very hot Turkish hillside is left in front of the reader until, in time, its significance becomes apparent. There is also a good deal of narrative movement from past to present in Oliver’s mind, the former paradoxically signaled by a switch to the present tense. This device works very effectively, both in plot terms and as a way to reveal the struggles within Oliver.

    Critics and reviewers often make a sound case for Le Carré’ transcending the spy-novel and the variants upon it that he, more than anyone, has gone on to develop since the Berlin Wall came down. There is real despair in his fiction and his narrative techniques are very accomplished and go well beyond generic norms. And, for a while, his characterization was quite subtle, as an interior life intersected with the protocols and plots of the thriller. However, at some point – probably before “Single and Single” – Le Carré’s characterization becomes mannered and over-formulaic, in that motifs from one novel are transferred without much modification into another novel. The hero’s decency is evident when he “pads” around a room like a big friendly bear; he has to “kill” or otherwise deal with a father or father-figure; and he is desperately sentimental about certain close relatives or friends. Oliver’s feelings for his daughter, Carmen, rise in pitch the more irresponsible he is as a father. Sentimentality is often a sign that a character wants to have his cake even as he eats it. When the main character slips into caricature (admittedly, a caricature of Le Carré’s own inimical making), other characters suffer as well and we know who someone is the moment he or she speaks. Subject and verb get dropped from too many sentences. Villains speak in an extraordinary mix of versions of English. These are balanced by honourable foreigners who have their own odd way of speaking. Women are abandoned wives or brave but rather physically-awkward comrades who abandon themselves to the foolishness of the hero (in this novel, a Customs Officer called Aggy) or landladies who hold the fort for the hero.

    Quite possibly, Le Carré is so incensed by post-Cold War activities and by Blair- and post-Blair Britain, in particular, that he is looking for the most direct way to castigate it while still writing fiction. “Single & Single” is a justifiably angry book of markets being flooded by awful products with the direct or indirect involvement of the establishment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    peter Szentendre, Hungary 01/11/2012
    peter Szentendre, Hungary 01/11/2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "single but not alone"

    a fine work. was a good read, even though le Caree has explored his preoccupation of the father&son mire previously and i think more successfully in some of his other novels. M. Jayston, the resident narrator of this author, just carries on, delivers the goods and getting finer with age.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allan Vaughan 18/10/2016
    Allan Vaughan 18/10/2016 Member Since 2016

    Avid reader particularly of crime and mystery fiction

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    "The next Night Manager?"

    Hopefully TV will pick up this novel for TV - it has all the possibilities of being as good as the Night Manager

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L London, United Kingdom 16/10/2015
    L London, United Kingdom 16/10/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting characters and a story........hurray!"
    Where does Single & Single rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of my favourite authors, in the top twenty to date.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Single & Single?

    The initial description of Mr Single Jnr thro the eyes of his well depicted land lady.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Oliver approaching and gaining entrance to his fathers office and explaining his presence to his fathers gatekeeper.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I felt that empathy was extracted from me for every character .... even the gangsters with the exception of Mr Single Snr. Highlights how quickly fortunes may change one way or another.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L Swansea, United Kingdom 01/09/2013
    L Swansea, United Kingdom 01/09/2013 Member Since 2013

    I enjoy crime books most of all but dip into other genres now and then. I also re read the classics I have not read in years.

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    "Fantastic"

    This put me in mind of "A perfect spy" ~ one of my favourites. It was delicious to slip into le Carre's world again. The Balloon man is an inspired creation.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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