It is the third summer of perestroika. Niki Landau, philanderer and travelling rep, attends the first Moscow audio fair and is asked by beautiful young Katya to take a parcel back to England.
It's addressed to Barley Blair, jazz-player and drinker, and contains information vital to the defence of the West. But times and heroes are changing. And Barley Blair is a man who makes his own rules of engagement.
©2010 David Cornwell (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
Listen to audiobooks mainly when driving (for work) and when walking (for fitness/relaxation)
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.
In the best tradition and under the cover of hide-and-seek, it's a hunting love story, resembling a Russian folktale, which offers a rare and enthralling spectacle: the resurrection of buried hopes. The novel is reserved, but still full of potent surprises, 24 years after its publication. This could hardly be said about the global political system, which inspired its conception. We were full of hopes then. Many of us disenchanted of what has transpired since. The work is a great example of fine literature may outlive reality that has gone to the dogs.
Weak plot and too much padding makes this no more than two stars.
The narrator uses a whisper, particularly with female voices, so it can be difficult to follow without the text or by adjusting the volume.
Most chapters could have sections removed without affecting the weak plot.
This is really a short storey expanded into a too long novel.
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