Our Kind of Traitor, John le Carre, The Viking Press, 2010, 306 pp
The latest novel by John le Carre is getting positive reviews all over the place with sentiments exclaiming that the old le Carre is back and that he has dropped the preaching tone of his last few efforts. Personally, I like it when he preaches to us about the ills of our modern world.
In Our Kind of Traitor, I felt the master of spy literature was holding back just a tad and I purely hated the way this novel ended. I just felt lost through much of the story, but that could be bcause I do not understand global finance. Not one bit.
My take is that this is a gangster-trying-to-go-straight story. Percolating beneath that is the picture of British government being so in the grip of vested interests and greedy politicians that the true traitor lies there. Is that the meaning of the title?
A Russian gangster, an idealistic young teacher from Oxford, his much more realistic girlfriend, the usual failed spy and the usual rogue spy; all the elements are there but it didn't come together well for me. John le Carre has stumped me before. I remember feeling like I was really missing something in The Little Drummer Girl. My husband liked Our Kind of Traitor just fine and explained some of it to me.
If you have read it, liked it and are now laughing up your sleeve about me, please...comment!
(Our Kind of Traitor is available in hardcover on the New Books Barn at Once Upon A Time Bookstore. It would make a great gift for the male reader(s) in your life.)