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A Most Wanted Man


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About the Author

John le Carr was born in 1931. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; The Honorable Schoolboy; and Smiley's People. His novels include The Constant Gardner, The Little Drummer Girl, A Perfect Spy, The Russia House, Our Game, The Tailor of Panama, and Single & Single. He lives in Cornwall, United Kingdom.


A relatively minor work from le Carre (The Constant Gardener), with less at stake than usual, this fairly straightforward self-read novel is nonetheless compelling for its vividly drawn characters, especially disenchanted British banker Tommy Brue and idealistic civil rights lawyer Annabel Richter. Le Carre lucidly and adeptly handles both the various accents and the pauses and emphases; indeed, the words and phrases he stresses help to clarify motivations even his characters do not fully grasp. Recommended for popular collections. [Unabridged retail-edition CD and digital download available from S. & S. Audio, with Roger Rees reading; watch the book trailer at; the Scribner hc was "highly recommended," LJ 9/1/08.-Ed.]-Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Lib. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

When boxer Melik Oktay and his mother, both Turkish Muslims living in Hamburg, take in a street person calling himself Issa at the start of this morally complex thriller from le CarrE (The Mission Song), they set off a chain of events implicating intelligence agencies from three countries. Issa, who claims to be a Muslim medical student, is, in fact, a wanted terrorist and the son of Grigori Karpov, a Red Army colonel whose considerable assets are concealed in a mysterious portfolio at a Hamburg bank. Tommy Brue, a stereotypical flawed everyman caught up in the machinations of spies and counterspies, enters the plot when Issa's attorney seeks to claim these assets. The book works best in its depiction of the rivalries besetting even post-9/11 intelligence agencies that should be allies, but none of the characters is as memorable as George Smiley or Magnus Pym. Still, even a lesser le CarrE effort is far above the common run of thrillers. (Oct.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"An instant classic... A provocative and incendiary ending that only le Carre, the master, can pull off." -- "USA Today"
"Intricately plotted, beautifully written, propulsive, morally engaged, but timely as today's headlines.... The protagonists are brilliantly drawn." -- Tim Rutten, "Los Angeles Times"
"Highly recommended." -- "Library Journal"
"Turn the pages slowly, because an era is passing, and with it, an illuminating view of the troubled keepers of an uneasy peace." -- James F. Sweeney, "Cleveland Plain Dealer"
"Breaks notable new ground... Le Carre's dialogue has snap, rhythm and wit... immaculate timing." -- Peter Wolfe, "St. Louis Post-Dispatch"
"As sharp as he ever was.... Le Carre ... remains a class above his neighbors on the bestseller list." -- Jeffrey Westhoff, "Chicago Sun-Times"
"Astounding, nearly perfect ... beautifully paced, awesomely crafted ... desperately readable" -- John Freeman, "San Francisco Chronicle"
"Le Carre's ... secret agents exist in a world of stalemate, moral compromise, ambiguity and betrayal... Like his books, le Carre is a mix of unblinking realism and hopeful humanism." -- Jill Lawless, "Associated Press"
"What le Carre has always done terrifically is to capture the nuances of the spying game. His spooks are wonderful... In "A Most Wanted Man" you are, unlike the modern world, in thrillingly deft, safe hands." -- "The Guadian" (UK)
"This is le Carre's strongest, most powerful novel... Extraordinary." -- Alan Furst, "New York Times Book Review" (cover review)

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