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The Secret Pilgrim (Mortalis)


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About the Author

John le Carre was born in 1931. After attending the universities of Bern and Oxford, he taught at Eton and spent five years in the British Foreign Service. The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, his third book, secured him a worldwide reputation. He divides his time between England and the Continent.


Fang Lizhi, China's leading dissident intellectual, now in exile in England, lays down a gauntlet to the world's leaders: ``Appeasement of governments which revel in slaughter is an invitation to world-wide catastrophe.'' In this collection of plainspoken articles, fiery speeches, informal travel notes, scientific essays and interviews, the astrophysicist/human rights activist fully lives up to his reputation as ``China's Sakharov.'' Equally conversant with Western traditions and his own, this slightly owlish-looking freethinker strives to put China's problems within a global perspective. His critique of Deng's modernization drive--he stresses that China needs to import a new value system, not just foreign capital and technology--grows ever more timely. Within his own field, cosmologist Fang was branded a criminal for writing about the Big Bang. Here he goes even further, questioning the orthodoxy of Einsteinian space-time. These subtle, brilliant writings convey a powerful message of hope. (Mar.)

This title is an oddity among le Carre's espionage fiction for being a loosely connected group of stories more than a novel, as top spy George Smiley's protege Ned reflects upon his career during a lecture by his mentor. Ned's story reflects upon his growing awareness of the moral ambiguity of his endeavors. The first-person narrative gives veteran le Carre interpreter Michael Jayston an excellent opportunity to use inflection to convey nuances to reveal both theme and character. VERDICT The anecdotal, episodic nature of the tale makes it easier to follow than some of le Carre's labyrinthine novels.-Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr., New York (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"Intriguing . . . magisterial . . . The many ingredients are skillfully marshaled. . . . Lucidly and elegantly controlled."-The New York Times Book Review

"Scorching . . . fascinating . . . seductive . . . a dazzler."-Entertainment Weekly

"Powerful . . . a highly absorbing tale."-Newsday

"Extraordinary."-USA Today

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