Tag Archives: le carre

John le Carré falls flat?

Three weeks ago I wrote (here) that I was reading ‘Our Kind of Traitor’. I have just managed to finish it (it was very put-downable and I found plenty of other things to do). For me it was a huge disappointment. I found the ending VERY predictable and completely lacking in originality. The whole book seems to have an air of so-whatness about it; there was the occasional flash of the old le Carré brilliance, but only for several pages in the last quarter of the book). Sad, but I won’t be buying any more. As I said in my B&Q rant, it’s my money. As in the case of B&Q’s poor service, I do not intend to subsidise writers that are past their best. Cruel? I don’t think so. Remember that expression, ‘quit while you are ahead’? It applies to everyone.

BUT… I won’t be going back to the Beano because there must be some good books out there. How many do I have to buy before I get one that I really can’t put down? Am I really that fussy? Hope not.

I may even have to buy some of the books recommended by Scott Pack (see blogroll links to the right>>>).

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Reading Matters

I have finished reading The Dying Light and started another book. This one isn’t a novel. There was a time when I read almost nothing but technical stuff, mainly geology books and professional papers so I could keep up to date with the science. This book, Death of an Ocean, I am reading for pure pleasure. I was hooked on it as soon as I opened it. The authors have managed to produce a book that is both educational and interesting – no mean feat for a book that deals with the evolution and development of the geology of a large chunk of Britain. I’m almost embarassed to admit that the geology of the Scottish Borders is something I knew very little about. I’m sure that is about to change.

I am also starting John le Carré’s ‘Our Kind of Traitor’. The book has been given mixed reviews but one thing is certain, I am sure to encounter a few words I’ve never come across before.

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Reading allowed

I managed to read three books in thirty minutes: Shark in the Dark; The Night Pirates; and Mog, the Forgetful Cat. I read them aloud, something I don’t often do in a bookshop (or haven’t done since I was about five – the TYO gets them from the shelves and I have to read them to him. The bookshop people don’t seem to mind, especially as I often buy a couple of books). I wasn’t brought up with ‘Mog’ books, but I’m guessing a lot of people were because the first one was published in 1970. It would be interesting to know how the total income from these over the last forty years compares with flash-in-the-pan ‘bestsellers’. I don’t suppose that kind of statistic is of particular interest. I’m guessing that knowing how much you are going to make on a book over the next forty years isn’t part of the equation when deciding on which books to publish.

For myself I’m reading The Dying Light by author Henry Porter (NOT Harry Potter). I am halfway through it, and it seems to have something of Le Carré about it. Oh… one of the books I bought after I had read Mog, etc., is Le Carré’s latest, ‘Our Kind of Traitor.’ That’s next in my reading quietly to myself queue.

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