Our Kind of Traitor

Our Kind of Traitor

3.39 (8,168 ratings by Goodreads)
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Night Manager, now a television series starring Tom Hiddleston. John le Carre's latest novel, A Legacy of Spies, is now available. In this exquisitely told novel, John le Carre shows us once again his acute understanding of the world we live in and where power really lies. In the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and with Britain on the brink of economic ruin, a young English couple takes a vacation in Antigua. There they meet Dima, a Russian who styles himself the world's Number One money-launderer and who wants, among other things, a game of tennis. Back in London, the couple is subjected to an interrogation by the British Secret service who also need their help. Their acquiescence will lead them on a precarious journey through Paris to a safe house in Switzerland, helpless pawns in a game of nations that reveals the unholy alliances between the Russian mafia, the City of London, the government and the competing factions of the British Secret Service.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 305 pages
  • 137.16 x 205.74 x 25.4mm | 294.83g
  • Penguin Books
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0143119729
  • 9780143119722
  • 183,169

Review quote

"One of our great writers of moral ambiguity, a tireless explorer of that darkly contradictory no-man's land...Our Kind of Traitor brims with deftly drawn characters navigating a treacherously uncertain landscape that seems ripped from yesterday's papers and re-created with an absolutely certain hand."--Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times "Part vintage John le Carre and part Alfred Hitchcock...the suspense in Our Kind of Traitor is genuine and nerve-racking."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "I would suggest immortality for John le Carre, who I believe one of the most intelligent and entertaining writers working today."--The Chicago Tribune.
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About John Le Carré

New York Times bestselling author John le Carre (A Delicate Truth and Spy Who Came in from the Cold) was born in 1931 and attended the universities of Bern and Oxford. He taught at Eton and served briefly in British Intelligence during the Cold War. For the last fifty years he has lived by his pen. He divides his time between London and Cornwall.
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Rating details

8,168 ratings
3.39 out of 5 stars
5 12% (1,019)
4 35% (2,831)
3 36% (2,950)
2 13% (1,058)
1 4% (310)

Our customer reviews

It's been a while since I've read a le Carre' novel, and in reading this new novel, I felt transported back to the time of the Cold War. Perry (Peregrine) Makepiece, a man who has recently decided to leave academia at the age of 30 rather than accepting a full fellowship at Oxford, is on a vacation with his girlfriend Gail, a lawyer, in Antigua. Mark, the local tennis pro, insists over Perry's objections that he play a tennis game with a man named Dima, a brash Russian with a rather large entourage including his overly pious wife, a teenaged daughter name Natasha from a previous relationship, two teen twin boys, and two "nieces" whose parents died a week ago in a "car accident". When Dima invites Perry and Gail to his temporary home for a birthday party for the twins, Perry finds himself cast as an accidental spy. In this tale of money laundering and financial manipulation within the highest levels of society and politics, Perry and Gail flounder a bit, not having "spy experience" and with Perry not really wanting to bound in with both feet. The couple's feelings of responsibility for the children, however, keeps them active and involved throughout. Dima is part of a larger crime syndicate, and his worry that he will be the next to have an "accident" prompt him to recruit Perry as his "ambassador" to Great Britain. He has secrets he's willing to share in exchange for safe passage for him and his family. I love le Carre's prose. It's highly stylized and descriptive, but not flowery. In spite of myself, at times I was almost holding my breath, especially nearer the end of the novel, when I was filled with trepidation and worry about the family, with almost a sense of foreboding at what was to come. This is a good old-fashioned espionage thriller, with a great deal of bite and, unusual for a thriller, very good character sketches. I definitely recommend this one as a must-read for thriller fans. Another thing: I know that Perry and Gail are ostensibly the main characters, but Dima! Here's this larger-than-life, loud, rather arrogant criminal-type, and out of all of the characters, HE'S the one I was crossing my fingers and rooting for the hardest. I really ended up liking him and hoping things would work out for both him and his family. QUOTES Would Orwell ahve believed it possible that the same overfed voices which had haunted him in the 1930s, the same crippling incompetence, addiction to foreign wars and assumptions of entitlement, were happily in place in 2009? Receiving no response from the blank student faces staring up at him, he had supplied it for himself: no, Orwell would emphatically not have believed it. or if he had, he would have taken to the streets. He would have smashed some serious glass. Could it perhaps be the tricky question of spy's etiquette that was bothering him? What do you do if you see a chap's gun sticking out of his waistcoat and you don't know him very well? Tell him it's showing, or just ignore it? Like when someone you don't know very well hasn't done their zip up. You have two small Russian girls and two adolescent Russian boys and one mentally unstable Russian woman in your charge and your task is to get them to the top of the mountain without anyone noticing. What do you do? Answer: you get on with it. Writing: 4.5 out of 5 stars Plot: 4 out of 5 stars Characters: 4 out of 5 stars Reading Immersion: 3.5 out 5 stars BOOK RATING: 4 out of 5 stars Sensitive reader: Some profanity and gritty language.show more
by Julie Smith
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