I’m continuing my journey theough Le Carré, and I thought I’d give his last, posthumous book a listen while waiting for my hold on Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy to cone through. It’s so interesting to compare this last book of his to his earlier works: There are more women (though I still don’t think it passes the Bechdel Test), more cell phones, and more swears than his early stuff, but the sense of inevitable plodding toward a disappointing end (for the protagonists at least) is just as strong as ever.
The movie adaptation of this book is what really got me into Le Carré. It’s twisty and cynical and compelling—just a great book. Not perfect, of course: Its age shows uncomfortably in some places, including the way it entirely fails the Bechdel Test. I can’t help but give it a full rating, though.
What a wild listen! I started this right after finishing Doctorow’s Little Brother because it’s recommended in the supplementary materials. It’s a bit odd to read in 2023: The idea of cryptocurrency has been tainted with recent news, it spectacularly fails the Bechdel test, and it seems to me to use more casual racial slurs than the chapters in the Pacific Theater might allow for in the name of realism. Yet, it’s intricately plotted, well written, just absurd enough to make it better, and technical without being overwhelming.