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The Mission Song

by

The Mission Song Cover

 

Staff Pick

The Mission Song contains all the complexity and conspiracy of a great John le Carré novel, this time with an unusually young and witty narrator, interpreter Bruno Salvo; half-Congolese and well and truly in over his head. Le Carré's take on the blighted and abused African nation of Congo displays compassion as well as despair while his narrative is utterly compelling. A sparkling and intelligent novel from the inimitable (though many try) le Carré.
Recommended by Georgie, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"Even in his mid-seventies, Le Carré is still a master of cloak and dagger....And he is deeply attuned to the billions of ways in which Africa is well and truly fucked. What he lacks in The Mission Song, however, is a narrator who can tell his story with the gravitas it deserves. For a novel with so much to say — including some trenchant things about the West's cynical manipulation of Africa — it's a shame that much of it gets lost in translation." Ben Hughes, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Abandoned by both his Irish father and Congolese mother, Bruno Salvador has long looked for someone to guide his life. He has found it in Mr. Anderson of British Intelligence.

Bruno's African upbringing, and fluency in numerous African languages, has made him a top interpreter in London, useful to businesses, hospitals, diplomats — and spies. Working for Anderson in a clandestine facility known as the "Chat Room," Salvo (as he's known) translates intercepted phone calls, bugged recordings, snatched voice mail messages. When Anderson sends him to a mysterious island to interpret during a secret conference between Central African warlords, Bruno thinks he is helping Britain bring peace to a bloody corner of the world. But then he hears something he should not have...

Building upon the box office success of le Carré's The Constant Gardener (like The Mission Song, built around turmoil and conspiracy in Africa) and le Carré's laser eye for the complexity of the modern world (seen in Absolute Friends' prediction that the Iraq war would be based on phony and manipulated intelligence), this new novel is a crowning achievement, full of politics, heart, and the sort of suspense that nobody in the world does better.

Review:

"Bestseller le Carré (The Constant Gardener) brings a light touch to his 20th novel, the engrossing tale of an idealistic and nave British interpreter, Bruno 'Salvo' Salvador. The 29-year-old Congo native's mixed parentage puts him in a tentative position in society, despite his being married to an attractive upper-class white Englishwoman, who's a celebrity journalist. Salvo's genius with languages has led to steady work from a variety of employers, including covert assignments from shadowy government entities. One such job enmeshes the interpreter in an ambitious scheme to finally bring stability to the much victimized Congo, and Salvo's personal stake in the outcome tests his professionalism and ethics. Amid the bursts of humor, le Carré convincingly conveys his empathy for the African nation and his cynicism at its would-be saviors, both home-grown patriots and global powers seeking to impose democracy on a failed state. Especially impressive is the character of Salvo, who's a far cry from the author's typical protagonist but is just as plausible. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"I don't know what accounts for the longevity of so many contemporary American and European writers, in terms of both lifespans and productivity. Not too long ago, short lives were common in the literary world. Today, the likes of Saul Bellow, pounding the keys almost to the moment of his death at 89, or Philip Roth, who arguably has done his best work after becoming eligible for Medicare, or Gunter... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Metaphors abound, both in deeds and words, and le Carré maintains a tight, three-act plot....Another fine work of intrigue from a skilled interpreter of all things topical." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The start is slow and the middle mind-boggling, but pay attention and you'll pick up le Carré's ingenious tune. (Grade: B+)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"The opening half of this novel is a bit static — the dynamics of multilingual interpretation are difficult to convey in print — but the power of the human drama takes hold toward the end." Booklist

Review:

"[A] marvelous return to the John le Carré of old, with all the captivating characters, finely rendered landscapes and messy complexities that have always powered his best work." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"[I]t is good to see le Carré, at 74, moving briskly again, trying on irony for size and permitting the pain his hero and heroine suffer to be lightly measured instead of heavily tragic." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"The Mission Song is the riveting work of a master." Denver Post

Review:

"At 74, le Carré is as astute as ever. This is his 20th novel, and his understanding of how the world ticks is, as always, machete sharp. It's all part of his brilliance as a writer and a thinker." USA Today

Review:

"As if to defy his critics, le Carré's latest novel...engages the complexity of contemporary international relations by focusing on the language that expresses it — the language of diplomatic obfuscation and corporate newspeak." New York Times

Review:

"[S]lightly sub-par le Carre still beats 95 percent of everything else in the field." Baltimore Sun

Review:

"It turns out that truth is better than fiction, but, when it comes to le Carré, fiction is always better written." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Synopsis:

A naive young interpreter stumbles into the heart of an outrageous British plot in the astonishing new novel by the master of the literary thriller.

Synopsis:

"Think of David Oyelowo as a single musician playing all the instruments in a symphony. That is essentially what he manages in this inspired performance of John le Carré's suspense novel about a planned coup in the Congo and the interpreter of mixed parentage who wrestles with his conscience and his past to determine what he is to do about it. The cast of characters is wide and exotic, and Oyelowo's capacity to invest them not only with sumptuous accents but also distinctive, often biting personality is matchless. Can it really have been only one man in the narrator's recording booth? This virtuoso performance makes that seem impossible." --AudioFile Magazine


WINNER OF AUDIOFILE EARPHONES

Synopsis:

Hailed everywhere as a masterpiece of suspense, John le Carré's return to Africa is the story of Bruno Salvador (aka Salvo), the 25-year-old orphaned love child of an Irish missionary and a Congolese woman. Quickly rising to the top of his profession as an interpreter, Salvo is dispatched by British Intelligence to a top-secret meeting between Western financiers and East Congolese warlords, where he hears things not meant for his ears - and is forced to interpret matters never intended for his reawoken African conscience. By turns thriller, love story, and comic allegory of our times, THE MISSION SONG

About the Author

John le Carré is the author of numerous classic, bestselling novels, including The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The Little Drummer Girl, and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Several of his novels have been made into major motion pictures, including The Constant Gardener, The Tailor of Panama, and The Russia House. In the 1950s he worked for British Intelligence. He lives in Cornwall, England.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780316016742
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
le Carre, John
Author:
Le Carre, John
Author:
John le Carre
Author:
Oyelowo, David
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Subject:
Espionage/Intrigue
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
World politics
Subject:
Intelligence officers
Subject:
Espionage
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Publication Date:
September 19, 2006
Binding:
CD-audio
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
9.50x6.33x1.22 in. 1.25 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Technothrillers

The Mission Song Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316016742 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

The Mission Song contains all the complexity and conspiracy of a great John le Carré novel, this time with an unusually young and witty narrator, interpreter Bruno Salvo; half-Congolese and well and truly in over his head. Le Carré's take on the blighted and abused African nation of Congo displays compassion as well as despair while his narrative is utterly compelling. A sparkling and intelligent novel from the inimitable (though many try) le Carré.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Bestseller le Carré (The Constant Gardener) brings a light touch to his 20th novel, the engrossing tale of an idealistic and nave British interpreter, Bruno 'Salvo' Salvador. The 29-year-old Congo native's mixed parentage puts him in a tentative position in society, despite his being married to an attractive upper-class white Englishwoman, who's a celebrity journalist. Salvo's genius with languages has led to steady work from a variety of employers, including covert assignments from shadowy government entities. One such job enmeshes the interpreter in an ambitious scheme to finally bring stability to the much victimized Congo, and Salvo's personal stake in the outcome tests his professionalism and ethics. Amid the bursts of humor, le Carré convincingly conveys his empathy for the African nation and his cynicism at its would-be saviors, both home-grown patriots and global powers seeking to impose democracy on a failed state. Especially impressive is the character of Salvo, who's a far cry from the author's typical protagonist but is just as plausible. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Even in his mid-seventies, Le Carré is still a master of cloak and dagger....And he is deeply attuned to the billions of ways in which Africa is well and truly fucked. What he lacks in The Mission Song, however, is a narrator who can tell his story with the gravitas it deserves. For a novel with so much to say — including some trenchant things about the West's cynical manipulation of Africa — it's a shame that much of it gets lost in translation." (read the entire Esquire review)
"Review" by , "Metaphors abound, both in deeds and words, and le Carré maintains a tight, three-act plot....Another fine work of intrigue from a skilled interpreter of all things topical."
"Review" by , "The start is slow and the middle mind-boggling, but pay attention and you'll pick up le Carré's ingenious tune. (Grade: B+)"
"Review" by , "The opening half of this novel is a bit static — the dynamics of multilingual interpretation are difficult to convey in print — but the power of the human drama takes hold toward the end."
"Review" by , "[A] marvelous return to the John le Carré of old, with all the captivating characters, finely rendered landscapes and messy complexities that have always powered his best work."
"Review" by , "[I]t is good to see le Carré, at 74, moving briskly again, trying on irony for size and permitting the pain his hero and heroine suffer to be lightly measured instead of heavily tragic."
"Review" by , "The Mission Song is the riveting work of a master."
"Review" by , "At 74, le Carré is as astute as ever. This is his 20th novel, and his understanding of how the world ticks is, as always, machete sharp. It's all part of his brilliance as a writer and a thinker."
"Review" by , "As if to defy his critics, le Carré's latest novel...engages the complexity of contemporary international relations by focusing on the language that expresses it — the language of diplomatic obfuscation and corporate newspeak."
"Review" by , "[S]lightly sub-par le Carre still beats 95 percent of everything else in the field."
"Review" by , "It turns out that truth is better than fiction, but, when it comes to le Carré, fiction is always better written."
"Synopsis" by , A naive young interpreter stumbles into the heart of an outrageous British plot in the astonishing new novel by the master of the literary thriller.
"Synopsis" by , "Think of David Oyelowo as a single musician playing all the instruments in a symphony. That is essentially what he manages in this inspired performance of John le Carré's suspense novel about a planned coup in the Congo and the interpreter of mixed parentage who wrestles with his conscience and his past to determine what he is to do about it. The cast of characters is wide and exotic, and Oyelowo's capacity to invest them not only with sumptuous accents but also distinctive, often biting personality is matchless. Can it really have been only one man in the narrator's recording booth? This virtuoso performance makes that seem impossible." --AudioFile Magazine


WINNER OF AUDIOFILE EARPHONES
"Synopsis" by , Hailed everywhere as a masterpiece of suspense, John le Carré's return to Africa is the story of Bruno Salvador (aka Salvo), the 25-year-old orphaned love child of an Irish missionary and a Congolese woman. Quickly rising to the top of his profession as an interpreter, Salvo is dispatched by British Intelligence to a top-secret meeting between Western financiers and East Congolese warlords, where he hears things not meant for his ears - and is forced to interpret matters never intended for his reawoken African conscience. By turns thriller, love story, and comic allegory of our times, THE MISSION SONG
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