Peggy J, August 12, 2009 (view all comments by Peggy J)
I listened to this on CD and couldn't turn it off. It is a compelling post-9/11 tale of the way in which money, terrorism, and immigration all come together and the public just isn't aware! Cautionary tale to say the least.
Denise Morland, December 14, 2008 (view all comments by Denise Morland)
A Most Wanted Man is a spy novel extraordaire with themes more relevant to today's issues then most other thrillers I've read. Highlighting the war on terror and they way it has altered rationality, this is a book that should hit close to home for anyone. Issa, a young Russian with horrific scars, comes mysteriously to be in Hamberg. A devout Muslim, he is quickly under suspcion from all sides. Annabel, a young German lawyer is determind to prevent the government from deporting him and she drags a wealthy British banker into her cause. It's a game of cat and mouse as the rival spies try to find proof of Issa's terrorist connections.
I listened to this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. John le Carre reads the book himself, and he does a good job of it. I found the plot to be frighteningly plausible. I liked the main characters and especially enjoyed the relationships between Issa, Annabelle, and Tommy Brue. This is a book peopled with realistic people caught in unimaginably terrifying circumstances!
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carusod22, December 3, 2008 (view all comments by carusod22)
Most Wanted Man is scary as hell. i know it’s just fiction, but i always read Le Carre’s novels as journalistic reportages. In this case, the troubles stay in our home, right in Europe, where different intelligence services pull togheter to stop potential islamic-terroristic activities in the name of global security. It doesn’t matter if the suspects are innocent. Secret intelligence is depicted as a dangerous role-play led by the americans. True or not, the novel is masterly written and the rithm never bore you. Hoping for a wide-screen version, I suggest this book to everyone.
Daniele Caruso, Firenze, 2008
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OneMansView, October 29, 2008 (view all comments by OneMansView)
While plot is not irrelevant in Le Carre's novels, one reads them for the look and feel of the clandestine world: operatives, agencies, and techniques, as well as the psychology and philosophy of it all. Set in Hamburg, Germany, in a post-9/11 atmosphere, this book looks at the near obsession of competing agencies to find and thwart terrorists, where insubstantial evidence is hardly seen as an obstacle to action.
There are essentially four main characters: Issa, a traumatized Islamic Chechen who suddenly appears in Hamburg; Annabel, his idealistic German lawyer; Tommy Brue, a remorseful banker; and Gunther Bachmann, a cautionary veteran of the spy wars, but now in a battle with those in a simplistic rush to judgment. Through lengthy dialogs and their musings, these characters and their dilemmas come to life.
However, in many ways, the characters seem to be in an inexorable drama in which they are helpless to moderate the mandate of national intelligence agencies to seek and destroy terrorists. Also, the author lets the attractions of Issa and Tommy to Annabel simply fizzle out.
While the author is obviously a supreme craftsman in this genre, the book is not entirely satisfying. The vagueness of Issa's background (is he a terrorist or victim) and his claims to a fortune with Brue's bank hangs over the book. Perhaps it is realistic, but the helplessness of those trying to operate in a reasoned, practical manner is not appealing. The lengthy meetings and the various machinations of the agencies do become a bit tedious and even a little confusing. Le Carre fans will undoubtedly be happy to have another offering regardless of where it stands among all of his work.
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Scribner Book Company -
by Chris Bolton,
With A Most Wanted Man, legendary spymaster John le Carré tackles the "War on Terror" with this incisive critique that doubles as a stunning thriller. Espionage fans — and people who question the stories we're fed on front pages — will be riveted.
by Chris Bolton
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"When boxer Melik Oktay and his mother, both Turkish Muslims living in Hamburg, take in a street person calling himself Issa at the start of this morally complex thriller from le Carr (The Mission Song), they set off a chain of events implicating intelligence agencies from three countries. Issa, who claims to be a Muslim medical student, is, in fact, a wanted terrorist and the son of Grigori Karpov, a Red Army colonel whose considerable assets are concealed in a mysterious portfolio at a Hamburg bank. Tommy Brue, a stereotypical flawed everyman caught up in the machinations of spies and counterspies, enters the plot when Issa's attorney seeks to claim these assets. The book works best in its depiction of the rivalries besetting even post-9/11 intelligence agencies that should be allies, but none of the characters is as memorable as George Smiley or Magnus Pym. Still, even a lesser le Carr effort is far above the common run of thrillers." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Library Journal,
"The old spy master hasn't lost his touch....Highly recommended."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"[L]e Carré, without lecturing, deftly puts human faces and human costs on the paranoid response to the threat of terrorism."
"There is very little conventional action in this novel, but the tension builds anyway, as we watch the slow, inexorable, almost boring way that institutional will grinds down individual lives."
Hailed as "the literary master for a generation" (The London Observer), New York Times-bestselling author le Carre returns with a stunning, compelling work set in Hamburg — a work of deep humanity and uncommon relevance to our times.
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