John le Carré

Starting on this particular exercise there were gaps at the beginning of the le Carré section of Hughesy's bookshelves, a situation that was quickly resolved with copies of the missing titles bought through the Kindle store after the titles were shuffled into chronological order on the physical shelves.

Some of the older titles, having been read and re-read are decidedly on the tatty side, so there’s every chance The Looking Glass War and A Small Town in Germany won’t be the only titles sitting in the Kindle app on the iPad and the iMac when the time comes for further re-reading.

And re-reading is a definite agenda item when it comes to quality fiction of the kind le Carré has been producing since the early sixties. With twenty-two titles in a little over fifty years he’s not the most prolific author going around, but it’s a fairly substantial body of work that emphasises quality and attention to detail over quantity and turnover at the point of sale.

As far as the stories go, le Carré’s not the guy you go to if you’re looking for action and excitement, but he does a fine line in delivering characters who are reacting to the circumstances around them in ways that are believable once the reader has accepted the basic situation (which may, on occasion, seem a little far fetched, particularly in his later work). You don’t expect English academics to run across Russian money-launderers every day of the week, but when they do, the reaction the reader finds in Our Kind of Traitor is, from where I’m sitting, totally believable.


© Ian Hughes 2012