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Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carre

Our Kind of Traitor

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Maxim Jakubowski's view...

A naive British academic encounters a Russian oligarch in the Caribbean and the spider's web of global espionage unwinds in waves around them. The ambiguities of the secret world brought up to date. Le Carre at his best.

If you like John Le Carre try Charles Cumming
Maxim Jakubowski recommends: The Trinity Six by Charles Cumming

Author shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2011.

The Lovereading view...

This is Le Carre at his spellbinding best. His characters are so richly sketched and brilliantly imagined and there is no one to beat him for the quality of his dialogue which just slips off the tongue and into one’s subconscious but in such a way that it will never be forgotten. Le Carre has proven here that he’s not just the King of the Cold War but also of the modern, murky and sometimes rather nasty world in which we now live.

If you like John le Carre you might also like to read books by Charles Cumming, Daniel Silva and Frederick Forsyth.

Who is Maxim Jakubowski

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Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carre

Britain is in the depths of recession. A left-leaning young Oxford academic and his barrister girlfriend take an off-peak holiday on the Caribbean island of Antigua. By seeming chance they bump into a Russian millionaire called Dima who owns a peninsula and a diamond-encrusted gold watch. He also has a tattoo on his right thumb, and wants a game of tennis. What else he wants propels the young lovers on a tortuous journey through Paris to a safe house in the Swiss Alps, to the murkiest cloisters of the City of London and its unholy alliance with Britain's Intelligence Establishment.


'If you want to know about the state of Britain today, forget the Booker shortlist. Just read John le Carre's latest thriller' Evening Standard

'Return of the master ... Having plumbed the devious depths of the Cold War, le Carre has done it again for our nasty new age' The Times

'Few recent plays have had dialogue as good, and few recent literary novels can boast a set of characters so vividly imagined. Our Kind of Traitor is a teasing, beguiling, masterly performance' Sunday Times

'A compelling tale of deceit, dialogue and the author's own despair John le Carre's greatest gift may be his ear, which allows him to pick up a tremor of fear in the softest voice or a false note in any exchange of words and play with them to his heart's content. He can therefore create, in dialogue, a trembling soundscape that has a pitch-perfect quality' -- James Naughtie Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

John le Carre

John le Carré 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. His works include The Spy Who Came in from the Cold; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Smiley's People; The Little Drummer Girl; A Perfect Spy; The Russia House; and Absolute Friends.

Author photo © White Hare Ltd

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Book Info

Publication date

26th May 2011


John le Carre

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Penguin Books Ltd


400 pages


Action Adventure / Spy
Thriller / Suspense
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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