Our kind of Traitor by John Le Carre

Rating - Read if you have the time (and get John Le Carre)

I don’t get John Le Carre. I have really really wanted to. I have tried The Tailor of Panama and discarded it. I began Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and discarded that as well. Both over a span of 8 – 9 years. Friends, whose tastes I respect, tell me Le Carre is the cat’s whiskers when it comes to spy thrillers.

So I had another book due to be read now (I am, if not anything, optimistic that a good author will usually capture me at some point. I just need to keep dipping into a book every once in a while to see if I feel differently. See my last post on Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth)

Our kind of Traitor was yet another attempt to read Le Carre. It went off well in the sense that I finished the book. But I groaned my way through it, steadfastly reading even if it took me 2 – 3 weeks, with other books thrown in between.

The story is simple. A young and pretty English couple comes across a Russian family when they are holidaying. Before they know it, they have been pulled into a potential defection and a spy network. They have to decide if and how they will cooperate with the British authorities and help the Russians.

Le Carre is a famous name in the world of spy thrillers and if you are a Le Carre fan, then this book would possibly appeal to you. I found the story stretching on just a bit too much and incidents taking way too long to hold my interest. What I did enjoy was the long and loving description of watching a tennis match at Roland Garros, with Roger Federer playing. The author is clearly in love with Federer and anyone who has seen Federer in action will wholeheartedly agree with the descriptions.

Maybe I need to check out Le Carre again in 4 – 5 years.


Priyanthi said...

Did you know that Colin Firth is acting in the film adaption of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy? Not as George Smiley though. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out..... yes, am a Le Carre fan.

Anita said...

Oh yes. I read about it a couple of hours after I posted this and was stunned by the coincidence. Will watch the movie though. Should be interesting.

byker7 said...

There's a brilliant earlier film adaptation - a made for TV mini-series starring Alec Guinness as Smiley, and a very young Patrick Stewart as Karla.

Really, rally worth watching. Goes from Tinker all the way to the end of Smiley's people, but due to budget constraints, skips over much of Honourable Schoolboy.