Monday, August 3, 2009

John le Carre

I've just started John le Carre's latest novel, A Most Wanted Man, and sixty pages in, they old boy has got me. I've always loved le Carre's novels, as much for the bleakness of their atmosphere as for their enviable plotting. If you bother to look, you'll surely find copious comparisons in the media between his writing style (and, I suppose, subject matter) and that of Graham Greene, yet Greene is generally quite highly lauded in literary circles whereas Mr. le Carre tends to be gently tucked aside and more or less dismissed as a serious writer. Well, I'm sure his books sell well and I doubt that he requires validation from the critics, but I do think he tends to be unfairly treated in reviews. At his best, I think he is as good as it gets, a sharp stylist adept at dealing with difficult subject matter. And I'd take The Spy Who Came In From The Cold over most of the Pop-Idol, hip-as-Miles style outings offered up by today's so-called literati.
Next up for me, two imminent releases: 'Noah's Compass' by Anne Tyler and 'Inherent Vice' by Thomas Pynchon. Tyler will, I'm sure, be solid and beautifully dependable (one of my favourite ever writers). With Pynchon, well, fingers-crossed for another V...

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