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The Night Manager

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  2,741 ratings  ·  126 reviews
In the shadowy recesses of Whitehall and Washington an unholy alliance operates between the intelligence community and the secret arms trade. Jonathan Pine is ready to stand up and be counted in the fight against this ultimate heart of darkness. His mission takes him from the cliffs of west Cornwall, via northern Quebec and the Caribbean, to the jungles of post-Noriega Pan ...more
Paperback, 597 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Sceptre (first published June 28th 1993)
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Jason It's being made into a TV series so hopefully that will bring it to the attention of the masses.
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick ForsythThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
Espionage
62nd out of 539 books — 605 voters
The Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Hunt for Red October by Tom ClancyThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Best Spy Novels
122nd out of 735 books — 1,067 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Warwick
A slinky international thriller about post-Cold War geopolitics, crammed full of damaged antiheroes, corrupt politicians, worn-out spies, megarich drug-runners and frustratingly vulnerable women. It opens in Zurich and rapidly expands to take in detailed sketches of Quebec, the Bahamas, Miami, the Netherlands, Central America and Cornwall – so that there is a kind of travelogue element to the action, not unlike the feeling in those early Bond movies where audiences partly just wanted to see some ...more
Gerald
I have read [Book:The Night Manager] several times and I can't help seeing Kevin Spacey in the role (even though he's not a Brit). I understood that the movie version was set some years ago--Sidney Pollack to direct and Robert Towne to do the script--then it fell through for those unspecified "creative differences." I don't know whether Kevin was being considered.

Then I heard Le Carre speak and someone asked him about the movie project. He said he was barred from discussing it because of his co
...more
Matthew
One of the more interesting aspects of Ian Fleming's James Bond series is the fact that, although Bond is ostensibly a spy, he really doesn't do very much spying: he doesn't invisibly infiltrate enemy lines, doesn't uncover valuable hidden information. Instead, it would be more accurate to describe him as a kind of tuxedoed one-man death squad, dispatched to periodically fuck up the life of some eccentric megalomaniac or super villain.

By comparison, the spooks in LeCarre's novels really spend t
...more
umberto
I think reading this novel by John le Carre is rewarding and entertaining for his fans familiar with his "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold," "The Looking Glass War," "Smiley's People," etc. since we can enjoy reading every episode with intense fear, horror, expectation, etc. and ponder if we were the hero, what would be the best solution or action taken.

I'm sorry I didn't scribble any note while reading this book, indeed, there's only one tick by such a seemingly quotable quote:

... He crushed
...more
Josie Brown
I consider myself a John le Carre aficionado, and this is, hands down, my favorite thus far.

We anticipate that his espionage and political threads are strong and tightly drawn. However, what is the true joy of this novel is the emotional depth of le Carre's hero, Jonathan. Driven by retribution and revenge, we get a man (as opposed to an automaton) with heart and soul as well as the obligatory skills of a spy.

In THE NIGHT MANAGER, le Carre's prose is poetry, as exemplified when Jonathan, caught
...more
Alison
Sep 03, 2011 Alison added it
I bought this at Charles de Gaulle airport to read on the way home. I can never resist a le Carre, no matter how much I have been disappointed by previous books. At first I thought this one was destined to fall in that category too—the language seemed so overwrought and the characters two-dimensional—but then about half way through it found its stride and after that I could barely put it down. Yay!
Nigel
I think this may be my favourite non-Karla le Carre novel, a post-Cold War spy thriller that darkly marks the transition from old-school espionage to more modern Pure Intelligence, recounting a desperate, but carefully and meticulously planned operation to bring down a wealthy British arms dealer by a small joint British/US agency known as Enforcement, while a larger, more powerful and shadowy set of players with tentacles in all levels of government and finance across the globe run their own, p ...more
John
Jun 01, 2014 John rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: a patient reader, not for the James Bonds out there.
Recommended to John by: The Honourable Schoolboy
Shelves: re-read, favorites
Another fine le Carre story. A winding story. Characters with depth. Visual details. LC always seems to have his finger on the pulse of international news, even now as it was twenty years ago.

Our hero is gently wooed into service, trained for technique, scenarios to develop deep cover, the set up, chumming with the villain, fem fatale, a proverbial storm on the high seas, a horse in green fields. Isn't it refreshing how Mr. le Carre refrains from using guns to the extent that film, television an
...more
Sundarraj Kaushik
The story of an ex-British army personnel who becomes a Night Manager in hotel. He is unable to hold back when he is passed some dark arms and drugs deals happening in Egypt involving a British citizen and local gangster by a lady who happens to be the current mistress of the local gangster. The leak is discovered to the lady and she is beaten up. She comes to him for solace which he provides. But she is murdered when it is discovered that she has leaked key information regarding the deals and w ...more
Amanda
I was so impressed by "The Spy Who Came in from The Cold" that I made the mistake of assuming anything Le Carre wrote would be just as awesome.

And what a mistake. This mid-90s effort reads mostly like something written to fulfill a production requirement, not the labor of love of exposing the Soviet-era espiocracy that "Spy" was.

Jonathan Pine, the protagonist, is a well-drawn, exciting, sympathetic character, but the journey le Carre takes him on as he goes deeply undercover in order to pin cr
...more
Jonathan
If this wasn't a John Le Carre but an unknown author, I'd be really pleasantly surprised. It's a good story, with characters that have their own stories and, well, character. When it's a Le Carre though, you end up comparing it to the smiley novels, and it's just nowhere near as good. The hero is too heroic, making him feel more one-dimensional than you'd hope. He kicks butt, knows something about everything, he can take a beating- okay, enough already.

The plot again was better than the usual r
...more
Bill
We are in a new arena of intrigue where the old rivalries of great nations have been supplanted by the ravages of individual greed. We are in a new world of espionage where the habits and rules forged by past generations of spies are put to more shocking use. We are inside the international cartel of illegal arms dealers and drug smugglers, now rising to unheard of power under the command of men whose ruthlessness is matched only by their limitless hunger for unlimited wealth. It is this world, ...more
Niama
THE NIGHT MANAGER is, hands down, the BEST spy novel I have ever read. If it has not or did not win a Pulitzer, Le Carre was robbed.

First of all, let me be clear: I _have_ read the best out there. I don't spend _all_ of my free time with the doings of espiocrats, as LeCarre dubs them, but I was willingly transfixed by all three tomes that make up THE BOURNE TRILOGY, and I do not have to close my eyes or be anywhere near THE BOURNE IDENTITY to viscerally remember, at the cellular level, the closi
...more
Steve
An outstanding effort by Le Carre. There are some who feel Le Carre lost something when the Berlin Wall came down. The Night Manager, written in 1993, pretty much explodes that. It stands with his best efforts. If I had a complaint, it's the bad guy in this, "Dickie Roper," labeled, repeatedly, "The Worst Man in the World." If so, he's kind of lame. He's a dealer of illegal drugs and guns, but the real villains here are dueling bureaucracies, and the human carnage they leave behind. Oh, Roper's ...more
Al
Seemingly mild-mannered Jonathan Pine, shaken by the tragic result of what he thought was a patriotic act on his part, goes undercover to help trap an international arms and drug dealer. Moral and practical problems aplenty result. Mr. le Carre does this kind of thing so much better than most of his competition that he's virtually in a league of his own. I find that his stories verge on being too murky to follow, but generally (and certainly in this case) he stops just short of opacity. He's wi ...more
Jan
Some people say that Le Carré's later novels are not as good as his earlier ones, but I disagree. He has been getting better all the time. It's just that they're no longer about the Cold War. The Night Manager surely is one of his best. It has the same style, intelligence of plot, suspense, great dialogue and interesting people as the earlier books, but also provides a fascinating look into the world of illegal arms trafficking. It continues the theme that was started at the end of The Secret Pi ...more
Ed
Feb 06, 2010 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spy story and Le Carre' fans
Another tour de force from one of the masters of the spy genre. Le Carre' manages to invest this novel with the smallest details yet keep the reader enthralled with the sweep of the over-all story.

In this case the British night manager of a Swiss hotel, Jonathan Pine, is recruited for an undercover mission against "the most evil man in the world", an arms dealer named Dickey Roper. Explaining his motivations would be a spoiler but suffice to say they consist of both patriotism and revenge.

Pine
...more
Mike Prentice
This is my first le Carré novel, and it does justice to his reputation. It's a smart, sophisticated thriller of the first order. le Carré is a master of ratcheting up tension, and one of the most thrilling, jaw-dropping scenes of the book is only a conversation loaded with implied threats and veiled confession.

The titular character is Jonathan Pine, a man who spies not so much because he wants to but because he is tormented with guilt. Because of a woman, he is obsessed with taking down "the wo
...more
Mike Roberts
My second le Carré, and I did not enjoy it nearly as much as The Spy Who Came In from the Cold . Sorry Dad!

Quasi-spoilers below.

To me this book dragged a lot. I understand (I think) why the author spread the book out as much as he did - the point was to show how much happened to get the main character to where he did towards the end of the book. But to me the constant detail and re-telling of the same characters' personalities just had me thinking 'get on with it!'. Further once the ending did
...more
David Graham
John Le Carre is one of the most accomplished thriller novelists of the last 30 years. His thrillers are quite different from a lot of the thrillers I enjoy, far more cerebral in what’s going on and with a great deal more angst at their centre. Obviously, he is most well-known for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy which was the basis for an excellent movie recently and a superb BBC series from the late-70’s. Along with Len Deighton, Le Carre is synonymous with the Cold War spy novel, brilliantly pain ...more
Steve
I just reread John Le Carre's The Night Manager and loved it all over again. Published in 1993, this engrossing political thriller arrived in a tightly compressed political moment. We had the end of Berlin Wall, the 1990 Gulf War, after Noriega in Panama (and more)--all three of which provide backdrop and context.

Le Carre's frustration with the venality of the British intelligence services and government, and their US "Cousins," emerges in full force in this book. Reading this novel at the time
...more
Alex
This post-Cold War Le Carré was a little slow to get started, but ended up being pretty well worth it. This is more "Perfect Spy" than "Tinker, Tailor," but that works too. Just don't expect there to be a big mystery to it — it is more a rumination on the substance and value of patriotism in the post-Cold War than it is a neat little thriller. The ending was somehow both satisfying and unsatisfying at the same time, an ambivalence I enjoyed. There are aspects of it which remind me of the A.Q. Kh ...more
John
Very good LeCarre -- not in the same class as the Smiley trilogy, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold , or A Perfect Spy, but very good nevertheless. Jonathan Pine is the night manager of a venerable and exclusive Swiss hotel; in a past position in Cairo, he was also a sometimes-source for British intelligence. Cairo led to tragedy, and when the billionaire at the center of that tragedy -- an arms dealer and "the worst man in the world" -- walks into his hotel in Switzerland, Pine allows himself t ...more
Michael
I bought this book years ago and for some reason never got around to reading it until now. The master, LeCarre' was at the top of his game in this spy story which once again finds a flawed amateur spy (a- la "Little Drummer Girl")finding divided loyalties between his bosses and the people he is spying upon. Johnathan is a former night manager at a posh Cairo hotel who crosses paths with a wealthy international arms dealer who has a role in the death of his lover. He finds himself recruited by a ...more
Ann
Speaking of le Carre, here's a book I read a long time ago. I have to admit I'm not a big fan of leCarre. I tried more than a few of his books and some I just couldn't get into even if they made great movies. This intrigue however, is very modern and easy to read. I've got it sorted out for a second reading.
Wayne
This book had many many parallels with 'the spy who came in from the cold' and 'The honourable Schoolboy' (The mission compromising love), 'The looking glass war' (The polishing of tradecraft and establishing cover, inernal wrangling within the agency), 'A perfect spy' (Dick Roper for Ricky Pymm?) it was almost as if le Carre had crossed beyond formulaic and was actually plagiarising himself.

In some way however, through the elegance of his writing, the reader is not left with this feeling until
...more
Samuel Johnson
FIVE STARS! I read THE NIGHT MANAGER when it was published, a lot of years ago! Enjoyed it very, very much. I always thought it would make an intriguing film. This book introduced me to the idea that the weapons dealers of the world are the worst evildoers of them all! I'd like to read it again.
Gonçalo Almeida
Dificílimo de ler... e a tradução era uma porcaria. A ideia que este livro dá é que o escritor não sabia (ainda, claro) enquadrar o leitor no tempo e no espaço da história. Muito complicado de ler
Maureen
Jul 30, 2008 Maureen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: espionage, novel
This book may be a departure from familiar Cold War themes, but the subject at hand, arms dealing, packs as much of a punch as earlier LeCarre stories. The night manager in a hotel in Cairo becomes involved with the mistress of an arms dealer when he allows her to use the hotel's xerox machine to make copies of sensitive documents. The woman ends up in dire straits, and the night manager vows to take down "the most evil man in the world." From Cairo to the Caribbean, the scenery is lavish, and o ...more
Michael Guidera
Le Carre managed to hold my attention for most of the book. The revenge motive didnt seem to fit the main character whose composition required a fair bit of disbelief suspension.
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John le Carré, the pseudonym of David John Moore Cornwell (born 19 October 1931 in Poole, Dorset, England), is an English author of espionage novels. Le Carré has resided in St Buryan, Cornwall, Great Britain, for more than forty years where he owns a mile of cliff close to Land's End.
More about John le Carré...
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy The Spy Who Came In from the Cold Smiley's People The Russia House The Constant Gardener

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