The Naive And Sentimental Lover (Coronet Books)
Chapter One Cassidy drove contentedly through the evening sunlight, his face as close to the windshield as the safety belt allowed, his foot alternating diffidently between accelerator and brake as he scanned the narrow lane for unseen hazards. Beside him on the passenger seat, carefully folded into a plastic envelope, lay an Ordnance Survey map of central Somerset. An oi...more
"First there's foreplay," said Helen, speaking as though she were ordering dinner, "then there's consumation, and finally there's afterglow."As far as Helen's concerned, then, afterglow is just an integral part of sex. But not everyone agrees. For example, Galen of Pergamum seems equally certain of his facts when he says:
Post coitum omnia animal triste est.I find the contrast rather striking. Is it the case that some people experience af...more
I found this book almost impenetrable. It veered around so much and was so apparently hallucinogenic it felt the way I imagine an acid trip would feel.
One of the main characters, Seamus, is one of the most unpleasantly manipulative characters you will eve...more
What a weird alternative career JLC might have had, if this book had been a bigger hit, which I assume it was not.
"…but facts about him, like facts about God, w...more
The Naive and Sentimental Lover is unique in le Carré's outpur. It is not a thriller, but a serious novel; its subject is an obsessive relationship. Aldo Cassidy is a self made man, a magnate in the pram accessory business. He goes to Somerset to view a country house he is thinking of purchasing, and there meets a couple, squatting. Aldo falls for them both; Shamus turns out to be a famous novelist, and Helen is extremely beautiful.
Some people thi...more
My interpretation of it is that Helen, Shamus and Aldo are the three Freudian parts of the human psyche. Shamus - wild, child like and pleasure focused - is the id. The calm, rational and balanced Helen would be the ego. And Aldo, who never takes any risks, loves his creature comforts and always minds his P's...more
Shamus is emerging as a successful novelist, while Helen's main attribute is her beauty. In a complete reversal of his usual obedience to th...more
I assumed this novel would be a mystery because that seems to be LeCarre's genre. Funny and insightful this turns out to be a mystery of another kind.
This is the only non 'tradecraft of espionage' novel that I've read by John LeCarre and I did not enjoy it at all. I'm very suprised, I've really loved his other novels but this one completely did not work for me. I found the writing style very disjoint and I excessively disliked every single character. Disliking a few is okay but I could not stand any of them. Apparently, Aldo Cassidy is going through a life crisis, aided and abetted by a once time famous...more
- isn't Shamus just a bit of a prick?
- Aldo and Helen? Really?
- Isn't Sandra actually a little hard done by?
Ultimately, it's just about 250 pages too long. A little self indulgent, really. Sorry John, I still love you though!
I do not particularly like romance books and LeCarré is an author that somehow doesn't match with me. Sending it out on a journey to find new readers is therfore the best I can do.