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Our Kind of Traitor

3.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,377 Ratings  ·  899 Reviews
Chosen as a Best Book of the Year by the TheWashington Post, Publishers Weekly,andKirkus Reviews

In this exquisitely told novel, John le Carré shows us once again his acute understanding of the world we live in and where power really lies.

In the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and with Britain on the brink of economic ruin, a young English couple takes a vacation
Paperback, 306 pages
Published 2010 by Penguin
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Richard Jurevics I think the corrupt politicians, their lawyers and the rich criminals they were dealing with had a lot more to gain from stopping Dima reaching a UK…moreI think the corrupt politicians, their lawyers and the rich criminals they were dealing with had a lot more to gain from stopping Dima reaching a UK safe house. And I'm not sure Dima's family's are any safer with Dima out the way. Dima said he made copies of the incriminating information he had about his money laundering activities. His wife and children might not be as powerful as witnesses as Dima would be himself, but they could still testify to the fact that Dima rubbed shoulders with both high profile British guests and russian criminals. I don't think Dima would consider his family safe just because he was dead. Espescially while they are still hiding in a rented Swiss guesthouse. I think the aforementioned corrupt politicians, lawyers and criminals most likely had the plane sabotaged. I can't help wondering how though. It sounds like the plane crashed within eyesight of the airport and with no explosion. The two pilots and the plane would have been checked out by Hector and it sounded like Luke and Dima were the only other people on board. Ah well, an ending of a book that leaves you thinking about what exactly happened and what will likely happen next isn't necessarily a bad thing. I wonder if there is scope for a sequel...(less)
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May 25, 2016 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
“It struck him as a bit unfair that, at the age of eight, he should have manifested the same sense of solitude that haunted him at forty-three.”
― John le Carré, Our Kind of Traitor


Maybe 3.5 stars. I liked it more than I was prepared to. Reminded me in a lot of ways of Single & Single. It was a tight morality tale in a world lacking morality. Like most of le Carré's post-Soviet/post-Cold War spy novels the real play here is not East v West, THAT is just a side show, the real conflict is ALL
Aug 27, 2010 Lobstergirl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ivan Lendl
Perry and Gail, a 20-something professional couple, are vacationing in Antigua when they are forcefully befriended by a money-laundering Russian mobster, Dima, and his extended entourage. Dima wants asylum in Britain for himself and his family in exchange for evidence incriminating his co-conspirators in European high society and the British parliament. Perry and Gail take their story to the British Secret Service, who improbably put them to work getting the issue resolved.

The problem with the n
Mar 13, 2011 SlowRain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel marks a return of sorts for le Carré. Firstly, it's a return to the topic of Russia, something that has been absent from the last few books he has written. It's also a return to his highly-stylized narrative, his great dialog, and decent characterization, all of which were absent from his previous novel, "A Most Wanted Man". However, what remains is still what I call an 'activist novel', which is pretty much what le Carré's last five novels have all been about. But this time it has be ...more
Jul 24, 2011 F.R. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well this doesn’t just seem to be ‘The Worst Novel Le Carré Has Ever Written’, it actually jumps up and down and demands the title.

It’s odd that an author who has spent half a century writing suspenseful and intelligent thrillers, should now produce one so lacking in suspense or interest. Certainly it seems unusual that when the author returns to what once was his pet subject – machinations concerning Russia – he should create a work so lacking in insight or depth. But more than that, it’s baffl
The latest novel by John le Carre is getting positive reviews all over the place with sentiments exclaiming that the old le Carre is back and that he has dropped the preaching tone of his last few efforts. Personally, I like it when he preaches to us about the ills of our modern world.

In Our Kind of Traitor, I felt the master of spy literature was holding back just a tad and I purely hated the way this novel ended. I just felt lost through much of the story, but that could be because I do not u
Feb 12, 2013 Grace rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books-read
If it were possible I would have given this book 1/2 a star. It was that bad.

Like everyone else on here I have my favourite authors who I know that once I open their books, I will be entertained from start to finish. I do however try to broaden my horizons and try books by authors that maybe I've previously shied away from. I did this with both Andy McNab and Chris Ryan and have been plesantly surprised and still continue to read books by these authors.

Unfortunately this book had absolutely noth
Jan 04, 2012 Ian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy
I usually enjoy about 2 out of 3 of Le Carre's novels. I loved the Constant Gardener (and the film is just as good as the book). Our Kind of Traitor is a little slow to start and I almost abandoned it (as I did with Mission Song) but kept going and then hit that miraculous place in a good book where things just start to "click" and then settled in for a great read.

Le Carre is not in a good mood. He is not hopeful. Which is not to say that there are no more heroes in Le Carre’s world because tha
Mar 26, 2015 Patrick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For me at least, I think the problem was that it lacked verisimilitude. I'm sure John le Carre has forgotten more about the inner workings of the intelligence services than I will ever know, although at nearly 80, I wonder if he is quite as up to speed on how (and to some extent, if) MI6 go about infiltrating Russian crime groups as he was on the Cold War.

I just couldn't believe that MI6 would recruit someone solely on the basis that he had had a chance meeting with a Russian vory/oligarch whil
Mal Warwick
David John Moore Cornwell--the man the world has come to know as John le Carre--was the son of a con man and a mother he met only at age 21. He spent years in the 1950s and 1960s working for MI5 and MI6 in the most difficult years of the Cold War. His frequently troubled life experiences afforded him the real-world experience that lent such authenticity and depth to the Cold War espionage novels he wrote so ably in the decades to come.

Le Carre's conflicted alter ego, George Smiley, the protagoni
James Schubring
Jul 29, 2011 James Schubring rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is always more potential in a John le Carre novel than in anyone else writing books. There is also, almost always, some experimental flaw that's bigger than anyone else's. I've learned to take the good and ignore the bad. He writes bigger books than almost anyone else, enthralling even when they're flawed.

Here we have the recruitment of a moneyman from the Russian mafia by the British Secret Service. Dima, 'our kind of traitor,' is the most interesting, wound-up, larger-than-life, nervy ch
Michael Graeme
Aug 01, 2011 Michael Graeme rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If what you know of the world comes from newspapers, or from the T.V. news, then your view is naive, selective, abridged and childish. If you have any mature sense at all then I think you appreciate this may be true.

All right - so, I'm naive and childish,... hopelessly so. It's the only way I can go on living in my personally simplified version of reality. Reading Le Carre though connects me with another, darker, reality, one I fear might be closer to the truth, whether it's "cold war", or whate
If you're a Russian godfather who wants to spill evil
banking beans involving the west, do you just snaffle
a cute UK couple on holiday in Antigua and grunt, "Take
me to your leader" ?

LeC moves briskly fr the Cold War to the Russ mafia and
corrupt banking, suggested by news stories. Very good.
Then, damnit, the way he drawls his story -- exposition,
Talking Heds, fractured sequence, past/present tense --
is downright deadly.

Meantime, we'd all like to know his theories on the young
UK spy found dead at h
Mar 29, 2015 Neil rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was the first John le Carre book which I have picked up in a while. It came with high literary acclaim, and so I was quite looking forward to reading it. Sadly I was quite disappointed with it, there was no real sense of suspense, and it seemed quite laboured and ponderous, not the le Carre books I remember of old.
A professional couple from England, Perry and Gail, are on a tennis holiday in Antigua, when they are forcibly befriended by Dima. He is a Russian money launderer for the Vory, bu
This was my first spy thriller novel by this author. It was SO hard for me to get into it. I was confused about who was talking, the first person/third person switching made me crazy. This type of writing works for some people, it's just not my style.
I received this as an advance uncorrected proof that I won in a Goodreads giveaway.
Aug 06, 2010 Keri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never read any of John le Carre's novels but from what I've seen reviews of, this isn't even his best. So to say that it makes me want to read more of his work is a testament to the novel.

Gail and Perry, a lawyer and a teacher, decide to take a romantic trip to Antigua. There they meet a man named Dima and his family. In no time at all, they find themselves buried in international secrets and dealing with the Service. How much can two non-spies help?

The novel is written in an odd way. In so
Jim Leffert
Oct 27, 2010 Jim Leffert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After several disappointing (unsubtle, overly moralistic) novels in recent years, le Carré is back in fine form with Our Kind of Traitor. A Russian money launderer approaches a young British couple on vacation in Antigua, and seeks their aid in convincing British authorities to rescue him from Russian mobsters. In return, he offers to reveal detailed information about prominent British figures’ collaboration with the mobsters in a plan to gain a charter to open a huge bank in Britain. With the y ...more
Nov 12, 2010 yexxo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John le Carré, ein Name der für spannende Agenten- und Spionagethriller steht - mit dieser Erwartungshaltung machte ich mich an sein neuestes Werk. Ich las und las, amüsierte mich prächtig und ertappte mich dennoch dabei, immer oberflächlicher über den Text hinwegzugehen, bis ich bei Seite 202 (ca. der Hälfte) das Buch resigniert zuschlug. Denn von Spannung - keine Spur. Welch eine Enttäuschung!
Doch ich hatte mich selbst in die Irre geführt, denn bei genauem Hinschauen ist (außer bei der Einord
Jay Connor
Not since Graham Green's "Our Man in Havana" has an author, here John le Carre, had such literate, yet tongue-in-cheek, fun with an accidental spy.

Perry and his girlfriend, Gail, are approached by Dima, a money laundering Russian of international proportions, who is seeking asylum in Great Britian. In the course of their becoming pawns to the machinations of several spy agencies, as well as the Russian mafia, we discover how we too are, in many ways, pawns in a global world financial order whe
Aug 30, 2011 Emilie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is spy novel, John leCarre is a professional of this type of novel and knows what he's talking about. This is not James Bond with sophisticated gadgets, technology is minimal which leaves room for the development of the plot and of the characters involved. A young couple (Gail and Perry) vacationing in Antigua meets a Russian oligarch (Dima) who chooses them as his intermediaries between the British secret services (and appoints them as referees of the fairness of the negotiations) and hims ...more
William Breakstone

Our Kind of Hero by John le Carre

Reviewed by Bill Breakstone, November 16, 2010

The English author John le Carre has written 22 novels, the first being Call for the Dead, published in 1961. I have read and enjoyed every one. He is one of those authors I just can’t get enough of.

His latest work is Our Kind of Hero, and has been critically acclaimed as one of his best. I don’t know if I would go that far, but it is a tremendously good read.

The story opens at a Caribbean island resort, wh
Joe Ollinger
LeCarre tends to write slower, more cerebral stuff, and this is no exception. This is a more of a drama set in the world of espionage than a spy thriller. The characters are vivid and the world feels quite real. The downside of this is that the book spends a lot of time on mundane details of character, and the premise and plot are more believable than fun.

The work splits its narrative into the perspectives of several characters, working through their thoughts ind feelings in much detail. This bo
Bookmarks Magazine
Much to the dismay of many longtime fans, le Carré chose to keep up with the times after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yet, despite his shift from Cold War-era espionage to more contemporary themes, le Carré's signature stark prose, pitch-perfect dialogue, authentic characters, and moral indignation have stood the test of time. The critics were pleased to see "the master" (Telegraph) back in action, but some had reservations: While the Guardian lamented the "long, fussily narrated opening," ...more
Dec 23, 2010 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: espionage
Not at the level of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold or the Smiley series, but still, very very good, and better than most of the stuff that le Carre has written since the end of the cold war.

What's great about it? His effortless plotting and his thorough knowledge of the amorality of the world's politics. It was a thrilling read. I devoured it over a period of two days, and was sorry when it came to an end.

For my taste, there were too many pages of slangy conversation as exposition, and not
Sam Reaves
Jul 01, 2016 Sam Reaves rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John le Carré has acquired a reputation as an anti-American left-wing scold, but he's just as hard on the British elite, judging from this novel from 2010 set in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
A prosperous young British couple vacationing in Antigua are befriended by a gregarious Russian mobster; it turns out the Russian's hidden agenda is to make contact with the British security services so he can cut a deal to spill his guts about the Russian mob's money laundering opera
John Tipper
Aug 10, 2014 John Tipper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, particularly thriller/spy readers
Recommended to John by: Local library's reviews.
le Carre's "Our Kind of Traitor" focuses on a young English couple vacationing in Antiqua, where they meet a Russian billionaire, who is an avid tennis player, just as the Englishman is. Dima, the Russian, arranges informal matches with the Englishman, who defeats him. During private parties, the Russian unburdens himself to the English sportsman. He wants his children to attend nice British schools, and he desires to retire from his lifestyle: it turns out he has made his fortune from being a m ...more
Mar 31, 2011 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delicious. Sparse of word / expansive in description. Just enough for our imaginations to fill in the blanks. This is Le Carre as he is currently; simple meeting, throw in the innocents, spice 'em up with some training, shake things up

Reseña en el Blog

*Segundo libro de la #MaratonRavenClub * :D

Un traidor como los nuestros es un libro con una portada hermosa y... eso es lo único bueno que puedo decir.

Leí varias opiniones de este libro, y solo leí una buena. Los demás decían que las primeras doscientas páginas eran las peores y que no era el mismo John Le Carré de antes.

Las primeras 100 páginas (a mí parecer) son las mejores, estaba completamente enganchada hasta que la historia se puso completamente aburrida. Era denso a más n
Dec 22, 2013 Shane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think le Carre was having a lot of fun writing this story, reliving his classic "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" scenario, and re-inventing himself from the cold war to the financial war that seems to be raging under our "bread and circuses" blinded noses.

Dima, a shadowy Russian billionnaire, is a one-man clearing house for all the dirty money in the world. And yet he loves his family and is seeking safe refuge for them in exchange for spilling the beans on all the corrupt politicians and b
Jun 08, 2013 Paul added it
Well, it just wasn't meant to be. I've only fairly recently started reading John le Carré's books - I really loved The Spy Who Came in From The Cold (a five star read for me) and also enjoyed Call For The Dead - the first in the George Smiley series. I've since added several others that look good to the wishlist, including the new one that just came out A Delicate Truth, as well as picking up the odd charity shop bargain like The Little Drummer Girl. So it was with some confidence that I checked ...more
May 17, 2013 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carré is a novel about a Russian money-launderer (Dima) who seeks the help of a friendly British couple (Perry and Gail) when they meet on the island of Antigua. Dima's need: to reach British intelligence and defect, not from the USSR, but from the Russian mafia he is fatally associated with.

Perry is a dissatisfied academic; Gail is a rising barrister. Neither of them is connected to British intelligence, but Perry hazards a guess that an Oxford associate might be
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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 40 years, where he owns a mile of cliff close to Land's End.

See also: John le Carré - Wikipedia
More about John le Carré...

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“It struck him as a bit unfair that, at the age of eight, he should have manifested the same sense of solitude that haunted him at forty-three.” 11 likes
“I've studied the disease, I've lived in the swamp. It is my informed conclusion that we are suffering, as an ex-great nation, from top-down corporate rot. And that's not just the judgement of an ailing old fart. A lot of people in my Service make a profession of not seeing things in black and white. Do not confuse me with them. I'm a late-onset, red-toothed radical with balls. Still with me?” 7 likes
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