One of the best books I've probably ever read. Le Carre's mastery of understatement and nuance is on full display. Even when it seems that he's beingOne of the best books I've probably ever read. Le Carre's mastery of understatement and nuance is on full display. Even when it seems that he's being wordy in mining a character's inner feelings, not a single word is wasted and you turn the page with a deeper feeling and/or understanding for the character's motives, desires, fears. I read in an article last night that his main theme over his career has been betrayal and none of his books I've read better presents and explores that theme. I found myself also "falling in love" with the "wanted man" whose innocence and "purity" can be (and would be) seen as complicity and blind allegiance to an "evil" cause. Still, Le Carre presents each actor on each side as believing he or she is doing the right thing for country, beliefs, or love and the shock ending--though not very surprising given our times--still leaves the reader jarred and all the more saddened by the precarious uncertainty it leaves hovering over each of the protagonists. A brilliant novel and criticism of espionage and post-9/11 tactics in the War on Terror. A brilliant novel and exploration of the impact that spying and fighting this war has on the people we rely on to carry daggers in the dark. ...more
Great fun read. Loved it because the writers aren't in love with exposition like some of the more mainstream titles. Something is always happening andGreat fun read. Loved it because the writers aren't in love with exposition like some of the more mainstream titles. Something is always happening and it's often funny. As a plus, this is s title anyone can read and one I would recommend to any parent or either of my nieces. ...more
Excellent read. I'll get the bad out of the way first: the art. The art over the first major arc is (to me) brilliant because it's done in a realisticExcellent read. I'll get the bad out of the way first: the art. The art over the first major arc is (to me) brilliant because it's done in a realistic fashion with Panther and the Milaje appearing almost as if they'd stepped off a movie screen. Then the artist is changed and it becomes more of a traditional, muscle-saturated cartoon-like depiction. Which is okay: art is very subjective.
The writing is truly the strength of this book. Priest's depiction and storytelling must be taken in context. That is, the book was written/started almost twenty years ago (1998, I think?) and so the constant "in media res" followed by flashback may become a little overbearing and repetitive for some modern readers. However, what Priest brings to the world of BP must not be ignored or belittled. The Dora Milaje, the Panther as a political figure who is balancing politics with super-heroics, the perception of Black Panther as an African superhero and what that means to white- and African-Americans.
Some dislike the Ross character but I like what Priest (according to interviews) was trying to do: use Ross as a representative of the viewpoint that traditional comic book readers (and perhaps white Americans) would have concerning BP: either underestimating him or making snap judgements about who he might be, being a king and...y'know, African.
Like all writing, Priest's serves (and is of) it's time. In my opinion, it also transcends it's time and can probably be read today and fifty years from now. ...more