Sue's Reviews > A Perfect Spy

A Perfect Spy by John le Carré
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's review
Aug 26, 10

bookshelves: fiction, spy, read-in-2010, list-francine-prose
Read from August 19 to 26, 2010

Was very helpful to read other Goodreads comments after starting the book as I found it quite confusing. But really liked it once I got used to the deuces: two people Pym was writing to (Tom/Jack), the switching of persons telling the story (first person/third person), and the two time periods (past/present). Hated the ending but it made perfect sense. Also, as the book unfolded, Pym's profound decisions became clear too.

My question at the end was this: how did he become who he was? First thought was 50% innate character, 40% father and 10% Jack/Axel. Then I thought 25% Pym, 75% father and 25% Jack/Axel. The latter makes more sense.

Would highly recommend.

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message 1: by Yuri (new)

Yuri It IS the best LeCarre's ever done, and he's done many great works. Sue, I think you and others looked a lot more deeply at this than I have done in several reads. You look at characters- I'm dazzled by the sheer genius of plot. At first I can't quite believe that the Pym/Axel scheme is real. I thought, one of them MUST be doublecrossing the other. But they aren't. It's their masterful manipulation of their own bureacracies that fascinates; that they could get away with so scandalous a scheme makes hypnotic reading but the lessons of Kim Philby make it real. Definitely a powerful read. And the film, the BBC film! After reading the novel, next stop should be the film.

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