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The Night Manager

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  15,945 ratings  ·  1,198 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 September 21st 2006 by Sceptre (first published June 28th 1993)
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Mrs Barbara Guard Le Carre added a 2016 end note to the e book explaining how things had changed for the series. I was so interested I just watched the series again and…moreLe Carre added a 2016 end note to the e book explaining how things had changed for the series. I was so interested I just watched the series again and the changes are significant, no cheesy ending in the book.(less)
Stephen I don't know. It's the one of his books I most like to read and reread (at least 3 re-reads since first one). My other favorite of his is Drummer Girl…moreI don't know. It's the one of his books I most like to read and reread (at least 3 re-reads since first one). My other favorite of his is Drummer Girl, which is just a little more realistic and for that got from me a fifth star that I could not give to this, my real favorite for a thumping good read. Let's tell more people about it!
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréOperation Hail Storm by Brett ArquetteThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Best Spy Novels
1,139 books — 2,433 voters
Operation Hail Storm by Brett ArquetteThe 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 Ludlum
901 books — 1,370 voters

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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,945 ratings  ·  1,198 reviews

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Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
“You have to bend the law from time to time, otherwise you don’t get anywhere.”

“The Night Manager” is an overwritten book, even if it is a well-written one, and that kills the enjoyment of this text. They say John le Carré writes “sophisticated spy thrillers”. Does that mean boring?
Simply put this text is dull, especially for the first 200 pages. I was barely interested. To the authors’ credit, the last 200 are much better.
The problem with “The Night Manager” is that it tries to do too much. The
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
James Thane
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Jonathan Pine is the night manager at a hotel in Cairo. A beautiful woman named Sophie, who is the mistress of an Arab playboy and would-be arms dealer named Freddie Hamid, asks him to photocopy some documents for her and then to keep the copy in the hotel safe. Pine reluctantly agrees to do so and speed-reads the documents as he does.

The papers describe an arms deal that Hamid is attempting to orchestrate with a very wealthy and very bad man named Richard Roper. Pine is a patriotic Englishman a
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was planning to read "The Honorable Schoolboy (1977)" as my third le Carré novel. But as fate would have it, I stumbled upon a TV show trailer on YouTube.

Tom Hiddleston + Hugh Laurie + le Carré ?!
Sign me up!

So before watching the show, I decided to read the novel.
❝ Promise to build a chap a house, he won't believe you. Threaten to burn his place down, he'll do what you tell him. Fact of life.❞

The story introduces Jonathan Pine, an ex-soldier turned night manager for luxury hotels
Aug 07, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Laura, Wanda et al

Description: 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 Panama. His quarry is the worst man in the world.

John le Carré on The Night
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
"Every man has his personal devil waiting for him somewhere."
-- John le Carré, The Night Manager


"WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is
Disclaimer: I only read this book because they're making a TV version, and Tom Hiddleston is going to play the protagonist.

With that out of the way, I have to say, I struggled mightily with this book.

The plot--man infiltrates criminal organization to seek revenge on the man who heads said organization—should have made for a compelling novel, but it just...didn't. In my opinion, of course.

Overall it was plodding and slow, and could never really hold my attention for very long. I could easily put
Paul E. Morph
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apparently, John le Carré preferred the recent television adaptation of The Night Manager to his original novel. Now, this may just be a novelist trying to be nice about the folks who just paid him a lot of money to film his book but, in the case that it is true, I think I agree with him.

I didn't dislike the book, by any means; I gave it four stars and that's a really good rating from me. It's just that the t.v. folks made some significant changes to the story and, while I'm not going to mention
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2016
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful addition to the John le Carre collection, this a post- Cold War novel of high finance, crime in the Iran Contra era, the dirty triangle of politics, drugs and arms. A splashy high rolling criminal, Dickie Roper fatally crosses paths with Jonathan Pine, the night manager of the top hotel in Zurich. But Pine is more than he seems, and he has crossed paths with the charming, sinister Roper before, in a fatal mission in which his great love was beaten to death. Betrayal, jungle training ...more
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, crime
The Night Manager is about courage, redemption and love of country. To run away from his demon and fail marriage Jonathan Pine became a night manager at the Hotel Meister Palace in Zurich. However, Jonathan Pine demon followed him. Jonathan Pine loves his country, so he agrees to become British Secret Agents to find the killer of a woman who died in the Hotel. However, unbeknown to Jonathan the investigation became complicated and would change him forever. The readers of The Night Manager will f ...more
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the pacing of this novel. It was classic Le Carre. I did have one issue with it though, some of the action scenes seemed a bit muddled. So I had to re-read them to find out how the characters got from point A to point B. There was some connecting of the dots involved.

I haven’t seen the mini-series and I don’t know if I will. For this book had a unique story structure.

Feb 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Josie Brown
Jul 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
From BBC 01 Player:
Attempting to help a well-connected guest, hotel night manager Jonathan Pine is drawn into the world of arms dealer Richard Roper.

1/6: Hotel night manager Jonathan Pine receives a plea for help from a well-connected guest. His actions draw him into the world of Richard Roper, a businessman and arms dealer.

2/6: On the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, Roper's life of luxury and calm is shattered. Six months earlier, Burr continues her recruitment of Pine, sending him to Devon t
Roman Clodia
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's fairly unusual for me to have come to a book after seeing the film/TV version as I tend to have read books first but in this case the two versions are complementary to each other and both have strengths and weaknesses. The recent BBC version is fairly faithful to the first part of the book, though it misses out a whole episode in Quebec where Pine is creating a backstory for himself. The book also pads out the relationship between Pine and Jed (English here) and allows us into his thoughts ...more
The Escapist Reader
Dec 15, 2018 rated it liked it
3 out of 5 stars

Since, I finaly got the chance to write this (almost a month after finishing the book), I'll keep it as short as possible. I gave this book 3 stars because I felt it was lacking in certain areas. I will admit that, as far as plot goes, it is a very well-thought-out book and that the author knows how to set the mood, despite his elaborate writing style. However, I cannot get on board with paper cut-out female characters and two-dimensional secondary characters that exist just for
Claire Strong
This took me a while to get into. Let's hope the TV series keeps me awake longer than the book did! ...more
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, spies
Jonathan Pine is the night manager of an Egyptian hotel when he is indirectly responsible for the death of a customer who trusted him with information about her husband who is involved in international weapon deals. When he finds himself in an old family hotel in Switzerland he finds himself in the company of an international arms dealer who is responsible for his customers death in Egypt and he wants to take this character out of circulation and once again approaches the British secret service. ...more
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Benoit Lelièvre
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first 50 pages of this novel are some of the best material I've ever read. Le Carré goes Proust and crafts a terrifying confrontation by digging into the past and into his protagonist's psyche in order to make the moment larger than life. The result is absolutely stunning. Le Carré created in Jonathan Pine a protagonist complex and engaging like few others.

When Pine first gets in contact with his handler Leonard Burr, The Night Manager goes into full spy novel and become labyrinthic and some
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, thriller
The ambiguity Le Carré so skillfully wraps into all his novels has always made me appreciate them all the more for the feeling they give of this is how it would actually happen. In the night manager the desire to rid this good earth of the world`s worst man, an English arms dealer, is not the start of a paint by the numbers = come uppance and happy ending on page 353, but a gallant foolish charge into a world where the worst enemies are often your colleagues sitting opposite you. This nod to the ...more
Jul 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It was a good story but definitely not a gripping thriller. I thought it was hard to follow the plot and it was a bit boring overall.
Tim Healy
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because I was interested in watching the TV version of this that aired last year with Tom Hiddleston in the title role and Hugh Laurie as the villain. I'm still interested, so that's a good sign. I always have to remind myself when I read le Carre that even the action isn't going to be that action packed. This makes Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy look like a pantomime, though. Things actually happen "on screen" in this book. And it's an interesting plot about a guy who decides to ...more
Cathal Kenneally
Typical LeCarre

I only gave this 3 stars as it didn't grab me like his other books have. I think it's one I'm going to have to read again but I'll probably not get the time
Left Coast Justin
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spies
If I had to pick a favorite among the many excellent novels John Le Carre has written, it would probably be this one. I do not feel he betrayed his readership by abandoning Cold War plots; indeed, as the biggest threats facing society has shifted, Le Carre has bravely shifted in parallel, recognizing that money laundering, drug- and weapons dealing and unchecked erosion of individual rights have supplanted nuclear annihilation as our biggest worries.

Having picked a worthwhile theme (weapons deal
It took just one episode of the BBC/AMC mini-series adaptation to drive me back to the original le Carré, which I thought I'd read, but maybe I didn't. What an interesting experience, to interweave chapters of the book, set in the 90s in the Caribbean, with the TV show, set in the Mediterranean. By and large, the updatings work well for the adaptation -- a cell phone plays a key role. A gender change for a the central spymaster works. What fascinated me the most is how the novel, written in clos ...more
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John le Carré, the pseudonym of David John Moore Cornwell (born 19 October 1931 in Poole, Dorset, England), was an English author of espionage novels. Le Carré had resided in St Buryan, Cornwall, Great Britain, for more than 40 years, where he owned a mile of cliff close to Land's End. ...more

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“And gradually it dawned on him, if a dawning can take place in total blackens, that his life had consisted of a run of rehearsals for a play he had failed to take part in. And that what he needed to do from now on, if there was going to be a now on, was abandon his morbid quest for order, and treat himself to a little chaos, on the grounds that while order was demonstrably no substitute for happiness, chaos might open the way to it.” 10 likes
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