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Our Kind of Traitor

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  11,104 ratings  ·  1,284 reviews
Perry and Gail are idealistic and very much in love when they splurge on a tennis vacation at a posh beach resort in Antigua. But the charm begins to pall when a big-time Russian money launderer enlists their help to defect. In exchange for amnesty, Dima is ready to rat out his vory (Russian criminal brotherhood) compatriots and expose corruption throughout the so-called l ...more
Hardcover, 306 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Viking Adult
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Dirk Nice job posting the spoiler right out in the open. Idiot.

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Average rating 3.44  · 
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Jeffrey Keeten
”Dima mightn’t exactly have been spoiled for choice when it came to selecting a messenger, confessor, or prisoner’s friend, or whatever it was that Perry has been appointed, or had appointed himself. She’d always known there was a slumbering romantic in him waiting to be woken when selfless dedication was on offer, and if there was a whiff of danger in the air, so much the better.”

When people are in desperate straits and in need of help from a stranger, they scan the faces around them for someth
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 inte
Aug 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Manuel Antão
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Calvinist at Prayer: "Our Kind of Traitor" by John Le Carré

(original review, 2010)

About a third of the way through “Our Kind of Traitor”, I sat back and reflected on the elegance of the prose and the grace and ease with which the narrative moved back and forth through time, and two words came inescapably to mind: Joseph Conrad. I can't believe, after all the le Carré novels I had already read at that point, that this was the first time
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spy-fiction
Le Carre enters the world of the Russian mafia and global money laundering in this tense, perfectly paced page turner. The premise is stretching credibility a bit far with a young English couple on holiday in Antigua, Perry and Gail, befriended by a Russian, Dina, seeking asylum in Britain in exchange for inside information into black financial operations and the involvement of key members of the British establishment. The result is an unlikely, unauthorised deployment of Perry and Gail to bring ...more
Oct 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it
description: Perry and Gail are idealistic and very much in love when they splurge on a tennis vacation at a posh beach resort in Antigua. But the charm begins to pall when a big-time Russian money launderer enlists their help to defect. In exchange for amnesty, Dima is ready to rat out his vory (Russian criminal brotherhood) compatriots and expose corruption throughout the so-called legitimate financial and political worlds. Soon, the guileless couple find themselves pawns in a deadly endgame w ...more
Julian Worker
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another wonderful book by John Le Carre. Easy to read and somehow you become invested in all the characters. Throughout I was wondering who the traitor was going to be on the British side amongst the characters I was introduced to. The only part I didn't like was the ending - it's been done before I'm sure, so I was hoping for something different from the author. ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fast paced thriller from the Le Carre cannon. I enjoyed the writing style, but parts of it seemed convoluted and forced. It didn’t seem to have the natural flow that Le Carre’s stories usually have.

But reading this was also bittersweet. As of this time, this was the last Le Carre book I had to read. Now that I have read all the fiction, it is time to wait to see if he surprises us with one more.
Dec 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Lancelot Schaubert
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dima may well be the funniest, wildest, crassest character in the Le Carre canon. All in all, this is a decent book. Certainly not Le Carrie’s best, but some key moments in this book illumine all of Le Carrie’s books:

• It maddens me how meticulous a storyteller Le Carre can be. The entire story comes down, in one way or another, to a professor and a tennis match and a bit of wiring on an emergency door. The tiniest details become so significant with Le Carrie’s deft hand

• The quiet of the novel
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 31, 2013 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
May 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Mal Warwick
Jan 02, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Mar 23, 2015 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
May 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
In the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers collapse and the onset of world economic crisis, we find a young English couple, Perry and Gail, having a vacation in Antigua. There they meet a Russian named Dima, who, it appears, is linked to the Russian mafia and who may be seeking a way to slip away from their clutches. He engages Perry to play a game of tennis, a game that is watched by Dima's extended family and bodyguards. After the game, he begins to test Perry to see whether he might be his ticke ...more
Michael Graeme
Jul 31, 2011 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
James Schubring
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Joe Ollinger
Jun 28, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Oct 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Seldom does a LeCarre novel disappoint and this book is no exception. A British couple are innocently embroiled in the defection of a high level Russian crime boss and his family. What is disappointing is the reality posed by the author- there are too many 'traitors' in upper echelons of government, the powerful are able to break the law without consequence, government agencies can not act quickly even when lives are at risk, and in the world of diplomacy and politics trust is a rare commodity. ...more
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 chose not to finish it. That's not to say others wouldn't find it worth the time to make it to the end. I think the author is a talented writer, I'm just not the reader he is writing for.

I received this as an advance uncorrected proof that I won
Margaret Sankey
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Le Carre's world weary cynicism is a perfect fit for this tale of post-2008 international money laundering and Russian corruption, as the prototypical sad sack Englishman gets roped into the potential defection of a Russian oligarch and his dysfunctional family, while the British intelligence officers tasked to handle him realize immediately that his girlfriend Gail is the real brains and just how easily they're both manipulated for the political purposes of MI5. ...more
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, spy
another great novel by the master of the spy genre.le carre may be almost 80, but he can still write a great story.
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spy-mystery
Solid -- late Le Carré, mch better than I was expecting
Jim Leffert
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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Contemporary YA: Our Kind of Traitor Book vs. Movie 1 12 Jun 29, 2016 06:23AM  

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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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