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A Perfect Spy by John le Carré
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's review
May 18, 2008

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Read in May, 2008

Since the classic "The Day of the Jackal" -- the only spy/thriller-type book I've ever read -- is one of my all-time favorite vacation reads, I thought I'd pick up another in the same relatively light genre to tide me over while doing some recent traveling. Note: IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR LIGHT READING, DO NOT CHOOSE "THE PERFECT SPY." At least early on, I found it so impenetrable that I almost made it the second book in my 37 years that I didn't finish. Actually, though, I'm glad I stuck with it; it IS a solid work of literature -- a tremendous feat of characterization, among other things. But due to the plot structure, the numerous exclusively British cultural references, and the odd and sometimes ridiculously obscure metaphors, light reading it is certainly not.

*A great quote, from the last page: "A society that admires its shock troops better be bloody careful about where it is going...."
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