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The Mission Song, John Le Carré

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message 1: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:26PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

David J. At one level, this is vintage Le Carré. At another, it falls flat on its face. Le Carré is a great writer, getting on a bit now, and he attempts to do a first-person narrative inside the skin of a mixed-race (Caucasian/African) 28-year-old man. It doesn't work - there are far too many references to things the narrator cannot have been familiar with. My other gripe about this one is that, unusually compared with Le Carré at his peak (anywhere from Tinker, Tailor to The Night Manager), he fails to give individual voice to the different characters. All his characters in this one speak the same way.
I have never had personal dealings with Le Carré and therefore do not know what he's like with his editors. But this one simply should have been edited, even at the risk of arousing the great man's ire.
No one is such a good writer that they never need editing. The omission here ruins what otherwise is a terrific book.


Phleabas Yes, this book was a real disappointment from my perspective relative to Le Carré's other work. I suppose one can't always get it right.


Jeffery Lee Radatz I was interested in trying to read one of his books. So, I thought I would go to the library first to see what his books are like. After reading this one, I was a little disappointed. I have heard that his earlier books are better. So, I will not give up on him yet.


Kirk Later Le Carre definitely shows tapering off of quality in my view. Still a 3* novel.


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