Monday, July 03, 2006

Book Review: Our Game

Finally, finally, a review of a book by John le Carré that I don’t bother to recommend. (I’m not posting a book cover, because I couldn’t find a picture that matched my version of the book.) Not that I enjoy having read a le Carré book that wasn’t thoroughly enjoyable—I would have preferred it to have been up to his usual standards. On the other hand, finally posting a review of one of his books that I don’t recommend might lend more weight to the ones that I so rigorously recommended earlier.

In concept, Our Game is another very good idea from a man who knows the spy game: It’s the story of an agent—a “joe”—and his controller, after they enter retirement. (Actually, the plot is much, much more than that; the fact that they’re in retirement is just a part of the setup. However, it’s the part that I find interesting.) As usual, for any book by le Carré, it’s a great insight into a side of the spy game that’s not usually shown in other spy novels.

So it’s not the story that I mind for this book, it’s just the execution. Even the writing is up to le Carré’s standards, to a point, but it seems that he wasn’t really as “in to” this book, as he was “in to” others. The book didn’t capture my attention, the way his other books have, and I didn’t feel as satisfied, at the end, as I usually do.