Picked it up because of the movie’s release and as my next John le Carré novel.
Three observations on its style:
- Very slow start. I almost put it down several times before I pushed past the halfway mark, when things finally got moving.
- This is my third John Le Carre novel, and I realized I always spend the majority of the book confused. Can’t yet tell if that’s deliberate on the author’s part – wanting to make the reader feel the confusion and stress of spy work – or if that’s just me not understanding the late-60s early-70s British dialogue. Could be both.
That said, I tore through the last half of the book, wanting to find out the answers to all the questions setup in the beginning. So while the technique is frustrating, it’s also successful.
- Almost everything is done through dialogue. Even character actions are conveyed through the dialogue that accompanies them. Leads to very realistic dialogue for the characters, but also made me feel sort of detached from everything that was happening. Again, could have been a deliberate way of conveying the distance these characters are supposed to keep from the world.