701

Re: Last Book Read...

caractacus potts wrote:

this is getting to be the le Carre and/or Deighton thread! which is OK by me.

Well then, allow me to provide some variety. I'm currently a third of the way through Frederick Forsyth's The Odessa File. I'm enjoying it so far, I'll report back when I'm done.

702

Re: Last Book Read...

Golrush007 wrote:
caractacus potts wrote:

this is getting to be the le Carre and/or Deighton thread! which is OK by me.

Well then, allow me to provide some variety. I'm currently a third of the way through Frederick Forsyth's The Odessa File. I'm enjoying it so far, I'll report back when I'm done.

There was a pretty good Jon Voight film of that in the 70's.
Im starting Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott.

“The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. "
-Casino Royale, Ian Fleming

703

Re: Last Book Read...

Given how we all have some time on our hands, I've just started
When Eight Bells Toll by Alistair MacLean. I've seen the film many
times ( It's a favourite of mine ) but never read the book. So today
I downloaded the kindle version and am up to chapter three, so far
very enjoyable and interesting to see what didn't make it in to the
movie.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

704

Re: Last Book Read...

I'm re-reading " Dear Mom: A Sniper's Vietnam " by Joseph T. Ward.

705

Re: Last Book Read...

Breakout at Stalingrad by Heinrich Gerlach.

Gerlach was a lieutenant in the 14th Panzer Division at Stalingrad. He wrote this novel whilst in captivity in the USSR but it was confiscated by the Russians. Gerlach wrote a ‘remembered’ version in 1957 called The Forsaken Army and 55 years later this original was found in a Moscow archive...

YNWA: Justice For The 96

The Joy Of 6

706

Re: Last Book Read...

one good outcome of "working from home": I've been able to improve upon my normal average of reading four pages a day over morning coffee!
________________________________________
The Little Drummer Girl
le Carre

this is le Carre's first book not to feature Smiley or the Circus lurking in the background (except for A Small Town in Germany, and the Naive and Sentimental Lover, which were both over a decade ago). He's gotta move on to new characters.

This time we're following the adventures of the Israeli spymaster "Kurtz", and his latest recruit, the fashionably leftwing radical English stage actress Charlie. She starts off favouring the Palestinian cause, but once she is abducted by our heroes, is motivated by the challenge to her acting abilities to work secretly for the Israelis and infiltrate the refugee camps in Lebanon.
(I don't think the words MOSSAD or PLO are ever mentioned once?)
At least I think that's her motivation. We quickly learn Charlie is a habitual liar who believes her own lies, that why she's such a good actress, and she seems to have some void at the core of her identity that acting fulfills. And she already has been persuaded that Radical Action is the Theatre of the Real.
There is a lot of philosphising about the parallels between acting and spying, and as usual there are layers upon layers of deceit.

There is also a lot of globetrotting. Similar to the final 200pgs of the Honourable SchoolBoy. We see a lot of Greece and Germany and the English countryside, and most vivid of all, the lengthy journey through the refugee camps of Lebanon. Despite the heroes of the adventure being Israeli intelligence, it is the plight of the Palestinians le Carre wants us to remember.

SpoilerThis one has a happier ending than most le Carre's, which is a relief because I liked Charlie. At least she wasn't shot down in a hail of bullets on the last page like most le Carre heroes.
But she seems to be psychologically shattered. She has a nervous breakdown while back on stage in smalltown England, then wanders off into the night.
Does she even really see Joseph on the final page, or is that her overactive imagination finally leaving reality behind?

707

Re: Last Book Read...

The library is opening up again, sort of. It has bugged me that I didn't get to the library before so much closed, but it seems all hope isn't lost. Now I can order library books online. The library sends a meesage when the book is ready and tells me when to come and get it. A librarian comes out and hands me a plastic net with the book in it. Complicated, but I think it'll work.

708

Re: Last Book Read...

Thunderpussy wrote:

Given how we all have some time on our hands, I've just started
When Eight Bells Toll by Alistair MacLean. I've seen the film many
times ( It's a favourite of mine ) but never read the book. So today
I downloaded the kindle version and am up to chapter three, so far
very enjoyable and interesting to see what didn't make it in to the
movie.

I love the 60’s Alistair MacLean books they are brilliant!

I’m reading Time For The Stars by Robert Heinlein for the time since I was about 12! It’s classified as a juvenile book but it plays out very well for adult reading and I’m enjoying it immensely.

Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.

709

Re: Last Book Read...

My reading over the last few weeks has been unusually eclectic - including Frederick Forsyth, Tennessee Williams and P.G. Wodehouse - but now I'm getting back into one of my favourite series of spy novels with London Rules by Mick Herron. I've read the first four books in this series and they've got better with each novel. Halfway through London Rules it seems that this trend continues because so far I'm enjoying this one even more than the previous four. I highly recommend this series to any spy fan. The first novel is Slow Horses, which introduces the ensemble cast of characters who inhabit Slough House, a department of MI5 where failed spooks are sent.

710

Re: Last Book Read...

Speaking of Sci-fi: These days I'm constantly reminded of Isac Asimov's classic short story from 1951 "The fun they had". With all this home schooling via the internet it seems prophetic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont … e=emb_logo