Wednesday, November 22, 2017

“A Delicate Truth”

It is not axiomatic, that the ideal Vorleser of a work  should be its author.  (One would not wish to sit through a performance of Heart of Darkness, or A Brief History of Time, under those terms.)   But  David Cornwall turns out to be a perfect interpreter of John Le Carré, in a recent audiobook recording.

Three of the secondary characters have a distinct local accent:  Glaswegian, Welsh, and Irish.  His rendition of these  fixes in pleasure and memory, what are in any event well-sculpted personalities.  The Welshman, who shows up one day in a remote village, rickety caravan in tow, and with a mysterious past (and demons lying inside), is a reprise of the Jim Prideaux character, who so memorably opens Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
Two of the central characters -- professional diplomats -- have professionally and personally  rather flat affect.  (Again, cf. TTSS's Smiley.)The author is sufficiently confident about his own work, to let that happen, without worrying that we’ll be bored.

The story-arc hangs together nicely, moreso than in most of the thrillers we have waded through.
The novel (published 2013) is quite in tune with the times, in selecting, as theme, the beating-up on contractors in the defense/intel field.

Footnote:  The title of the book is as smarmy as that of  An Inconvenient Truth.   But it is a sight better title than Our Kind of Traitor , which we critiqued here.   One wishes to believe that neither stemmed from the author, but were foisted upon the novels by some publisher's underling (chained  drooling  in the basement, and let loose only for such functions) who normally has the last word in such marketing-related decisions.

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