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The Little Drummer Girl [Paperback]

John Le Carré
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
Price: £6.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

21 Sep 2006

In this enthralling and thought-provoking novel of Middle Eastern intrigue, Charlie, a brilliant and beautiful young actress, is lured into 'the theatre of the real' by an Israeli intelligence officer. Forced to play her ultimate role, she is plunged into a deceptive and delicate trap set to ensnare an elusive Palestinian terrorist.

THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL is a thrilling, deeply moving and courageous novel of our times.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (21 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340937645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340937648
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John le Carré was born in 1931. His third novel, THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, secured him a wide reputation which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, THE HONOURABLE SCHOOLBOY and SMILEY'S PEOPLE. His other novels include THE CONSTANT GARDENER, A MOST WANTED MAN and OUR KIND OF TRAITOR.

Product Description


'In my view, this book is at least as good as his best' (Spectator)

'A few years ago le Carré said he had not written the book he would want to be buried with. Perhaps he has done so now.' (Sunday Times )

'An exciting story, excitingly told' (Observer )

Book Description

A wonderful, classic le Carré now reissued in a stunning new package.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intensity, balance and empathy 2 Nov 2007
By Roy Collins VINE VOICE
This is the dramatic, incredibly intense story of terrorist methods being used to find, trap and kill a very successful terrorist. It explores the motivation and behaviour of Arabs displaced from their country into refugee camps for decades; and of those who fight for Israel's survival - with much the same methods their Arab opponents use.

It's told mainly from the Israeli point of view. Their agents literally seduce Charlie, the Little Drummer Girl, into being their goat tethered as bait to attract the tiger. But after the long training she is tethered on the tiger's territory, ie in the Palestinian camps, and she finds herself coming to empathise with their point of view. This develops to the point that she nearly drives herself mad being dragged by wild horses in two opposite directions.

The plot is developed with Le Carré's usually attention to detail which makes it live and be real; but the more Le Carré I read, the more convinced I am that he doesn't really write good endings. If you've seen the film of this book it ends in a shoot out which always strikes me as just like any private dick TV story. That was about the only way the film was true to the book. Otherwise the book is to my mind just about Le Carré's best. In achieving balance in a story about Palestine he achieves the near impossible; but he also manages to make it a powerful story about seduction in more ways than one. (And I suppose the real ending of the book is when Charlie staggers off into the sunset with....but I wouldn't want to spoil the plot!)

I found another review of this book so far from what I experienced of it myself, that I felt compelled to say what I thought of it. I have strong partisan feelings about terrorism, the Middle East, and Palestine.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was my most favourite read ever! An actress is recruited by the Israelies to honey-trap an arab terrorist. The story line would, on the surface seem one-sided but le Carre very skilfully incorporates a very sympathetic undertone for Palestinian liberation. It is a very pertinent story that is prosey and thrilling all at once. The heroine is neither super brave or brash but somehow all the more loveable for her failings rather than her triumphs. The ending is a blockbuster that keeps you turning the pages well into the night.
Well done le Carre
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Le Carre read. 31 Oct 2009
By Zebedee
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was an engaging read throughout as Le Carre in typical style gradual wound up the tension.

The hook that keeps me reading is often his style of writing as much as the content. The observation of detail in peoples behaviour and the way the story is alluded to rather than simply read out. As if you have to fill in the gaps. Sometimes a puzzle in itself.

Quite topical really and certainly thought provoking in so far as it opens ones eyes to the other side of a long standing source of misery in the Middle East from which we get a probably quite distorted media coverage.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing 3 Feb 2013
The author is in a very sensitive area here,the relationships between Arab and Jew, Palestine and Israel,all worked out on a terrorist playing field. Hardly a reader exists who does not have an emotional involvement with the dispute.... and yet, Le Carre creates sympathy and understanding for both sides. A dispassionate tour-de-force.

The prose is sometimes dense and the book requires great concentration- it is definately too long and probably too slow, although the passing of time is essential to the story-line.

Despite these flaws, this is arguably Le Carre's best book, as he handles a highly-contentious issue with great sensitivity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant story 23 Mar 2010
I love all the John Le Carre books I've read and this is one of my favourites. It's well written, exciting and I really engaged with the characters. The relationship between Joseph and Charlie is well drawn and compelling and I liked the subject matter. A great read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of his best 19 Dec 2008
One of le Carre's best I think. Although a little dated perhaps now, but still a current topic and he balances the perspectives very well. It's an insightful read that successfully empathises with the two opposite sides of a tragic war.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Consummate Le Carre 6 Sep 2013
By Xaizel
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
You read it once, and it's a gripping story. Read it twice, and you understand every little detail, every little nuance. Fabulous.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Little Drummer Girl 29 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lacking some of the twists and turns of classic le Carre but nevertheless a decent read with a clever storlyline.
A worthwhile investment and great company for comfort food and drink on any wintry or rainy day.
probably re-visit to read again in around twelve months.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally gripping
I'm not always a huge fan of Le Carre because sometimes the suspense gets diluted by the points he wants to make. However, this one is simply brilliant. Read more
Published 5 months ago by GeordieReader
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Drummer Girl
Not the usual genre for Le Carre . The subject matter deals with Israel/Arabic conflicts and the claimed rights/wrongs of each wrapped up in a love story between an English actor... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Love
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best
I read this book years ago and wanted to do so again.It more than lived up to my memories of it. Exceptional writing and plotting. Read more
Published 8 months ago by jinty
4.0 out of 5 stars Le Carre's best ever
Though the plot is a lot less subtle than his usual work, it still contains all of Le Carre's little hints and observations that conspire to build a great story. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Goodwinm
3.0 out of 5 stars Politically correct but boring in places
The middle chapters describing the training of Charlie into an agent of the Israelis are so wordy and pseudo-psychological that one begins to think that Le Carre is one of those... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Roman W
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing
Really liked this book - so well researched and on the pace.Quite believable too.
A little too much sex for me but otherwise it was one of the best reads of this year.
Published 11 months ago by Paul Morris
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality as always
John Le Carre is always consistent and although this isn't his best it is still a novel well worth reading
Published 13 months ago by David J C Green
3.0 out of 5 stars Story based on a misnomer
The Little Drummer Girl has one glaring deficiency: the basis upon which the story rests is false.

The novel's antagonist, named Khalil, is a 'Palestinian' freedom... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Dean M. Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality cerebral spy story
This is a brilliant, multi-layered spy story: mature le Carre at his best.
The writing is precise, playful, insinuating, the characters beautifully evoked, the plot unfurled... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Keith
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