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The Naive and Sentimental Lover

The Naive and Sentimental Lover [Kindle Edition]

John le Carré
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'Splendid, original . . . le Carré shows how endowed he is with the gift of storytelling' (The Times)

'Comic and touching . . . this novel is brilliant and marvellously good reading' (Book World)

'Sad, funny, captivating and stunningly fertile' (Sunday Express)

Book Description

A new hardback package for this acclaimed le Carré novel

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 550 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (25 Jun 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002V092ME
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #85,557 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Something different 27 Oct 2008
Speaking at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the beginning of this month, John le Carre described his feelings about this novel as "toe-curling embarrassment". Since it had been me who'd asked him the question about it, I thought it'd be interesting to reread the book. This is a story that represents a departure from the author's work in the spy-thriller genre, although his abiding themes of betrayal, secrecy and intrigue still underly this tale of the repressed Aldo Cassidy and his obsession with the wildly unconventional Shamus and Helen. The whole appeal of the story, I think, hinges on whether you think this obsession is realistic and can empathise with Aldo's quest for something greater than his uneasy marriage to the brittle Sandra, or think that Shamus is a hectoring twerp of unparalleled selfishness who uses his (rumoured) artistic talent as an excuse for atrocious behaviour.

Personally, this time round, I still found myself believing in the story, although I could see how a little more impatience with the characters would cause a complete loss of faith in it. As for the writing, le Carre's attention to detail in the dialogue remains evident here: for example, the way Sandra ends just a few sentences with the nagging "but still" tells you a lot about what it would be like to be married to her. And I was interested to come across a few phrases that were to be later re-used in A Perfect Spy, which (like this book) contains a number of autobiographical elements. As an interesting side-trip from the genre that le Carre has dominated for so long, it's to be recommended, but I don't think anyone could argue that this is one of his best.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The soul of John Le Carre 16 Jan 2003
I know this book rarely gets a mention in a discussion of Le Carre's greatest works, but I absolutely loved it.
The book haunts me still after ten years, so I felt the need to buy it again!
The story reveals a deeply emotional side to John Le Carre that you will not find elsewhere.
If you are pondering the meaning of love, life and death and wondering what it's all about, take a chance on this book.
It moved me deeply.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Naive and Sentimental Lover 5 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A departure from the formulaic "spy" novels from Le Carre, I had the sense he might have written this book for his own satisfaction. For me easily his best.

A man tempted to break free of a successfully dull existence hits his own emotional Cresta Run - in all innocence!

I've read it at least twice before, but in paperback editions that have gone the way of all flimsy items - very glad to have the hardback now.

Essential reading.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Catharsis 11 July 2009
This was written after the breakdown of his marriage, and it shows.

I have copies of everything that Le Carre has written, and re-read them at regular intervals, with the exception this one semi-autobiograpic novel.

Oh! And 'The Looking Glass War'has dated far more than his other early works,but nonetheless one of my favouite authors.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best. 9 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As big fan of Le Carré's work this book came as a bit of disappointment. What I like about is work is that some of his characters seems to got under my skin and in this book that doesn't even close close to happen.
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1.0 out of 5 stars ... don't 3 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
never finished it - after reading many chapters I looked at other reviews and concluded it would be permissible to move on!
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Sentimental Lover 7 Dec 2011
The delivery was good but unfortunately this must be the worst book that John Le Carre has wrote. He needs to stick to what he knows best "espionage".
I read the book to halfway through and gave up. Very disappointing.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
First of all, this isn't an espionage novel - which will cause many readers to switch off straight away. But it is Le Carre, and therefore it's at least readable on a basic level.
It's a slight tale of attempted escapism, emotional ties, and the "freedom" that artists enjoy; the kind of middle-aged, middle-class upper-middlebrow book that in particularly bad years might've stood a chance at the Booker.
I'm sure if you think hard enough about this book you'll find echoes of JLC's relationship with his father in it, or echoes of his own life - but frankly I found the whole think really little more than a piece of extended angst.
Marginally entertaining for the completist, but apart from a similarity in tone and style that will appeal to those of us who enjoy JLC's writing, there's very little memorable or even particularly interesting here.
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