20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Le Carre's "non-fiction" world,
This review is from: Our Kind of Traitor (Paperback)
I read "Our Kind of Traitor" in a week that the U.S. media revealed that the private prison industry had written and ensured passage of the immigration Arizona law and BP and Halliburton were publicly dukeing it out over responsibility for the catastrophic failure of their joint drilling venture in the Gulf of Mexico. There was other reporting on how Wall Street and financial institutions had manipulated the mortgage markets that resulted in the 2008 recession and how one of the principals in that greed-fest had been let off (judicially) with a slap on the wrist fine. In Russia, more investigative journalists were killed or arrested and the Russian Federation government announced greater involvement in the country's private business sector and put into place a new, Putin-selected Mayor of Moscow. And so it goes most weeks of the year.
John Le Carre has increasingly written in the stark but real terms that accurately reflect what is actually happening in the globalized and corporate controlled world that we live in. He gets a lot of flack for doing so, but you could certainly make an argument that our "now" world (which he faithfully chronicles in his "fiction") is a scarier and more dangerous place for the citizens of developed and developing countries alike than the world that existed before the disintegration of the Communist Bloc in 1989.
"Our Kind of Traitor" is a terrific book with the classic Le Carre mix of rich character development and gradually building plot. By the last chapter, the reader has been inveigled into investing a great deal in the outcome of the story, particularly in the future of the collected characters. But this being a Le Carre cautionary tale, tied very much to political and social reality, the ending is neither simple nor wholly rewarding. This is not a book for those who need the white hats to come out on top. In this author's world, there aren't many white hats out there, and they are always greatly outnumbered by gray and black-hatted adversaries. "Our Kind..." was written very much with the realities of 2010 in mind, and as such, it is neither positive in tone nor optimistic looking toward the future. Like most Le Carre books, I found it an engaging, highly insightful and articulate wake up call for all of us. Let's hope that this author's voice continues to be heard for a long time to come. Highly recommended.