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Be cautious if you are approaching this because you lived the TV show
on 1 July 2017
Having watched and loved the TV series I bought this book with high expectations of a more in depth version with perhaps some interesting differences.
Unfortunately I did not enjoy this book at all. If, like me you are thinking of coming to this having enjoyed the show and you are not already a firm Le Carre fan I would warn you to be cautious and perhaps save your time.
Le Carre is obviously a very good writer and I can see how this novel will be enjoyed by his fans.
But I found it a real chore. The sections involving Jonathan, which the TV show more or less copied, are fine. However, the chapters involving the ministers and high level spooks were incredibly tedious. For much of those sections I had very little idea what was going on and it was far too easy to completely lose track of all the names. Le Carre writes these scenes as if you were part of these groups and should know all the lingo- but being a passive observer in numerous dull meetings involving all sorts of specialist discussion I wasn't given enough information to understand does not make for a good novel.
A section that felt like 100 pages near the very end was especially impenetrable. I read a lot and am not thick but I didn't have a clue what was going on.
If, like me you looked forward to a brilliant, clever ending like the show then I fear you will be disappointed as well.
I enjoyed the Constant Gardener but it will be a while before I take a chance on me Carre again. If you are approaching this novel in the same circumstances as me then just beware