Customer Reviews for

Absolute Friends

Average Rating 3.5
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2008

    Vintage Le Carre...with a modern twist

    Le Carre is at his best writing about Berlin in the cold war days. The first part of Absolute Friends draws on his extraordinary experience and knowledge of cold war Berlin...and, like vintage Le Carre, it is enthralling to read. When it comes to more recent times, however, Le Carre probably does not have any experience with intelligence services--and it shows. Still, well worth reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2007

    Good, but different. . . . .

    At the end, I did like this book. It was not what I expected, the typical Le Carre spy story, and in some parts it was hard to follow his implications, what he was referring to. But the end makes the story clear. It is a chilling comment on current events. I have no doubt this kind of thing really happens, and isn't that exactly the kind of story we expect from Le Carre? I find I enjoyed the book more than I thought I was as I read it, and it stays with me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2004

    WEB OF SELF-DECEPTION AND EMPIRE

    A great spy novel, an eye opening and refreshing truth seeking novel about the current 'War on Terrorism' and where this is leading us and spiraling us down towards. The story might seem to jump around a bit, but like the main character it is transforming itself patiently from a closed door to an open storm, from something hidden from the surface to something that grabs you and pulls you inside.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2014

    Evie

    It fine
    I've been busy
    Too
    School started

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2014

    Austin

    "Im sorry i havent been on
    In a while. Ill try to get on more
    But my nook is still broke and
    I dont know when ill get a new
    One."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    A must read for our times

    Is Eisehower proved right in the 21st century,`Beware of the military industrial complex`?
    LeCarre clearly thinks that the world is being perverted by unfettered capitalist neo-con religious fanatic militaristic power brokers who need purpetual fear and manipulation of the masses. Through deceit and manipulating wars,, through propaganda and rhetoric, the world has become a dangerous place for truth and intellectual freedom.
    Hang in through some early slogging as he makes his point of how easily our financial, government,economy and political systems can be subverted by the extreme right Haliburton.Tea party. Fox. Connect the dots. Remember how we originally were drawn in to Afghanistan? Covert wars sold by lies and hiding its cost.
    Eye opening,

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

    [~*~]

    [~•~] The cat appears on a tree branch. "Rough day?" [~•~]

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  • Posted January 30, 2012

    A Classic Gem

    Well written, fascinating and VERY thought provoking.
    Makes you REALLY think about all of your personal connections.

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  • Posted December 28, 2011

    Not Good

    Awful

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    John le Carre, The America Hater?

    I have read most of his books and this one was well written as usual. However, the story is anti-American and anti-capitalism. This surprised me.
    It will probably be the last le Carre book I will ever read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Can't believe I finished this book!

    I agree that John Le Carre's works are like classical literary pieces. However, when I read a thriller/suspense/political spy novel, I expect thrills, suspense, and a politically intriguing storyline. I experienced none of these qualities with Absolute Friends. Boring and long-winded, I finished this work hoping that somewhere along the way the story will shift, the pace will increase. The characters are forgettable without an ounce of charisma. I was disappointed down to the very last page. This was my first time reading Le Carre and I doubt I will be brave enough to try again. If you're looking for rich characters against a compelling backdrop I suggest Daniel Silva and Nelson Demille.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2005

    Courtroom spy story

    If anything, the 9/11 taught the spy agencies to part with the courtroom spying game where Bond-type spies do most of their work at diplomatic receptions and balls. absolute friends by le carre, despite current topic, seems a little behind times in that respect. today's spy is as ruthless a killer as the terrorists' themselves, so why to the characters chat like linguists in love with the sound of their own voice. they belong in the the gutters of this world! an okay read from a once great author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2004

    In the pursuit of principle: Yesterday and Today.

    <P> The U.S.-Iraq war has ended and dissatisfied with the British Government, Ted Mundy is betrayed by his English Language School partner, Egon. Egon has fled with the last of their assets, leaving him broke. Out of a job and business Mundy wanders the streets aimlessly. While at a café Mundy meets Zara, a young Turkish prostitute. Instead of taking her up on her offer, Mundy plays the Good Samaritan and offers her a meal. <P> Drawn to this neglected and abused woman, Mundy escorts her home, against her will. It doesn¿t take long for Mundy to establish himself as a father figure to Zara¿s eleven year old son, Mustafa, and soon enough within Zara¿s bed. <p> Although things change while Mundy is entertaining a multicultural group of English speaking tourists at Linderhof, a Bavarian Palace, where he works as a tour guide. Like a shadow from the past, Sasha shows up requesting a meet. Sasha is the son of a East German Lutheran Pastor and a middle aged double agent. Mundy agrees and follows Sasha to a secluded flat. Here Mundy¿s memories take over after the two men greet. <p> Recollections reveal who Ted Mundy really is, where he comes from, as well as his feelings. A boy born in Pakistan, an adolescent with an alcoholic father who refuses to clarify his mother¿s identity, and for most of life has associated himself with any cause encountered. From communism and socialism to his first meeting with Sasha in Berlin, when they were university students and at the height of the cold war. <p> Mundy himself is a flawed individual that has practically failed at everything: college, reporter, novelist, businessman, and radio interviewer. But has managed to succeed at one thing: a secret double agent. <p> John le Carré¿s book could be seen as ¿anti-American¿ if one chose to read into things and very easily find reason with phrases such as: Journalists, however, were blandly reminded that the United States reserved to itself the right to ¿hunt down its enemies at any time in any place with or without the cooperation of its friends and allies.¿ Or ¿The easiest and cheapest trick for any leader is to take his country to war on false pretenses. Anyone who does that should be hounded out of office for all time.¿ <p> But how far is America willing to go? How much are we, the people, willing to tolerate? <p> The war in Iraq, government deception and corporate misdeeds on an unsuspecting public are just some of what readers can expect. Absolute Friends is filled with engaging characters that guarantee to generate reader sympathy. The underlying layers and messages are sure to evoke much thought no matter how one feels of the ongoing war, 9/11, political views or President Bush. <p> Absolute Friends is an exceptionally powerful and spellbinding novel. Not only in its implications of democracy but also in how the threat of terrorism is being used, in our world of today. If you liked Fahrenheit 9/11, you'll like this book. This is one book you¿ll want to read or give as a gift to your favorite activist! <p> Reviewed by Betsie

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2004

    A Solid Effort by the Master

    It took some ripening to the age of 72, but master spy novelist John le Carre' has finally found his post- Cold War feet with this intelligent thriller inspired by today's headlines. Though most of the action takes place in Germany, the issues know no borders and the most compelling landscape turns out to be the human mind. The son of a con-artist and himself a former spy, le Carre' has always tended toward a jaundiced perspective -- his most enduring theme the futility of believing in anything absolute, whether religion, ideology, or the basic sincerity of our leaders. In Absolute Friends, le Carre's disgust for our President's misadventure in Iraq all but spills off the page. Perhaps at last, despite himself, le Carre' has found a cause worthy of his -- and our -- absolute disbelief.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2004

    This time the reader is out in the cold.

    Why doesn't someone tell the truth about this book? For the first half (at least) of Absolute Friends, the book is deadly dull. The author seems to be writing from a vantage point somewhere in outer space. Huge chunks of exposition posing as dialogue go on for as much as twenty pages and we are to believe that a real human being could actually speak in the stilted and bookish way described here. When Sasha begins to 'speak like a book,' this is no compliment. The novel begins to gather interest near page three hundred. Until that point, the two main characters have been entirely uninteresting to the the reader. The prose of Absolute Friends is workmanlike and droning. What interest the book generates is its distinctly unglamorous view of spying. I would have abandoned this book after fifty pages (perhaps sooner), but it has been years since I've read a Le Carre novel and I wanted to give the book a good chance. Absolute Friends provided only one enjoyment--finishing, and then closing, this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2004

    Politically a little narrow, but as a story it is massive

    Awesome character development; you really know Mundy as if he's a close friend by the end. Le Carre probes into the darker corners of human frailty, though at times Mundy acts with a lot of backbone. Sasha...very realistic little freaky radical. Very twisty at the end...I got a little lost. But powerful nonetheless.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2004

    Le Carre turns on the 'War on Terror'

    As always, Le Carre is a good read. I have to say, I didn't think Absolute Friends to be one of his very best. A very ambitious effort, I almost felt Le Carre built up too many strands to succesfully resolve at the conclusion, which seemed more hastily put together than usual. Perhaps Le Carre felt compelled to have this in print as soon after the Iraq war as possible to emphasise its political warning. A compelling And absorbing read nonetheless - looking forward to the next!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2004

    Timely, very disturbing

    Kudos, again. Another Man From The Cold, another worthy Smiley-type. But the Cold War is over, looked back upon, almost fondly, by a younger generation, except that post-September 11th and post-Iraq, the Rules have changed, and everything has new and hidden and ugly meanings. To an American reader, we'll always be outside cousins, and so it's a nice glimpse to learn what it was like to grow up an Imperial, have a wild youth in Berlin, and then settle in to a produced middle age of sorts. A very human, dark, disturbing read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2004

    A POSSIBLE PARALLEL TRUTH

    Per the copyright page this is a work of fiction; the last page even notes that the author, whose workname is 'LeCarre', finished it in June 2003. Since then we've learned that the British 'sexed up' some intel which was given to the American President, that a middle level analyst who was the leak later commited suicide, that the almighty Beeb (BBC) doesn't carefully check its sources and that its Director had to step down, that the resulting furor has caused parliamentary repercussions for the PM, and that maybe there was less or more to the story behind the Iraq War. This book though shows us the Indian Partition through the eyes of a British Army brat, who returns to the Home Counties before diving into the 60's and going lefto-wild in Berlin, before settling into a duo-trope as a government apparatchik and secret Cold Cold Warrior, before getting to the immediate, all too timely post September 11th, post War On Terror doings. All in all, masterful, ugly, haunting. One of the best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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