A Most Wanted Man (Movie Tie-In Edition)

( 53 )

Overview

Soon to be a major film starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, and Robin Wright—the acclaimed bestselling novel about spies in “The War on Terror.”

A half-starved young Russian man in a long black overcoat is smuggled into Hamburg at dead of night. He has an improbable amount of cash secreted in a purse around his neck. He is a devout Muslim. Or is he? He says his name is Issa.

Annabel, an idealistic young German civil ...

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A Most Wanted Man

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Overview

Soon to be a major film starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, and Robin Wright—the acclaimed bestselling novel about spies in “The War on Terror.”

A half-starved young Russian man in a long black overcoat is smuggled into Hamburg at dead of night. He has an improbable amount of cash secreted in a purse around his neck. He is a devout Muslim. Or is he? He says his name is Issa.

Annabel, an idealistic young German civil rights lawyer, determines to save Issa from deportation. Soon her client’s survival becomes more important to her than her own career—or safety. In pursuit of Issa’s mysterious past, she confronts the incongruous Tommy Brue, the sixty-year-old scion of Brue Frères, a failing British bank based in Hamburg.

Annabel, Issa, and Brue form an unlikely alliance—and a triangle of impossible loves is born. Meanwhile, sensing a sure kill in the “War on Terror,” the rival spies of Germany, England, and America converge upon the innocents.

Thrilling, compassionate, with characters you’ll never forget, A Most Wanted Man is a work of deep humanity and uncommon relevance to our times.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Le Carré's ... secret agents exist in a world of stalemate, moral compromise, ambiguity and betrayal... Like his books, le Carré is a mix of unblinking realism and hopeful humanism." — Jill Lawless, Associated Press

"What le Carré has always done terrifically is to capture the nuances of the spying game. His spooks are wonderful... In A Most Wanted Man you are, unlike the modern world, in thrillingly deft, safe hands." — The Guadian (UK)

"Highly recommended." — Library Journal

"This is le Carré's strongest, most powerful novel... Extraordinary." — Alan Furst, New York Times Book Review (cover review)

"Astounding, nearly perfect ... beautifully paced, awesomely crafted ... desperately readable" — John Freeman, San Francisco Chronicle

"Intricately plotted, beautifully written, propulsive, morally engaged, but timely as today's headlines.... The protagonists are brilliantly drawn." — Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times

"An instant classic... A provocative and incendiary ending that only le Carré, the master, can pull off." — USA Today

"As sharp as he ever was.... Le Carre ... remains a class above his neighbors on the bestseller list." — Jeffrey Westhoff, Chicago Sun-Times

"Breaks notable new ground... Le Carré's dialogue has snap, rhythm and wit... immaculate timing." — Peter Wolfe, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Turn the pages slowly, because an era is passing, and with it, an illuminating view of the troubled keepers of an uneasy peace." — James F. Sweeney, Cleveland Plain Dealer

From the Publisher
"Le Carré's ... secret agents exist in a world of stalemate, moral compromise, ambiguity and betrayal... Like his books, le Carré is a mix of unblinking realism and hopeful humanism."
— Jill Lawless, Associated Press

"What le Carré has always done terrifically is to capture the nuances of the spying game. His spooks are wonderful... In A Most Wanted Man you are, unlike the modern world, in thrillingly deft, safe hands."
The Guadian (UK)

"Highly recommended."
Library Journal

"This is le Carré's strongest, most powerful novel... Extraordinary."
— Alan Furst, New York Times Book Review (cover review)

"Astounding, nearly perfect ... beautifully paced, awesomely crafted ... desperately readable"
— John Freeman, San Francisco Chronicle

"Intricately plotted, beautifully written, propulsive, morally engaged, but timely as today's headlines.... The protagonists are brilliantly drawn."
— Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times

"An instant classic... A provocative and incendiary ending that only le Carré, the master, can pull off."
USA Today

"As sharp as he ever was.... Le Carre ... remains a class above his neighbors on the bestseller list."
— Jeffrey Westhoff, Chicago Sun-Times

"Breaks notable new ground... Le Carré's dialogue has snap, rhythm and wit... immaculate timing."
— Peter Wolfe, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Turn the pages slowly, because an era is passing, and with it, an illuminating view of the troubled keepers of an uneasy peace."
— James F. Sweeney, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476740140
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Edition description: Media Tie-In
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 178,588
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John le Carré was born in 1931. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; The Honorable Schoolboy; and Smiley’s People. His novels include The Constant Gardner, The Little Drummer Girl, A Perfect Spy, The Russia House, Our Game, The Tailor of Panama, and Single & Single. He lives in Cornwall, United Kingdom.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 53 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2008

    TERRORISTS HAVE CHANGED THE SPY GAME

    After reading the first few lines of THE MOST WANTED MAN by John LeCarre, the setting is not only clearly revealed, it represents a sinister sense of foreboding. Hamburg, Germany, is the background against which the story is juxtaposed. Some readers may be tipped off by this choice of location, where at least six of the 9/11 terrorists, including Mohammed Atta were undisturbed in plotting their attack. Here a young Muslim man claims to be the son and heir to a fortune, makes clandestine contact with a Turkish family and as more people are drawn into his circle the tension rises. Nothing is as it seems and few of the characters are who they say they say are. A MOST WANTED MAN is a complex, suspenseful and riveting book. John Le Carre takes a dim view on the world of global politics and those who partake in the secret meetings and wholesale agreements that lead to more human carnage, whether in ruining lives or ending them. All of the characters are on edge. No one knows who to trust. But big decisions have to be made and whose moral standards will shape the outcome? But those who have read Le Carre's enormous body of work know that even at 75 years of age, he could never let his fans down. In A MOST WANTED MAN teh author may have had to change the backdrop but he still write with pristine prose and captures the human condition in its most realistic configurations. This remains his strongest creations writing gift. And, he has always made 'it' so real.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Got insomnia? Read this book!

    Although I have enjoyed Le Carre's books in the past, as well as the films that have been made from them, this one is a dud. I bought it solely on the writer's name and reputation, but I was disappointed. I know you can't hit a home run every time you come to bat, but this isn't even a bunt single.<BR/><BR/>As the plot unfolds, and another character is introduced, I kept thinking, "Who is this person and what in the world does he/she have to do with the young Chechen?" The relationships between the characters is unclear, the Lippizaner metaphor is too cloudy and I struggled to find relevance. I am half-way through the book and have yet to understand where it is going. I have beenn given a ton of trivia, and meaningless stultifying dialogue, but no information. <BR/><BR/>The only suspense is trying to guess how many pages it will take before I fall asleep.<BR/><BR/>In LeCarre's masterpiece, "The spy who came in from the cold," one could feel the suspense from the beginning: Checkpoint Charlie at the height of the cold war...Agent executed before his eyes...Then the challenge...Could Leamas pull it off? Was his deception convincing? Which of his many encounters with other characters would prove his undoing? <BR/><BR/>I'm goimng to contimue slogging through this book. I can use the sleep.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Most Wanted Novelist

    I'm not going to make any bones about "A Most Wanted Man." It's one of le Carre's best works to date.<BR/><BR/>Le Carre continues to run rings around other writers in the espionage thriller field. Whereas most of these writers feel compelled to espouse their political views at the expense of story and character and to mortgage their talent to their PC publishers who have political axes to grind, le Carre remains objectively bent on telling a well-crafted, well-written story.<BR/><BR/>Other, lesser, writers, propagandists essentially, may fume and pontificate on their soapboxes about their political weltanschauungs in preachy novels that masquerade as thrillers. Le Carre, however, doesn't permit his political biases to interfere with his art. This is especially true in "A Most Wanted Man," which is more a novel than it is a thriller in the sense that there isn't much action in it. It's a novel about lies, manipulation, and doulble-dealing in the spy game, where the innocent and the guilty become caught up in an internecine clandestine political imbrogilo beyond their control.<BR/><BR/>--Bryan Cassiday, author of "Fete of Death"

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    Not recommended.

    I haven't read one of his books for many years and now I remember why. The first half of the book is a very slow read with so much filler information on his people that boredom recovery becomes the main objective when you put it down. He is the king of side stories that add nothing extra to the plot.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Who Are These people?

    I am almost two thirds through the book and I still don't know what the heck is going on! How did I get here from there? When did I make the jump? Did my mind wander and somehow miss a chapter? Why does my head hurt! Definitely a cure for insomnia.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2008

    An Enjoyable, Suspenseful Read

    The city of Hamburg in Germany has unknowingly harbored many terrorist groups in the past. The people of Hamburg believe that everyone should be treated with respect and trust until they break that trust. This is why terrorists seem attracted to the city. If they do not cause any problems, then they are not questioned, just smiled at and helped. This is the basis for A Most Wanted Man, written by John le Carre. <BR/> John le Carre does an excellent job describing the city, characters, and motives in this novel. He uses extreme detail to paint a vivid picture of the situation in the mind of the reader. This talent as writer is very helpful to readers because confusing and complex situations are broken down and explained so that the reader may better understand the storyline. <BR/> A Most Wanted Man provokes the mind of the reader and touches on a subject that many people do not fully understand, terrorism. The main character, Issa, is a Chechen fugitive who finds refuge with a family in the city of Hamburg. He states that his main purpose for traveling to the city is to become a doctor, but the German authorities think otherwise. The authorities of Hamburg and even the American CIA accuse Issa of being a terrorist, so Issa is forced to live in an attic for his safety. As the story develops it becomes clear that Issa is not a terrorist, but rather a person who escaped his homeland because of persecution and torture. This is a very interesting and important part of the story that really shaped my opinion of Issa as a reader. The ability to make a reader identify and feel sympathy for a fugitive in Germany is a real skill that John le Carre possesses. Even though the customs, religions, and mannerisms of Issa seem to be foreign to mainstream America, John le Carre makes it very easy to become emotionally attached to the character. <BR/> A Most Wanted Man is a great read. The book is full of suspense and thought provoking situations that come together to create a controversial plot for the reader to take a moral stance on. This novel is great for anyone who is looking for a storyline that is current and has very believable characters. This is the first book I have read by John le Carre but certainly not the last. He has a talent for connecting the reader with the characters and has a unique ability to describe situations in extreme, but not boring, detail.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    John Le Carre, A Most Wanted Man

    Within the first few pages, I knew I would enjoy this book. Le Carre demonstrates once again his mastery of fiction based on reality, his ability to incorporate current events and contemporary fears into his novels, his wonderful talent at exploring character. There are major events, events of global significance going on in and around this story, but he manages to keep the reader focused on a few people, a few real, flawed people, keeps you wanting to know - who are they, what are they capable of, why do they do this? These are the kinds of characters I wish I could create in my writing. This is the kind of story telling that, as far as I am concerned, makes Le Carre one of the best writers alive today. Cheers to you, John.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2010

    Disappointing

    I'm a long-time le Carre fan and so, when I wanted to take my new nook color for its first ride, a le Carre novel seemed like a safe choice. I won't provide a detailed review because there are already many that exist. Suffice it to say that if you, like me, have heard that points of view have become more political, realize that this applies also to le Carre. If you want to read some good le Carre check out his earlier books. Unfortunately, someone, I'm not sure who, has not made these available in digital form.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2010

    Wonderful, highly recommend.

    I have read all his books and this was no dissapointment, loved it and would recommend it to anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2008

    A Pleasure to Read

    The post 9/11 world has been a place of fear and uncertainty. No one can be trusted and no chances can be taken. People are on a constant search for suspicious behavior. All of these things describe the mood within A Most Wanted Man. John le Carré tells a story of an Islamist, Issa, who had recently escaped confinement and made his way to Hamburg, Germany, the place where most of the planning of the 9/11 attacks were planned. At that time, they could plan their violent attacks in peace. This can not be said for the present day. <BR/>The moment Issa steps foot in Germany, every move he makes his carefully watched. His innocence at first is murky, but those who truly discover who he is, clearly see his innocence. Those who do their work from a distance still do not trust him. He is religiously devout and would never harm a fly, but because of his race and his questionable past, he is held on a tight leash. <BR/>John le Carré develops a theme of not judging those who you do not know. Every character in the novel seems to have a story unknown to the rest of the characters. Not one character can be summarized in a couple of sentences because they are all so elaborate. In order for the true nature of any one character to be revealed, the whole story must be read. This is, for the most part, makes this an amazing read. Characters are no longer characters but real people. You can actually identify with those within the story. You start to feel for those in the book and when it comes to an end, you will just sit and ponder. Ponder the quality of humans in general. That is what makes this book. It shows how people can come together for a common cause, but in the same story show the darker side of human nature. <BR/>This book is the definition of suspense. The purpose of the entire book is to figure out why Issa is in Germany, allow him to get his money from a local bank, and to see what kind of connections they can find between Issa and Islamic terrorists. A complex plan is devised and ninety eight percent of the book is just the lead up to the execution of it. I just wanted to keep reading even when my eyes were heavy. It is such a great build up and the end just leaves you shocked. <BR/>The way in which the story is told also makes this and interesting read. The story is told by various points of view. At times there is a sort of omniscient point of view, allowing you to get a glimpse of everyone¿s true thoughts. The story is also told from the view of Tommy Brue (the bank owner), Frau Richter (Issa¿s lawyer), and Bachman (works for law enforcement). The only person not really open to the reader is Issa. The only way to judge his character is by his interactions with the others. This allows the reader to form his own opinions about who Issa really is. The voice of the piece also tends to include ludicrous amounts of detail. The settings and the emotions of the characters are always fully developed. This also allows for some confusion. Le Carré sometimes gives so much detail that he ventures off course with tangents that could be excluded from the story.<BR/>I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes suspense and a book with intricate relationships. It is a great read that makes you feel a sort of attachment to the seemingly real characters. This book had me wanting more after I put it down. I will not be surprised if I pick up another novel by John le Carré sometime soon.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2014

    It is LeCarre

    If you want Ludlum, read Ludlum. This is LeCarre.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2014

    For the le carre fan or english style spy stuff

    Just couldnt get interested but dont care for the genre in books or movies bond too buska

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  • Posted November 21, 2009

    Not what i'm used to

    I found this book so uninteresting that I didn't even finish reading.
    Extremely slow reading with no suspense.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2009

    Excellent!

    As a fan of le Carre, I think this is one of his very best.
    But if you didn't like his prior novels, there is nothing here so different as to change your mind.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    A return to form for LeCarre.

    Not quite the peak of the Smiley novels, but a very timely plot that allows LeCarre to revisit the espionage territory he does so well and the more universal issues of the deceptions, including self-deceptions, that we all use in daily life, and the inability of even highly intelligent and competent individuals to avoid the tide of history and forces larger than themselves.

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  • Posted February 24, 2009

    Nice effort to keep LeCarr&#233;'s saga

    Another thrilling story from LeCarr&#233;, one of the masters when story-telling is appealing

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  • Posted January 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another good one

    Issa is indeed wanted; too bad he doesn't know what he wants. LeCarré, once again, takes us on a journey of bad people and worse people with one or two almost good ones tagging along. And always a victim that will bounce among them with skeptical hope. A wonderful read with one of best LeCarré 'gotcha' endings.

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  • Posted January 17, 2009

    Too Wordy

    I had heard alot of good things about LeCarre while I was enjoying other authors like Silva and Brown, but I most admit that I was extremely disappointed by A Most Wanted Man. Plot evolved painfully slow. Author spent way too much time writing one sentence paragraphs not relevant to the story while catching up the plot by jumping ahead between chapters. I would not recommend this book nor LeCarre. Writes like he has his nose up in the air. I read a couple novels a week, but I will not be adding LeCarre to the rotation.

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  • Posted December 14, 2008

    Terrifyingly relevant to today's issues!

    A Most Wanted Man is a spy novel extraordaire with themes more relevant to today's issues then most other thrillers I've read. Highlighting the war on terror and they way it has altered rationality, this is a book that should hit close to home for anyone. Issa, a young Russian with horrific scars, comes mysteriously to be in Hamberg. A devout Muslim, he is quickly under suspcion from all sides. Annabel, a young German lawyer is determind to prevent the government from deporting him and she drags a wealthy British banker into her cause. It's a game of cat and mouse as the rival spies try to find proof of Issa's terrorist connections. <BR/>I listened to this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. John le Carre reads the book himself, and he does a good job of it. I found the plot to be frighteningly plausible. I liked the main characters and especially enjoyed the relationships between Issa, Annabelle, and Tommy Brue. This is a book peopled with realistic people caught in unimaginably terrifying circumstances!

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  • Posted November 30, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    What a let down

    I was very disappointed in this book, the jacket, the reviews, the author all pointed to a good read. I just did not get it. He spent a lot of time getting us to relate with a few of the main characters, but they never really went anywhere, who was Issa anyway? Who was Mr Tommy, Annabel for that matter. And who were all the other characters thrown in in the last couple of chapters? Not my kind of book, very boring, the only mystery/intrigue was when will it ever end so I can go on to something else.

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