Our Game

Our Game

4.2 4
by John le Carré

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—Chicago Sun-Times
With the Cold War fought and won, British spymaster Tim Cranmer accepts early retirement to rural England and a new life with his alluring young mistress Emma. But when both Emma and Cranmer's star double agent and lifelong rival, Larry Pettifer,

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—Chicago Sun-Times
With the Cold War fought and won, British spymaster Tim Cranmer accepts early retirement to rural England and a new life with his alluring young mistress Emma. But when both Emma and Cranmer's star double agent and lifelong rival, Larry Pettifer, disappear, Cranmer is suddenly on the run, searching for his brilliant protégé, desperately eluding his former colleagues, in a frantic journey across Europe and into the lawless, battered landscapes of Moscow and southern Russia, to save whatever of his life he has left....
"IRRESISTIBLE...A sinuous plot, leisurely introduced, whose coils become increasingly constricting. There is crisp, intelligent dialogue, much of it riding an undercurrent of menace. And there is a hero who does not see himself as heroic but who struggles with inner demons as much as with the forces arrayed against him."
"AS THRILLING AS LE CARRÉ GETS...The novel has the heartstop duplicity of A Perfect Spy and some of the outraged honor of The Night Manager and The Little Drummer Girl."
—The Boston Globe
—The Christian Science Monitor

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Le Carr continues to stay ahead of the news, and his latest novel set in the post-Soviet world is smashingly up-to-date, involving nothing less than a desperate breakaway attempt by Chechnya and the murky international dealings that accompany it. His narrator is Tim Cranmer, former secret agent turned winemaker in rural Somerset. Tim's great espionage success was the recruiting of brilliant gadfly Larry Pettifer, who ended up not only stealing Tim's beautiful mistress, the enigmatic Emma, but also disappearing, apparently with a fortune lifted from Russian banks to aid the rebels through shady arms deals. Now the police are looking for Larry, the ``Office'' is convinced Cranmer must be in on his schemes, and, using all his old spycraft, he sets out to find Larry and Emma. To warn them? To win Emma back? To find out what really happened? To redeem what he increasingly sees as his own shabby, evasive life? The author creates a brilliantly complex character in Tim Cranmer; but such is his skill as a narrator-as always, le Carr's dialogue and scene-setting are incomparable-that it is impossible not to empathize strongly with him, and as a result to feel profound ambivalence about Emma and Larry and their many betrayals. The surprising and bitter ending seems to resolve nothing, leaving only a harsh taste of the Western betrayal of ideals of freedom. Le Carr is moving into much tougher territory than his old smooth, sophisticated spy yarns, and readers must become accustomed to increasing ambiguities. Our Game entirely lacks the dazzling action sequences and intricate plotting of The Night Manager, but it cuts even more deeply into the dour contemporary world. 350,000 first printing; BOMC main selection; Random House audio book. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Larry is missing, and British Intelligence would like to know why. So would the police, who pay a visit to friend Tim Cranmer. Of course, Tim is compelled to keep secret his Intelligence connections with Larry-it was he who brought the brilliant, wayward Larry into the business-but he also stonewalls because Larry has run off with Tim's girlfriend, Emma, and Tim may be responsible for Larry's murder. "You stole my life, and I stole your woman," taunted Larry, and as Tim tries desperately to track down the missing man, he reconstructs their tortured relationship and the events that led to their final blow-up. Larry, it seems, is alive after all, and he's up to his neck in trouble: he's been stealing from the Russians to fund an uprising in Chechnya. Yes, Chechnya: uncannily, le Carr picked the one trouble spot in the former Soviet empire that really did blaze up. As a result, this beautifully written novel has some urgency, but the pace is slowed by too many worshipful asides on Larry and the too-deliberate working out of his involvement in Chechnya; the wrap-up comes too late and has no punch. Nevertheless, le Carr fans should clamor for this; buy accordingly. [BOMC main selection; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/94.]-Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
School Library Journal
YA-Another tautly written, well-researched spy novel from LeCarr. The Cold War is over. The Russians are our friends. Consequently, spy handler Tim ``Timbo'' Cranmer and his specially groomed double agent, Larry Pettifer, are put out to pasture. Tim, a somewhat stolid and unimaginative civil-servant type, has removed himself and his much younger mistress, Emma, to his late uncle's vineyard in Somerset, while the idealistic Larry is uncomfortably ensconced as a professor at Bath University. Then Larry and Emma disappear. They have apparently run off together. They have also apparently relieved the Russians of more than 30 million pounds. The British police, guessing at Tim's previous occupation, and the Russians, knowing it, suspect Tim's active participation in, or at least knowledge of, the scheme. All parties concerned attempt to force him to reveal the whereabouts of the fugitives, which he honestly does not know. He does, however, still possess some of the skills of his former profession, and in a suspenseful journey through England, France, and finally Russia, he tracks down his friends while eluding his followers. In the process, readers learn much about the dissident Russian regions and some pre-and post-Stalinist history. An engrossing, exciting spy story.-Susan H. Woodcock, King's Park Library, Burke, VA
From the Publisher
"Let me be specific: I think the man deserves the Nobel." - The Globe and Mail

“As the greatest spy novelist of our times John le Carré has always used as the bedrock of his craft the strange ways people are bound to each other.” - Calgary Sun

“In a world where villains can bleed tragedy and heroes may not be so heroic, le Carré is still our keenest arbiter.” - Winnipeg Free Press

“No other contemporary novelist has more durably enjoyed the twin badges of being both well read and well regarded.” - Scott Turow

“Le Carré, always an intriguing blend of patrician and populist, gives voice to all our contempt for hot-money deals.” - Independent (UK)

“I would suggest immortality for John le Carré…. May he write forever!” - Chicago Tribune

“A literary master for a generation.” - Observer (UK)

"Furious in action...Takes us by the neck on page one and never lets go." - Chicago Sun-Times

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Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
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4.15(w) x 6.87(h) x 0.93(d)

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