My rating: 4 of 5 stars
John le Carré has been writing memorable novels for decades, and God willing, will continue to do so for a few more.
In his latest novel, Our Kind of Traitor, Le Carré provides a tale of espionage that makes one cheer and hope for the villain to win, or at least survive.
Perry and his girlfriend, Gail, befriend Dima, a Russian money-launderer, in Antigua while on vacation.
Dima, recognizing Perry is from London, has motives to turn state evidence against his illegal enterprise and the Seven Brothers in dire hopes of saving himself and family from certain death.
But what makes this novel a Le Carré novel is the author’s ability to interweave various points of view into a seamless story line, while bringing each character to life through rich descriptions and telling dialogue.
In Our Kind of Traitor, Le Carré opts for the short and frequent point of view changes, one almost every other page, and it makes for a fast, gripping read.
In doing so, the action does most of the telling with reflection being summoned only at key points in the plot to allow the reader a chance to gather her bearings and ask the necessary questions that remain unanswered.
The short “snapshots” are as short as two paragraphs or as long as a few pages, just long enough to capture the scene in vivid detail and have the action channel the necessary information to its reader.
“The point, though,” Jerome Stern writes in Making Shapely Fiction, “is to let the snapshots do most of the telling” (50).
Le Carré is a master at allowing the episodes or snapshots to do the telling.
The American novelist CG FEWSTON has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (Italy), a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong’s CityU, & he’s a member of the Hemingway Society, Club Med, and the Royal Society of Literature. He’s also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) based in London.
He’s the author of several short stories and novels. His works include A Father’s Son (2005), The New America: A Collection (2007), The Mystic’s Smile ~ A Play in 3 Acts (2007), Vanity of Vanities (2011), A Time to Love in Tehran (2015), Little Hometown, America: A Look Back (2020); and forthcoming: Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being; A Time to Forget in East Berlin; and, The Endless Endeavor of Excellence.
He has a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors), and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Fiction. He was born in Texas in 1979.
You can follow the author on Facebook @ cg.fewston – where he has 440,000+ followers