At Forty-Eight, Tim Cranmer is a secret servant in premature retirement to deepest rural England. His Cold War is fought and won, and he is free to devote himself to his stately manor house, his vineyard, and his beautiful young mistress, Emma. But no man can escape his past, and Tim's lives twenty miles away, in the chaotic person of Larry Pettifer: bored radical don, philanderer, and for twenty years Tim's mercurial double agent against the now vanquished Communist threat. Between the two stands an unresolved rivalry that dates all the way back to their shared boyhood at public school. As the story opens, Larry and Emma have disappeared. Have they run off together? Are they lovers? Has Larry lured Emma into some dark game she cannot understand? Setting off in pursuit of them, Tim discovers that he too is being pursued, by his former masters. The hunter becomes the hunted. Raiding his own past like a thief, he follows Larry and Emma into the minefield - physical and emotional - of their new allegiance. And as Tim advances across the moral wastes of post-Cold War Europe - the battered landscape of England after Thatcher, the lawless worlds of Moscow and Southern Russia - his dilemma deepens. Finding himself deprived of both past and future, a dispossessed loyalist, he must grapple with his own leftover humanity as the values he fought to preserve fall away, and the spectre of the reinvented Russian empire begins to haunt the ruins of the Soviet dream. Our Game is John le Carre at his incomparable best.
This is one of John LeCarre's best. A world of espionage and double agents plus missing people, post the Cold War era.
British spymaster is suddenly, on the run, searching frantically, across Europe and Russia, for his protege.
Tim Cranmer accepts early retirement and settles in rural England with his young mistress when lifelong rival Larry Pettifer disappears and Cranmer is suddenly on the run.
I've never read a John LeCarre I didn't enjoy tremendously.
It is the early post-Cold War era. Tim Cranmer, our protagonist, is another retired spook in Le Carrés world of retired spies. In this case he is forced into retirement with dignitya dignity that of a sudden becomes questionable when he is suddenly the subject of a police probe into money laundering and filtering her majestys filthy lucre into channels that are allegedly favorable to his our interests. Quite a conundrum, as he is quite innocent! So begins his search for one of his former operativesa friend who, it seems, must be at the center of his dilemma. All of the secret-service agent stuff is here, all the interrogations, all of the loose paper trails, all of the innuendo, as well as all of the ennui associated with being a good undercover agent, or investigator. Somewhere in the middle, the book seemed, to me, to drag on; but then it picked up the pace again, until near the end as he gets close on his friends (the operative) trail. Many readers may not be satisfied with the cliff-hanger ending though; one must interpolate the end for ones self.
Another excellent novel from Le Carre...if you are already a fan of the author, need I say more. It is the type of novel that grabs your interest from the first sentence: "Larry went officially mising from the world on the second Monday of October, at ten minutes by eleven, when he failed to deliver his opeining lecture of the new academic year."
Very good read. Kept you guessing until the very end.
4 cassettes, 6 hours. Read by the author.
Another tautly written, well-researched spy novel from LeCarre. 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.
Not long ago I enjoyed an interview with this author and have been collecting his work ever since. However, this is my first read by this talented writer.
The tale begins in England with a retired treasury worker (undercover spy), Tim, deep into his retired life living with a beautiful young woman named Emma, doing good in his community and raising grapes to make into a mediocre wine.
Then his friend, Larry, disappears and with him the lovely Emma. The police and the British spy network believe that Tim knows all about it and is perhaps the mastermind. At first Tim truthfully with reservations relates his interactins with Larry but no one believes him. Millions have disappeared from the Russians and everyone is looking for Larry. The police and British spy network believe that Tim is in league with Larry. No matter how much he denies involvement the pressure on him becomes more intense until at last he decides he must find Larry himself. He goes undercover and discovers a war into which the idealistic Larry has thrust himself. He finds Emma in Paris and heads to Russia to locate Larry. What he finds is what he fears but also his own destiny. This is a complex and twisting read that keeps the reader guessing what will happen next. I liked it a good deal.
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 souther Russia, to save whatever of hislife he has left...
Could not finish. Boring.
Haven't read this - it was given to me by a friend who knows I like to swap via this site and BookCrossing.com (where it will also be registered).