Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Monday, March 28, 2005

Absolute Friends: Absolutely Awful

I first came to enjoy the novels of John LeCarre with Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, followed by Smiley's People. The depth of the intrigue, along with the pathos of the characters and style, all appealed to me. And then when I read The Honourable Schoolboy and Little Drummer Girl, I was convinced he was the best writer of all time.

I was pretty put off by A Perfect Spy, which was filled with more than the usual pathos, but with no redeeming virtues, so far as I could tell. But then Russia House was truly magnificent. I even enjoyed Single & Single, although it was closer in tone to A Perfect Spy than to Russia House

But The Tailor of Panama bordered on being unreadable. Stupidity combined with pathos proved to be a truly horrible combination. I saw the novel as an aberation that was sadly, but unfortunately, of the Perfect-Spy genre; I hoped that was the last of it. Unfortunately, it wasn't. Absolute Friends is very similar to Perfect Spy and Tailor of Panama. The hero is pathetic. The hero is so neurotic as to eschew any semblance of intelligence. And the long, drawn-out retrospective/biography of the hero is both unnecessary and uninteresting. From now on, I'll read the reviews before wasting my time on the bad LeCarre novels.
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