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Absolute Friends Paperback – November 10, 2004
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The greatest failing of this story is that it builds so slowly and then comes to a sudden, abrupt and not very convincing end. The (evil) American operation that concludes the book is absurd and could never happen in this shape. The Americans wouldn't try it, and German authorities would never allow it. Le Carre has tried to make a point of course, but I didn't feel he made it very well.
I would, however, like to make one comment on the accusation that this book is somehow "anti-American". This is only true if any book that is critical of a specific German/French/Russian government's actions is "anti-German/French/Russian". In other words, it is not.
"Friends" traces the lives of two aging radicals, very different in their backgrounds but very much the same in their commitment to all causes counter-establishment. Ted Mundy, Pakistan-born ex-pat son of a patriotic but delusional British Army major, is barely making it in modern day Germany as a tour guide. Living with a former Turkish prostitute common law wife and her son, Mundy flirts with Islam while maintaining his British roots but, paradoxically, still showing glimpses of apologetic pride in his British heritage. The "absolute friend", Sasha, is an unrepentant and idealistic German radical for life. LeCarre takes the reader back to late-60's Berlin, where Mundy and Sasha meet as students, forging a friendship based in anti-establishment and anti-war idealism. Fast-forward a decade, where we find Mundy and Sasha drones of the very bureaucracies they once despised. Mundy serves as a British Council official dealing with cultural exchanges to Eastern Europe, while Sasha holds a position in the East German Communist regime. Disillusioned by the differences between the communism of theory and the Communism of the Soviet Bloc, Sasha begins spying on the Eastern Bloc for the west.Read more ›
The people who hate this book seem to hate it because they disagree with its politics. That's like me saying the bible is a stupid book because I don't believe in Jesus. this is brilliantly written, and yes, the ending is VERY believable. the exact same thing happened in Germany to convince the Germans they were under threat. IF you don't study history you're bound to repeat it, as they say. I was blown away by this fantastic coup. Keep up the good work, mr. Le Carre.
At any rate, Mundy has knocked around, Asia, Europe, even America. He has been caught up in the great student unrest of the 1960s, particularly in Germany, where he had gone to study. He has made a lifelong friend of Sasha, a crippled East German leftwing activist: for many years, they've had an enjoyable, exciting, profitable game playing spy and counterspy for their respective governments. But the glory days are long gone when Sasha reenters Mundy's life, bringing the mysterious, billionaire philanthropist Dimitri with him. Will the friends make a killing or get themselves killed?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Found this 2003 novel in my bookcase, unread. Reading it in 2016-- with Europe trying to stem or at least control an unprecedented stream of asylum seekers from e.g. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Alfred J. Kwak
Couldn't believe that this is Le Carre. I made it halfway through and threw in the towel. Directionless, senseless, and downright boring. He's lost his touch.... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
Despite the great detail given about their pasts to explain their views and choices, I never developed much empathy for either of the main characters. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Thomas V. Wilson
I could not finish it. I got bored which is rare with this author who has written magnificent books about international intriguePublished 25 days ago by Monique V. King MD
When John le Carre is on song, he writes beautifully and in "Absolute Friends" he produces dialogue and narrative of the highest class. Read morePublished 1 month ago by keetmom
John is so anti American. The villain that did our hero in worked for oil company (what else?) and arms manufacturers.Published 2 months ago by Eleanor Feldmann
Even the author's outstanding writing cannot overcome the constant intrusion of his over-politicized opinions. More an editorial than a novel.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Le Carre writes a good story, but if there were a parallel writer on the right who wrote a book like this, he would (rightly) be castigated as a throwback to the John Birch... Read morePublished 3 months ago by marymorstan