Absolute Friends

Absolute Friends A ferocious new novel from the master when a man s good heart is his worst enemy By chance and not by choice Ted Mundy eternal striver failed writer and expatriate son of a British Army officer u

  • Title: Absolute Friends
  • Author: John le Carré
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 276
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • A ferocious new novel from the master when a man s good heart is his worst enemy.By chance and not by choice, Ted Mundy, eternal striver, failed writer, and expatriate son of a British Army officer, used to be a spy But that was in the good old Cold War days when a cinder block wall divided Berlin and the enemy was easy to recognize.Today, Mundy is a down at heel touA ferocious new novel from the master when a man s good heart is his worst enemy.By chance and not by choice, Ted Mundy, eternal striver, failed writer, and expatriate son of a British Army officer, used to be a spy But that was in the good old Cold War days when a cinder block wall divided Berlin and the enemy was easy to recognize.Today, Mundy is a down at heel tour guide in southern Germany, dodging creditors, supporting a new family, and keeping an eye out for trouble while in spare moments vigorously questioning the actions of the country he once bravely served.And trouble finds him, as it has before, in the shape of his old German student friend, radical, and one time fellow spy, the crippled Sasha, seeker after absolutes, dreamer, and chaos addict.After years of trawling the Middle East and Asia as an itinerant university lecturer, Sasha has yet again discovered the true, the only answer to life this time in the form of a mysterious billionaire philanthropist named Dimitri Thanks to Dimitri, both Mundy and Sasha will find a path out of poverty, and with it their chance to change a world that both believe is going to the devil Or will they Who is Dimitri Why does Dimitri s gold pour in from mysterious Middle Eastern bank accounts And why does his apparently noble venture reek less of starry idealism than of treachery and fear Some gifts are too expensive to accept Could this be one of them With a cooler head than Sasha s, Mundy is inclined to think it could.In Absolute Friends, John le Carre delivers the masterpiece he has been building to since the fall of communism an epic tale of loyalty and betrayal that spans the lives of two friends from the riot torn West Berlin of the 1960s to the grimy looking glass of Cold War Europe to the present day of terrorism and new alliances This is the novel le Carre fans have been waiting for, a brilliant, ferocious, heartbreaking work for the ages.

    One thought on “Absolute Friends”

    1. i am convinced le carre is a genius. he sets full scenes in just a few sentences. and his characters are thoughful and consistent. consistent: so that their actions reflect their personality. that seems to be a hard one for many to capture.

    2. If you follow my reviews you know by now that i'm a le Carré fanatic In Absolute Friends Le Carré returns to the same formula that has worked in so many of his books, with one distinctive above all - a perfect spy. In this excellent spy thriller, we learn about the relationship between Ted and Sasha (operator-agent as well as friends) through their years old relationship as students, through their cordial correspondence, and at the end through current events.Le Carré is demonstrating the Ame [...]

    3. Maybe a "5" is too high a ratingg?ybe not.But I give it a 5 for Le Carre's tightrope walk from fiction to non-fiction. This novel rings all kinds of bells, historic and political.And he takes 'em all on - the pseudo-liberals and conservatives, Islamist terrorists, the CIA, the British Secret Service, communists, the HUGE money corporations with hands in pies everywhere - all the stuff that was - and has - "come true" sadly, but expectedly.Keep thinking about Eisenhower's warning about the milita [...]

    4. Read it and weep, Robert Harris. This is how to write a spy thriller. Le Carre's strength, or one of them (and there are many) is his characterisations which, in less skilled hands, could be the ludicrous caricatures I mentioned above. He makes them believable though. As he does the situations. You really begin to believe that the world of espionage works exactly as portrayed here. His heroes tend to be offbeat misfits who can't seem to settle in a normal life and, from the novels I've read so f [...]

    5. Calling John le Carre a spy novelist is liking calling Shakespeare a jingle writer. Nevertheless, there was something about this book that bothered me enough to knock one star off my otherwise high regard, and I think I can discuss it without issuing a spoiler alert.First, the basics: Ted Mundy is a Brit who almost falls into the spy trade after he renews his acquaintance with old student friend, the enigmatic and charismatic Sasha. Together, they had played street revolutionaries in Berlin in t [...]

    6. Absolute Friends was the story of a complicated friendship spanning much of the twentieth century. The psychological depth of this friendship was reason enough to read this novel. The issues discussed, events mentioned and locations described gave me much food for thought. The intelligent, well-paced and insightful story was gripping and authentic in the way few thrillers are today . But I was most touched by the power of the story’s cynical conclusion: it forced me to soberly consider the tre [...]

    7. The old spy game is taken up a notch in Le Carre’s “Absolute Friends.” Here the intrigue and spying are not merely about competing Cold War ideologies, but the friendship of two men who came of age and connected as friends amidst the radical student movement of the 1960s in West Germany. The friendship continues throughout the novel, as the friends meet and drift apart again over the years, but never lose the ultimate bond (estranged boyhoods and youthful idealism) that united them in the [...]

    8. "Leaving the envelope to mature for a week or two, therefore, he waits until the right number of tequilas has brought him to the right level of insouciance, and rips it open."Ted Mundy, Pakistan-born English major's son, Germanophile and student rebel, has just about settled into mediocrity at the British Council when a trip in his guise as head of Overseas Drama and Arts (particular responsibility: Youth) becomes an exercise in secret police evasion. A figure from his past appears and he is rec [...]

    9. I decided to read other reviewers here on before I gave my stars. Turns out they didn't change my first instinct to give it a solid four. Was hard for me to buy the (spoiler alert) probability that Mundy would take up with Sasha a THIRD time in response to his appeal to save the world having had two prior undesirable outcomes. But I could get past it in view of so many salient themes to the modern setting. I found it interesting that it was copywritten 2003, which explains all the references to [...]

    10. I’m going to do the same review for “The Mission Song” and “Absolute Friends” because these books have so much in common. They both show a great writer having stumbled on his own frustration at international politics. Both books are suffused with anger that does not characterize Le Carre’s other works, and this anger impedes the storytelling and changes thematic representation to Neanderthalic proselytizing. In the past Le Carre has dealt with subjects before that he finds offensive [...]

    11. I listened to this long book on CD on a trip and, though I found it interesting enough to finish listening to it, am pretty sure that, had I read it in book form, I wouldn't have had the patience to finish it. Starting out with the appealing depiction of a British spy living happily in retirement with a Turkish woman and her son while working as a tour guide in Germany, the main character--Ted Mundy--winds up being called back into action by his old friend and fellow spy, Sasha. The flashback wh [...]

    12. Another demonstration of how good a writer John Le Carre is - a narrative which spans forty years from the late Sixties onwards. The novel features Ted, a Pakistan-born Englishman who moves though a minor public school and a year at Oxford to join with student anarchist Sasha during a gap year in Berlin. In a later phase, Cold War espionage provides their continued relationship, and after a gap of 15 years they meet up again in a confusing alliance against US imperialism.

    13. Absolute Friends is one of Le Carré's best 21st. Century novels. Spanning a life time from the blood soaked streets of India and Pakistan after partition to the freezing Cold War before settling into the horrors of the war against terror, the narrative follows the fortunes and misfortunes of one Ted Mundy, Oxford drop-out, 60s anarchist, unqualified schoolteacher, British Council guide and spy. Mundy is a man you can't help liking, for all his shortcomings, yet you feel throughout that it won't [...]

    14. Absolute Friends is almost autobiographical; Le Carre, himself an agent of Cold War espionage, made a career out of writing spy thrillers and must have been as shocked as anyone by the sudden collapse of the Iron Curtain. Like the protagonist, the English ex-spy Mundy, he must have struggled at first to find himself in this wholly changed landscape, and perhaps struggled to come to terms with it. This book covers that transition from Cold War to War on Terrorism, looking at the world through eye [...]

    15. As a huge fan of 1984, I appreciate many of the Orwellian themes Le Carre develops here. It was also interesting to read about Iraq from the position of hindsight (Le Carre published this in 2003). I enjoyed the careful character development of both Sasha and Mundy as much as I enjoyed the author's excellent, terse prose. Really, the man is a wonderful writer!So why did I give this a three instead of a four? Or even a five? Le Carre's anger was palpable, to the point I felt he was proselytizing. [...]

    16. As always, I found Le Carre' quite entertaining. I often wondered what Le Carre' turned to after his Cold War thrillers. This book was great it had a surprise ending. The thesis of this thriller is that the War on Terror can be an excuse for the conservative political powers to seek out and destroy "innocent" liberals. Even though those liberals might be intellectual revolutionaries. The title comes from a friendship between two such liberal "revolutionaries". Le Carre' tracks them from before t [...]

    17. Absolutely heartbreaking. Le Carre at his best--on a par with The Honourable Schoolboy, Little Drummer Girl, and Perfect Spy. Set in Berlin of the '60s, East Germany just before the fall of the Wall, and in the unified Germany just after the invasion of Iraq. Ted Mundy and Sasha, the friends of the title, find out that the rules of the game, post-Cold War, have irrevocably changed.

    18. 1.5The very first pages and the last ones were the best. But the middle was just meh. It was entertaining enough to keep me reading, but I thought about DNF it like four times. It reads fast though.I didn’t like the characters, I wasn’t interested in what they talked about and I wish some things were explained better.But I was told this isn’t his best books, and that some are great. So I’ll give them a shot.__________________________________________________Las primeras páginas y las úl [...]

    19. It's no secret that John le Carré is a master storyteller that manages to use measured yet laser-focused writing to describe story lines that would be treated in a much more hyperbolic manner by other authors. He continually manages to make the exciting mundane, and by doing so to make the mundane even more exciting and believable. This wasn't my favorite of his novels, but it was completely gripping and fascinating as it covered different territories and times than others of his that I have re [...]

    20. This one was up there with the Karla books. Phenomenally well-executed.Le Carré’s books aren’t spy stories, they’re stories about spies. They’re for those of us who have wondered what it is like to live a life of deception and intrigue, a life that is not your own. The answer is compromise, dissonance, loss of self. Le Carré's characters are all forced to develop identity after identity for the sake of survival and the cause they have been caught in. They find themselves in the same po [...]

    21. I rate this novel as "average" considering the body of work accomplished by this master.The story friend of the rekindled friendship between the two main characters held my interest, but the whiny politics of the two was rather grating.I found the end came crashing down hard, but I wasn't complaining as that meant that the book was over.

    22. this book was back and forth. i started to get into the story then there were times it was dull and put it down for a while. the long philosophical monologues and stream of consciousness of Mundy lost my attention. The ending was redeeming, in typical le Carre style the story really hits its stride the last 75 pages or so.

    23. Absolute Friends is an espionage tale of two friends, Sasha, charismatic and impressionable, and Mundy a phlegmatic and an uprooted not-quite-complete Englishman. I did not find the story too well told, with much of it superficially about their friendship during post-War and the Cold War years ending abruptly and inconclusively after 200 or so pages with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Absolute Friends lacked the thrill that one associates with spies, and throughout there is a feeling that Mundy an [...]

    24. For those unfamiliar with Le Carre, do not expect a happy ending!! He has a bleak view of the worlds of politics, espionage and internationl relations. Having said that, Le Carre is a master of characterisation and a highly skilled practitioner of plot. "Absolute Friends" is one of his best novels in terms of both.The book revolves around two characters, Ted Mundy, a rather bumbling, apparently shambolic Britisher who, in the course of the book, becomes an long term, highly effective spy, and Sa [...]

    25. John Le Carré didn't invent the espionage novel - Eric Ambler was not least among his predecessors - but he undeniably lifted it to a new intelligent level. From The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, he went on to develop an engaging series of variations on the theme.By 2016, with Berlin wall log ago demolished and the cold war behind us, it might be thought that the genre was played out. Absolute Friends is evidence that, in the hands of the master, much remains possible.Edward Mundy, the son of [...]

    26. It continues to be interesting watching Le Carre carry his world into the present, leaving the Cold War behind. I wasn't sure of the friendship between Mundy and Sasha, the pair of the title, right up until the end. This being a spy novel, I kept expecting one to betray or have betrayed the other. Instead both men are bound to the flaws that seem to haunt all spies. Ted Mundy is another interesting creation, a man with a history of shaky identities and changing locals. The one stable thing in hi [...]

    27. An excellent & absorbing read that reviews a lot of current politics from the 60's to the present, on the background undergound world of espionage & counterespionage. The 2 central characters ( absolute friends)are Mundy who is recruited to the British secret Service, and Sasha who ends up as a double agent for the British, under the guise of working for Stasi, the East german intelligence agency, when he becomes disallusioned by the Communists whose ideals he espoused. Their collaborati [...]

    28. After one false start I picked this novel up again and was almost immediately hooked. This is high-level entertainment beefed up with some nutritious and timely philosophical questions about national and international loyalties, responsibility to God, King, and Country, and the sometimes-fine-line between duty and righteousness. Do the means justify the ends? Does anyone even know what the "ends" are anymore? Not as crisp, terse, and razor-sharp as The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, but a truly [...]

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