The Night Manager

The Night Manager

A Novel

Book - 1993
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Now an AMC miniseries * The acclaimed novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Legacy of Spies and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

John le Carr#65533;, the legendary author of sophisticated spy thrillers, is at the top of his game in this classic novel of a world in chaos. With the Cold War over, a new era of espionage has begun. In the power vacuum left by the Soviet Union, arms dealers and drug smugglers have risen to immense influence and wealth. The sinister master of them all is Richard Onslow Roper, the charming, ruthless Englishman whose operation seems untouchable. Slipping into this maze of peril is Jonathan Pine, a former British soldier who's currently the night manager of a posh hotel in Zurich. Having learned to hate and fear Roper more than any man on earth, Pine is willing to do whatever it takes to help the agents at Whitehall bring him down--and personal vengeance is only part of the reason why.

Praise for The Night Manager

"A splendidly exciting, finely told story . . . masterly in its conception." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Intrigue of the highest order." -- Chicago Sun-Times

"Richly detailed and rigorously researched . . . Le Carr#65533;'s gift for building tension through character has never been better realized." -- People

"Grimly fascinating, often nerve-wracking, and impossible to put down." -- Boston Herald
Publisher: New York : Knopf, 1993
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780399594007
9780679425137
0679425136
Branch Call Number: FICTION Le Carre 1993
Characteristics: 429 p. ; 25 cm

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t
tj_is_cool
Jan 03, 2017

Well done stylish mini-series.

j
JLMason
Oct 20, 2016

With no intention to denigrate the fine writing and nuanced characters, I found the main plot of this book reminded me of a James Bond movie. The hero Pine is an ex-Army, unbelievably multi-talented, handsome loner brooding over a murdered lover. He seems to be fatally attractive to women, charming them into his arms, including a comic interlude in a mining town in northern Quebec. His arch nemesis Roper with the "dolphin smile" is a magnetic, but deadly arms dealer with a private compound in the Caribbean and a beautiful mistress. The story takes place across exotic locales: Switzerland, the Bahamas, Curacao, Colombia. But Le Carre takes it to another level with the parallel, behind-the-scenes story of the British organization running the operation, who must deal with the sabotage and corruption of fellow and ally agencies. I was particularly taken by Le Carre's ability to capture the essence of his characters; I felt like I had met these people. The opening scene of Roper's entourage sweeping into the mountain top Swiss hotel late at night was beautifully rendered. There is a recent British TV series based on book starring Tom Hiddleston as Pine and Hugh Laurie as Roper - -fantastic casting! I'm looking forward to viewing it.

s
StarGladiator
Jul 10, 2016

Five stars for me, I consider this to be the best of Le Carré’s books, but I can neither add nor improve upon the comments of commenter, rab1953, below; a perfect summation.

r
rab1953
Mar 21, 2014

Complex, tense and, as is usual for Le Carré, futile, this book explores the internal life of a man drawn into the most dangerous of roles, a secret agent operating a criminal gang, and the personal conflicts that allow him to be drawn into this work. The psychological profile is Le Carré’s stock in trade, and he applies it adeptly in a new setting, making the story less of a typical spy novel and more a study of character and circumstance. It would be a misnomer to call the book a spy novel (as the term is commonly used in marketing), but in fact Le Carré’s preoccupation with this theme is probably truer to the actuality of spying than the action adventures that usually go under that name. But this has always been Le Carré’s theme, and he excels at it. The troubled characterization of the agent Jonathon Pine seems convincing enough, although internal verbalizing about his desire for the boss’s wife seems a bit overstated. Perhaps it is standing in for the passion that drives Pine – the reason he accepts such a role in the first place is his fury over the murder of another woman linked to the gang and his own propensity for uncontrolled rage. (But this is another recurring theme for Le Carré – men driven by an unattainable passion for a woman. Also as usual for Le Carré, the women’s roles are thinly sketched, primarily being just an object of interest for the male protagonists.) Pine’s passions underlay his military past, and carry him through the mistakes and betrayals to his heroic if unsuccessful achievements. Interesting here is how the betrayals that, in other Le Carré books come from conflicting national interests and organizations, here come from corruption, careerism and conflict within the British secret services. And equally bad is the way that the protectors of international law profess to be against crime, but turn away when commercial interests are at stake. In this scathing characterization, the internal conflicts lead to the destruction of good operators who try to protect honor and truth, and to the torture and near death of the agent Pine. It is one of the few (somewhat) happy endings in Le Carré’s books that sees Pine’s handler make a trade with an utterly venal and despicable criminal for Pine’s life. It’s interesting to see how the bureaucrats manoeuvre to gain and lose control, and how a principled operator tries to rescue his operation. This seems much more realistic than the spectacular technology and personal heroics of the trashy spy novels. Like Le Carré’s other novels, his tone is that of a distanced observer, even when describing the internal workings of his character’s mind. This again distinguishes it from the more conventional spy novels, where the point is the visceral excitement of the action. That isn’t the point with Le Carré, although he does build suspense and tension as his plot develops. But for a thoughtful examination of ambiguous morality, deceit and corruption in and between governments, Le Carré succeeds in illuminating what is really going on

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