Review: A Delicate Truth by John le Carré

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Penguin Books, 2014. Paperback edition. First published by Viking 2013. ISBN: 978-0-241-96518-4. 352 Pages.

jacket image for A Delicate Truth by John le Carre - large version

A counter-terrorist operation, code-named Wildlife, is being mounted on the British crown colony of Gibraltar in 2008. Its purpose: to capture and abduct a high-value jihadist arms buyer. Its authors: an ambitious Foreign Office Minister, a private defence contractor who is also his bosom friend. So delicate is the operation that even the Minister’s personal private secretary, Toby Bell, is not cleared for it.

Three years later, a disgraced Special Forces Soldier delivers a message from the dead. Was Operation Wildlife the success it was cracked up to be —or a human tragedy that was ruthlessly covered up? Summoned by Sir Christopher “Kit” Probyn, retired British diplomat, to his decaying Cornish manor house, and closely observed by Kit’s daughter, Emily, Toby must choose between his conscience and duty to his Service. If the only thing necessary to the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing, how can he keep silent? (Taken from the overview of the US edition).

For my taste, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is probably le Carré’s finest novel, bearing in mind that Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is not far behind. But having said that, A Delicate Truth is a highly enjoyable and entertaining reading, written with his usual skill. I do believe it won’t disappoint anyone and, certainly, I will recommend it.

My rating: A (I loved it)

A Delicate Truth has been reviewed at Existential Ennui, Adrian McKinty’s Blog, Reviewing the evidence (Yvonne Klein), Literary Review (John Banville)  

Watch the trailer A Delicate Truth.

In praise of John le Carré

Viking Adult UK (read an extract) 

Penguin Books UK

Penguin Books US

Curtis Brown. Literary and talent agency

John Le Carré Website (with an excerpt from the audiobook, read by John le Carré)

See John le Carré’s profile on Curtis Brown here.

Una verdad delicada (Plaza & Janés, 2013) de John le Carré

En el 2008, en la colonia británica de Gibraltar, se está preparando una operación antiterrorista, cuyo nombre en clave es Fauna. Su finalidad: capturar y secuestrar a un valioso traficante de armas  yihadistas. Sus autores: un ambicioso ministro del Foreign Office, junto con un contratista de defensa privado que, además, es íntimo amigo suyo. Tan delicada es la opración que ni siquiera el asistente personal del ministro, Toby Bell, tiene acceso a ella.

Tres años más tarde, un soldado de las fierzas especiales caído en desgracia entrega un mensaje de entre los muertos. ¿Fue la operación Fauna el éxito que pretendia ser, o una tragedia humana que fue encubierta sin compasión? Emplazado por Sir Christopher “Kit” Probyn, un diplomático británico retirado, a su decadente mansión de Cornualles, y vigilado de cerca por Emily, la hija de Probyn, Toby debe elegir entre su conciencia y su deber para con su servicio. Si para que triunfe el mal, sólo es necesario que los hombres buenos no hagan nada, ¿cómo puede permanecer callado? (Tomado del resumen de la edición norteamericana)

Para mi gusto, El espía que surgió del frío es probablemente la mejor novela de le Carré, teniendo en cuenta que El topo no se queda atrás. Pero una vez dicho esto, Una verdad delicada es una lectura muy amena y entretenida, escrita con su destreza habitual. Creo que no va a decepcionar a nadie y, sin duda, lo recomiendo.

Mi valoración: A (me encantó)

Otras reseñas de Una verdad delicada están disponibles en El Cultural y en Prótesis.

Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial

10 thoughts on “Review: A Delicate Truth by John le Carré

  1. A nice encapsulation, Jose Ignacio. Myself, I’ve always had trouble with le Carre’s work, probably because I first encountered it at exactly the wrong age — and also, I think, because he did go through a sort of pretentious phase with books like The Naïve and Sentimental Lover (1971), which I found entirely soporific. But I’ve found myself tempted by his last couple of books to give him (yet) another try, and your account may have pushed me over the edge — as also the fact that, now I think of it, I’ve enjoyed (and sometimes more than that!) all the movies I’ve seen based on his books.

    1. Thank you John. I must confess that I also was not able to read The Naïve and Sentimental Lover, but I hope you’ll enjoy this one, if you find the time to read it.

  2. I am very, very far behind on reading le Carre. I read a few of his books years ago, but have a lot to catch up on. Maybe I can do that in 2015. Great review.

      1. Oh yes, though not uncritical I hope 🙂 For instance, I think TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY is a bit slow and overrated, much preferring his earlier Smiley books

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