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Posted by / 02-Jun-2016 17:19

But because the events themselves, while interconnected, do not create a cumulative tension but each has only its own minor and isolated resolution, it is only a minor work of art.

This is a large and well-constructed work of craft, that holds the eye and leads it from event to event.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars John Le Carré here sets in motion a dozen or more morally and psychologically complex characters in many directions at once, leading into three major stories and at least a half a dozen lesser ones.

00/9/17 In the early morning in a crummy Paris bar for Russian émigrés, a sickly and angry cigarette vendor insists on telling the story of the pitiless Ukrainian anarchist terrorist, massacrer of Orthodox and especially Jews in the civil wars of 1917-18, who is suddenly softened and almost humanized by a gentle Jewish girl who shows him compassion. Viewing them all from four points of view is an effective way to present the complex and violent story of Congolese independence and its sequels. Among the whites, some hypocritical and other more generous missionaries, a sleazy arms trafficker, and the Lear-like monster Nathan Price. The third will apply her African-based knowledge of living things to research on viruses, and the littlest will become most literally a part of Africa. Another will marry a Congolese and identify herself with him and the country.

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