by Charles McCarry, the greatest living Washington writer. Wow!
He’s one of my very top American writers. I’ve been pressing McCarry novels on friends for years.
I posted about him on my blog when Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay died. There is a link to a story McCarry tells about Hiroshima the firebombing of Tokyo which, if you haven’t read you must.
I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Christopher’s Ghosts, devoured it, loved it.
But then I’ve always been in love with Paul Christopher.
thanks. have you told Paul? i’m sure he’d like to know…
Man, you’d say ANYTHING for a bowl of spicy Italian pasta. Heh!
It depends on the pasta, but, uh, yes. Hell yes.
Whats it about?
It’s a spy novel, first part just before WW II, second part in the Cold War.
I never read any Charles McCarry’s novels, but I guess I read all John le Carré’s novels which I much appreciated, regardless of the personal opinions of this novelist, of course; and I have a marked preference for this subfamily popularly nicknamed the “Karla Trilogy.”
My favorite one is “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” by far; to the point that I did read it twice and ordered the excellent seven-part television series on DVD, featuring Alec Guinness as George Smiley.
Is there any novel of the same kind I could find in McCarry’s works?
I prefer McCarry. I find Le Carre too British, too cynical, too clever.
Got it and will read it. Looks like a great read.
Btw, can you name the best book on Churchil’s life (biography)? Martin Gilbert or Roy Jenkins?
I am a big Gilbert admirer, haven’t read Jenkins.
I adored Shelley’s Heart and found it the best mix of political intrigue and satire I’ve ever come across.I’m working my way through Second Sight but find it dragging with it’s Berber subplot.I do agree he’s far superior to LeCarre,who’s work is very dated.
Le Carre has proven to be to politically correct to be a good
spy fiction writer. This pattern seems to demonstrate itself in
hagiography of a Palestinian not unlike Ali Hassan Salameh; the
‘Black Prince’ responsible for the
Munich massacre. His moral equivalence in the Secret Pilgrim
and the Night Manager; really metastazises by the time he gets
to the Constant Gardner; where
pharmaceutical companies become
the evil empire. One recalls he had already given up of Afghanistan before the first airstrikes in the
fall of 2001; this attitude finds apotheosis in Absolute Friends; where one character uncritically lauds the likes of Monbiot Klein,
Roy (it later turns out that character is a CIA plant).
McCarry, an American counterpart who spent the larger part of his
CIA career in the Third World; from
his book the Miernik Dossier on; focuses on the third world much more critically; Sudan in particular. The remaining Christopher/Hubbard cycle which begins with the Last Supper shines
a not uncritical but understanding eye on post WW 2 events. The later
‘Better Angels’ was the first to
portray the terror of suicidal Wahhabism in a real way; and the potential of a WMD equipped nihilist group. His follow up; Shelley’s Heart, eerily predicts the world we live in; whether a valiant businessman turned politico
is demonized while extremists of all stripes are lauded. And the loyal opposition is sand-bagged by their own left cadres.
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