May 03, 2005

A book

In all my driving this weekend, I finally finished listening to a book titled Absolute Friends, by John Le Carré. I liked it, but I can't decide whether to recommend it.

Characterwise, we have two aging former spies, and for much of the novel we hear about their various exploits earlier in life, including before they were spies, when they were resident in an anarchist squat in West Berlin. Plotwise, well, most of the story is told in flashback, and though it may not be clear at the time, all this flashback is essentially character development to set up the final third or so of the book.

And that final third? Well, there are wingnut conspiracy theorists out there that will claim that that sort of thing actually happens. Others will claim that it couldn't possibly. I think the former position is unlikely and the latter naïve. The ending of the book is something that is scarily possible, and we should all hope that it doesn't happen, and this sort of thing is why I so strongly disapprove of weakening accountability and freedom just because there's a war on.

And that's about as much of a recommendation as I'll make.

"There is, after all, nothing in the definition of `tree' that specifies which sense of `plant' is the appropriate superordinate. That specification is omitted on the assumption that the reader is not an idiot, a Martian, or a computer." --George A. Miller

Posted by blahedo at 12:55am on 3 May 2005
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