Latest Issue

Imperfect spies

John le Carré’s righteous anger ignites his fast-paced new novel, but it can’t make up for a cast of unconvincing characters

By Julian Evans   September 2010

Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carre (Viking, £18.99)

Just short of his 80th year, John le Carre is a prodigy, producing his last five novels in less than a decade, a higher average even than in his more youthful years as our nonpareil spy novelist. It may be anger that supplies his energy, for he gives the impression of having got more wrathful as he’s got older: of having become, to borrow the description of a character in his latest novel, “a late-onset, red-toothed radical with balls.” In the past decade he has stepped outside the cloisters…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect