Le Carre

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I'm in an a John Le Carre reading-fest at the moment.

I like his mixture of "derring-do" and prosaicness.

I've left it so long to read them because I was put off by the TV series - which seemed impenetrable to me when I was young - and by the association with Ian Fleming, whose books I find unreadably trivial.

To me now, his books are neither impenetrable or trivial.

I find the books interesting and timely in various ways:

*) most of the characters are men approaching middle-age, who are starting to feel a bit jaded about things (like many I know :-) )

*) the men have a penchant for secrecy - and all seem to be failing in their relationships with their wives. From watching my son, I can see that secrecy is a particularly masculine trait

*) most of the stories are set in the 70s and 80s when the UK was quite a drab, poor and down-at-heel place. This is the way it's going now, after the heady days of conspicuous borrowing and expenditure.