Barley Blair is not a Service man: he is a small-time publisher, a self-destructive soul whose only loves are whisky and jazz. But it was Barley who, one drunken night at a dacha in Peredelkino during the Moscow Book Fair, was befriended by a high-ranking Soviet scientist who could be the greatest asset to the West since perestroika began, and made a promise. Nearly a year later, his drunken promise returns to haunt him. A reluctant Barley is quickly trained by British Intelligence and sent to Moscow to liaise with a go-between, the beautiful Katya. Both are lonely and disillusioned. Each is increasingly certain that if the human race is to have any future, all must betray their countries ... In his first post-glasnost spy novel, le Carré captures the effect of a slow and uncertain thaw on ordinary people and on the shadowy puppet-masters who command them. Contains a foreword and afterword by the author.
John le Carré has earned worldwide acclaim with extraordinary spy novels, including The Russia House, an unequivocal classic. Navigating readers through the shadow worlds of international espionage with critical knowledge culled from his years in British Intelligence, le Carré tracks the dark and devastating trail of a document that could profoundly alter the course of world events. In Moscow, a sheaf of military secrets changes hands. If it arrives at its destination, and if its import is understood, the consequences could be cataclysmic. Along the way it has an explosive impact on the lives of three people: a Soviet physicist burdened with secrets; a beautiful young Russian woman to whom the papers are entrusted; and Barley Blair, a bewildered English publisher pressed into service by British Intelligence to ferret out the document's source. A magnificent story of love, betrayal, and courage, The Russia House catches history in the act. For as the Iron Curtain begins to rust and crumble, Blair is left to sound a battle cry that may fall on deaf ears. From Publishers Weekly A dissident Soviet physicist asks a down-at-the-heels, jazz-loving London publisher to issue his insider's study of the chaotic state of Soviet defense. "The master of the spy novel has discovered perestroika , and the genre may never be the same again," observed PW . Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library Journal A mysterious manuscript purporting to prove the Soviet defense system is unworkable is smuggled out of Moscow. It was intended for a flaky English publisher, a womanizing saxophone-playing boozer, but the smuggler has turned it over to British intelligence. In order to prove its authenticity, they recruit the publisher as an amateur spy and send him to Moscow to reestablish contact with the author. But the "truth" Barley Blair finds there is love and a purpose for his shambles of a life. As always with le Carre, this is a compelling spy story, a marvelous entertainment that is also as intelligent, witty, and brooding as many more self-consciously and less satisfying literary novels. It may not be the equal of The Quest for Karla trilogy or of a A Perfect Spy but it bears all the marks of a master, of the man who has both redefined and reanimated the espionage genre. BOMC main selection. - Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass. Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Unpolitical Sketches, Showing what Newspapers They Read, what Theatres They Frequent, and how They Eat, Drink, and Enjoy Themselves ; with Other Matter Relating Chiefly to Literature and Music, and to Places of Historical and Religious Interest in and about Moscow
This text provides an introduction to a writer who is arguably 20th-century England's most successful serious novelist and one of the foremost living figure in English literature of espionage and detection. The author aims to establish that le Carre's fiction transcends the genre of espionage writing, and that he is pre-eminently a social commentator who writes novels of manners.
New York magazine was born in 1968 after a run as an insert of the New York Herald Tribune and quickly made a place for itself as the trusted resource for readers across the country. With award-winning writing and photography covering everything from politics and food to theater and fashion, the magazine's consistent mission has been to reflect back to its audience the energy and excitement of the city itself, while celebrating New York as both a place and an idea.
The central character in Susan Naquin's extraordinary new book is the city of Peking during the Ming and Qing periods. Using the city's temples as her point of entry, Naquin carefully excavates Peking's varied public arenas, the city's transformation over five centuries, its human engagements, and its rich cultural imprint. This study shows how modern Beijing's glittering image as China's great and ancient capital came into being and reveals the shifting identities of a much more complex past, one whose rich social and cultural history Naquin splendidly evokes. Temples, by providing a place where diverse groups could gather without the imprimatur of family or state, made possible a surprising assortment of community-building and identity-defining activities. By revealing how religious establishments of all kinds were used for fairs, markets, charity, tourism, politics, and leisured sociability, Naquin shows their decisive impact on Peking and, at the same time, illuminates their little-appreciated role in Chinese cities generally. Lacking most of the conventional sources for urban history, she has relied particularly on a trove of commemorative inscriptions that express ideas about the relationship between human beings and gods, about community service and public responsibility, about remembering and being remembered. The result is a book that will be essential reading in the field of Chinese studies for years to come.
For almost thirty years, David Thomson’s Biographical Dictionary of Film has been not merely “the finest reference book ever written about movies” (Graham Fuller, Interview), not merely the “desert island book” of art critic David Sylvester, not merely “a great, crazy masterpiece” (Geoff Dyer, The Guardian), but also “fiendishly seductive” (Greil Marcus, Rolling Stone). This new edition updates the older entries and adds 30 new ones: Darren Aronofsky, Emmanuelle Beart, Jerry Bruckheimer, Larry Clark, Jennifer Connelly, Chris Cooper, Sofia Coppola, Alfonso Cuaron, Richard Curtis, Sir Richard Eyre, Sir Michael Gambon, Christopher Guest, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Spike Jonze, Wong Kar-Wai, Laura Linney, Tobey Maguire, Michael Moore, Samantha Morton, Mike Myers, Christopher Nolan, Dennis Price, Adam Sandler, Kevin Smith, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlize Theron, Larry Wachowski and Andy Wachowski, Lew Wasserman, Naomi Watts, and Ray Winstone. In all, the book includes more than 1300 entries, some of them just a pungent paragraph, some of them several thousand words long. In addition to the new “musts,” Thomson has added key figures from film history–lively anatomies of Graham Greene, Eddie Cantor, Pauline Kael, Abbott and Costello, Noël Coward, Hoagy Carmichael, Dorothy Gish, Rin Tin Tin, and more. Here is a great, rare book, one that encompasses the chaos of art, entertainment, money, vulgarity, and nonsense that we call the movies. Personal, opinionated, funny, daring, provocative, and passionate, it is the one book that every filmmaker and film buff must own. Time Out named it one of the ten best books of the 1990s. Gavin Lambert recognized it as “a work of imagination in its own right.” Now better than ever–a masterwork by the man playwright David Hare called “the most stimulating and thoughtful film critic now writing.”