I'm reading two books right now - one is Sarah's 'Old Salt' and the other is by Erskine Childers, 'The Riddle of the Sands'. So far, I have learned that Childers was the father of modern spy stories (and the father of an Irish First Minister), and that he was executed by firing-squad by the Irish government in 1922. I don't yet know what for, but I am supposing it was something to do with skullduggery.
I have ventured back into semi-fiction, and I am actually trying to read in bed. I bought a pair of reading glasses with two LED lights in the frame, and it sort of works - or it would do if I had paid a bit more than £3 for the pair. The lenses are shite and one light keeps going out, so I eventually give up after about three paragraphs and fall asleep. This is the main reason why it takes me so long to read anything that isn't non-fiction. H.I. finds this very amusing.
I don't think I have ever read anything by John Le Carre, but I love all the T.V. and film adaptations. We're really looking forward to the last one of 'The Night Manager' on Sunday BBC T.V.
Le Carre is so good because of the authenticity of his books - the seedy details etc. This is probably because he spent a long time as a real spy, so he should know what he is talking about. When the cold war fizzled out, he assured everyone that there still would be plenty of thrillers to write, and how right he was.
The obvious development has been Islamic fundamentalist terrorism now that the IRA are no more than a handful of disgruntled in-fighters, but this huge subject is so fresh and on-going (worse luck) that it would be hard to find the slightest glint of 'entertainment' in it, let alone escapism, so he has gone with the international illegal arms-trade.
I get the strong feeling that his editors forced a few changes in the original, and they are very obvious because of their nature - they detract from the authenticity to my mind, and were only added for reasons of stuff like 'love interest'.
Now, I ask you - if you had infiltrated the inner circle of one of the most wealthy, ruthless and vicious arms-dealing criminals in the world and were under constant and insistent threat of death by being discovered as an un-paid spy, would you make a point of having a clandestine affair with his girlfriend, having had one with his previous girlfriend who was murdered by him when he found out? I know I bloody wouldn't. In fact I think I would be physically incapable of it.