Saturday, 26 March 2016

Contains scenes of a sexual acts and extreme violence

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.

15 comments:

  1. Wonderful that LeCarre carries on. So many people I knew read and recommended him all these years, and I could never read his books. My insides don't do terror. I quite agree, in the midst of terror, there would be need for a perilous side affair to sabotage the point of the mission.

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    1. Some people thrive on the slight danger of being caught by the husband coming home early. Those days are over for me.

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  2. I believe it is Robert Erskine Childers to whom you are referring - he who was executed for carrying a weapon given to him by his friend Gen. Michael Collins ?

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  3. I freely admit to never having read a LeCarre novel - I am not one for that kind of book.
    When you say 'physically incapable' I presume you mean it in all senses of the word. Presumably you would need to be constantly looking over your shoulder.

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    1. My neck is stiff under any circumstances these days.

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  4. Not even a quick one over the kitchen sink?

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  5. We're watching ' The Night Manager ' ...... I think that I'm following it !!
    Do you think that H.I. could take a photograph of you in bed with your LED reading glasses on ? Have you ever fallen asleep with them on { one light on, one light off } .....I don'y know why but I am finding that mental picture of you, highly amusing !! XXXX

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  6. I cannot think this far tonight

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    1. I can smell your knickers from here - there's a West wind over the estuary.

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  7. If I get up at night, I use a small torch and try to make the minimum sound possible. If Lady M gets up she puts on all the lights, wakes me to tell me she's getting up, talks to the dog, makes a lot of noise, and thinks it's normal. Should I buy her some of your glasses?

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    1. You sound a bit irritable. Are you waking in the night a lot?

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  8. If it helps, I agree with you entirely. But I think that spies are different kinds of people from you and me.

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