05 March 2011

The Mission Song, by John leCarré

Audio book.

Excellent, of course, which is no surprise. "Salvo," Bruno Salvador is a British subject born in The Congo. He is a brilliant interpreter with a command of many African languages and dialects, as well as several European. In the usual leCarré fashion, he winds up recruited by British Intelligence, and does several jobs for "Mr. Anderson," interpreting sound interceptions and interviews from recordings.

The story gets into gear when Salvo is sent on an unusual mission, where he is to use an assumed name and identity, for people with whom he's not acquainted. This happens coincidentally with his discovery -- through an interpreting job -- of the love of his life, although he is a married man.

While this novel does not depart from leCarré's dark view of modern history and international affairs and the cold-hearted, cynical people who orchestrate them, its denouement is uncharacteristically uplifting, in a way still consistent with the writer's world, drawn from his own history and experiences.

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