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The Tailor of Panama (1996)

por John le Carré

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

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2,865254,936 (3.41)46
An English tailor working in Panama is hired by the British government as a spy because of his contacts at the highest level. He proceeds to tailor his reports the way he creates his suits, giving the client what he wants, and the result is tragicomedy.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 24 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
So So. ( )
  SteveMcI | Jan 26, 2024 |
"You know what you are going to get when you pick up a Le Carré novel" i wrote after reading The Russian House last year. Now I am not so sure after reading [The Tailor of Panama]published in 1996. In previous books I have read, le Carré's stories are set in the culture of operational British Spies, with just as much attention paid to office politics as to the adventures of the spies themselves. Usually any violence or assassinations take place outside of the narrative and it is the effect these events have on the professional spies controlling their operatives, that are important to the narrative. Certainly the British spies are very much old school in fact many of them went to the same school; you know the ones that produce many of our Tory politicians. They all play the game however ruthless it maybe, in a rather closed world, seemingly for the good of the country, they are honourable men doing their best and although the reader might pick up a wiff of irony he will not encounter the satire which permeates The Tailor of Panama.

Harry Pendel is the Tailor of Panama working as a bespoke tailor in the city of Panama. A refugee from Saville Row in London he has established a very British institutional clothing store for those people with money who want to buy the best suits in town. Most of the top politicians are dressed by Harry Pendel and he routinely travels to the President of Panama's residence to fit him out. He is a model employer and his premises cater to cloth and flatter all the men who want the best, however Harry is in debt, a bad investment in an upcountry rice farm has drained his resources. Le Carré's character portrait of Harry Pendel and his world is masterly, his ability to flatter his customers, but also command their respect makes for an entertaining first few chapters. His position as an outsider with a way in to the heady political machinations of Panama city, along with his money problems make him a perfect target for the British Intelligence Services. Andrew Osnard newly posted to the British Embassy sees his chance to enhance his career and make a lot of money.

Harry takes some persuading, but Osnard soon has him hooked and from then on the adventures begin in a highly sexed up world of political manoeuvring. There are assassination attempts, suicides, femme fatales, revolutionaries and counter revolutionaries with Harry at the centre of it all. The Americans, the Japanese, the Chinese are all vying to ensure they can control their access to the Panama canal. The press barons in England and America are working behind the scenes, while officers in the British Intelligence service are thinking of ways to make money.

Le Carré seems to have lost all respect for intelligence services whose aim was to keep the world safe or to further national interests, they are all crooks and fly-by nights. Perhaps it is because his story is set in the volatile world of Panama city, but more likely it is a complete loss of integrity: a world going to seed with the biggest and most powerful liars and managers playing the game. It makes for a novel that ups the octane, moving into spy-thriller territory. An entertaining read and Harry Pendel is one of le Carrés best creations, but I missed the more ironical, gentile, more rounded approach of previous reads by this author, 3.5 stars. ( )
1 vote baswood | Jan 18, 2024 |
In a thrilling, hilarious novel, le Carré has provided us with a satire about the fate of truth in modern times. Once again, he has effortlessly expanded the borders of the spy story to bring us a magnificent entertainment straight out of the pages of tomorrow's history.

Le Carré's Panama—the young country of 2.5 million souls which, on December 31, 1999, will gain full control of the Panama Canal—is a Casablanca without heroes, a hotbed of drugs, laundered money and corruption.
  CalleFriden | Feb 8, 2023 |
8401465370
  archivomorero | Jun 25, 2022 |
Perfectly fine, but in the end I never managed to get into this one very well at all. A lot of nothing happened through most of it. Some very decent satire, though. ( )
  JBD1 | Dec 11, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 24 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
John le Carré's writerly skills are at work in ''The Tailor of Panama.'' The pace is nonstop, scenes are cleanly and economically written, and flashbacks are incorporated seamlessly into the narrative. The details of the tailor's craft are given entertainingly. And the conclusion, which should probably not come as a surprise, resoundingly does.
adicionada por John_Vaughan | editarNY Times, Norman Rush (Jul 20, 1996)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (7 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
le Carré, Johnautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Christiansen, IbTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Schmitz, WernerTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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"Quel Panama!"

Expression current in France
in the early years of this century:
describes an insoluble mess.
– (See McCuloough's admirable The Path Between the Seas.)
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In memory of
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literary agent, gentleman and friend
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It was a perfectly ordinary Friday afternoon in tropical Panama until Andrew Osnard barged into Harry Pendel's shop asking to be measured for a suit.
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'And we dress, sir – ? Most of my gentlemen seem to favour left these days.'
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An English tailor working in Panama is hired by the British government as a spy because of his contacts at the highest level. He proceeds to tailor his reports the way he creates his suits, giving the client what he wants, and the result is tragicomedy.

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