- published 2010
- available from Audible.com
- Length: 5 hours
- Narrator: John Le Carre
- Source: part of a prize won at CrimeFest 2010
Perry and Gail are idealistic and very much in love when they splurge on a tennis vacation at a posh beach resort in Antigua. But the charm begins to pall when a big-time Russian money launderer enlists their help to defect.
In exchange for amnesty, Dima is ready to rat out his vory (Russian criminal brotherhood) compatriots and expose corruption throughout the so-called legitimate financial and political worlds.
Soon, the guileless couple find themselves pawns in a deadly endgame whose outcome will be determined by the victor of the British Secret Service's ruthless internecine battles.
What could possibly go wrong with listening to an audio book read by the author himself?
Well, listening to an abridged version of OUR KIND OF TRAITOR has just about cured me of listening to any more abridged books. My listening companion and I were constantly struggling to make sense of the action.
I've checked the length of this version (5 hours) with the unabridged one read by Michael Jayston in 11 hours 23 mins. That makes the abridged version about 44% of the length of the original. It is pretty obvious that descriptive passages, minor characters, and "minor" events were edited out. That explains the continuity that we felt was missing. Characters turn up whom the listener hasn't heard of before, and we didn't feel that we really got to know the characters we did meet. The details edited out might have helped us make more sense of the action.
"Your fault" you might respond - you were the one who chose to listen to an abridgement. In my defence, I thought the fact that the author himself was narrating was an insurance that it would be ok. Not so. Le Carre does an excellent job (I haven't found other examples of his narration) with a terrific range of voices. The problem clearly lies in what the abridgement left out.
My rating: 3.5
Other reviews to check:
Another John Le Carre audio book reviewed here on MiP