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READ DOWNLOAD ⚦ The Tailor of Panama é Le Carr S Panama The Young Country OfMillion Souls Which, On December , , Will Gain Full Control Of The Panama Canal Is A Casablanca Without Heroes, A Hotbed Of Drugs, Laundered Money And CorruptionSeldom Has The Weight Of Global Politics Descended So Heavily On Such A Tiny And Unprepared Nation And Seldom Has The Hidden Eye Of British Intelligence Selected Such An Unlikely Champion As Harry Pendel A Charmer, A Dreamer, An Evader, A Fabulist And Presiding Genius Of The House Of Pendel Braithwaite Co Limitada, Tailors To Royalty, Formerly Of London And Presently Of Panama CityYet There Is A Logic To The Spies Choice Everybody Who Is Anybody In Central America Passes Through Pendel S Doors He Dresses Politicos And Crooks And Conmen His Fitting Room Hears Confidences Than A Priest S Confessional And When Harry Pendel Doesn T Hear Things As Such Well, He Hears Them Anyway, By Other MeansFor What Is A Tailor For, If Not To Disduise Reality With Appearance What Is Truth If Not The Plaything Of The Artist And What Are Spies And Politicians And Journalists If Not Themselves Selectors And Manipulators Of The Truth For Their Own Ends In A Thrilling, Hilarious Novel, Le Carr 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 HistoryHN LE CARR Was Born InAfter Attending The Universities Of Bern And Oxford, He Taught At Eton And Spent Five Years In The British Foreign Service His Third Novel, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, Secured Him A Worldwide Reputation, Which Was Solidified By The Acclaim For His Trilogy, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy And Smiley S People His Mostly Autobiographical Novel, A Perfect Spy, Wa Followed By The Russia House, The Night Manager And Our Game The Tailor Of Panama Is His Sixteenth NovelJohn Le Carr Lives In Cornwall, England Chance Favors The Prepared Mind PascalNot a suspense espionage in the regular le Carr mode, but a satire of same, and an expansive, elaborate novel at that Since the demise of the Cold War this author has been casting around for another conflict to narrate, and I m not sure le Carr has ever allowed himself to be this carried away by his characters and their dramatic entanglements That being said, there is an enormous asterisk here The story of a bourgeois merchant class civilian who is recruited mistakenly for espionage purposes and sees his way clear to invent the espionage because the money is so good has already been covered, and really well at that Graham Greene s Our Man In Havana did all that, and le Carr follows with a remixed version here, an homage to the original And says so on his Acknowledgements page.You get all the spy novel twists the uncomfortable domestic family, friends, mistress arrangements, the deceptive moves amongst the colleagues, false alibis, tails, cut outs, dead drops and also the secondary layer whereby it s all a fiction anyway After a lifetime as the most recognized spymaster in the business, Mr le Carr seems to have read Mr Greene, read deeply and laughed long and I think he just couldn t help himself Hints are dropped throughout that this one acknowledges it s parentage, even down to stray details like buying the pony for the daughter, mirrored exactly in the Havana original.What makes this a uncommonly good read, then, is not only that le Carr has left off the serious hat and gone for the humorously coincidental, but that it leads him to really lively and visceral prose, not always evident in the dank corridors of the coldwar epics To arrive in his little side street is for Harry Pendel a coming into harbour every time On some days he may tease himself with the notion that the shop has vanished, been stolen, wiped out by a bomb Or it was never there in the first place, it was one of his fantasies, something put in his imagination by his late Uncle Benny But today his visit to the bank has unsettled him, and his eye hunts out the shop and fixes on it the moment he enters the shadow of the tall trees You re a real house, he tells the rusty pink Spanish roof tiles winking at him through the foliage You re not a shop at all You re the kind of house an orphan dreams of all his life If only Uncle Benny could see you now Notice the flower strewn porch there, Pendel asks Benny with a nudge, inviting you to come inside where it s nice and cool and you ll be looked after like a pasha Harry boy, it s the maximum, Uncle Benny implies, touching the brim of his black homburg hat with both his palms at once, which was what he did when he had something cooking A shop like that, you can charge a pound for coming through the door And the painted sign, Benny PB scrolled together in a crest, which is what gives the shop its name up and down the town, whether you re in the Club Uni n or the Legislative Assembly or the Palace Of Herons itself Been to PB lately There goes old so and so in his PB suit That s the way they talk round here, Benny I ve said it before, Harry boy, I ll say it agin You ve got the fluence You ve got the rock of eye Who gave it you I ll always wonder His courage near enough restored Harry Pendel mounts the steps to start his working day. For much of the book things swirl along like this, with a kind of Walter Mitty of unintentional spies doing the narrating Fearlessly le Carr plunges into the plot and it s cluster verse of interconnections, making it feel both inevitable and wildly improvisatory at once As with many inadvisable schoolboy fancies, and even so those in midlife that gamble fortune and stability, things end not so well Eventually the lighthearted and fanciful Harry Pendel is cornered, and driven to the distasteful side of spycraft, as much by realities as by creations of his own imagination, and the whole scheme goes squirrelly The scheme itself, called Buchan in the secret papers and it s participants Buchaneers is clearly another in the line of references le Carr is willing to entertain for humor s sake Interestingly, le Carr isn t done with homages, though, and invokes the enveloping desperation of Lowry s Under The Volcano, another tale of expatriate self delusion and its discontents The scenes of Harry walking alone through the Panamanian religious festival at the end, under hails of fireworks and under his own yoke of guilt, evoke that same conflict, cross cultural setting intact Pendel was walking, and people in white were walking beside him, leading him to the gallows He was pleasantly surprised to find himself so reconciled to death He had never doubted that Panama hadangels per acre,white crinolines and flowered headdresses, perfect shoulders, cooking smells, music, dancing, laughter,drunks, malign policemen and lethal fireworks than any comparable paradise twenty times its size, and here they were assembled to escort him And he was very gratified to discover bands playing, and competing folk dance teams, with gangly, romantic eyed black men in cricket blazers and white shoes and flat hands that lovingly moulded the air round their partners gyrating haunches And to see that the double doors of the church were pulled open to give the Holy Virgin a grandstand view of the bacchanalia outside, whether She wanted it or not He was walking slowly, as condemned men will, keeping to the centre of the street and smilingFinally, too direct to be a coincidence, that spectral Uncle Benny that keeps advising Harry from the Other Side is familiar too Himself a con man who s been responsible early in Harry s life for a few mishaps, Uncle Ben is the seasoned flim flammer whose advice Harry cherishes in his dodgy spy endeavors A character from another, long ago tragedy of the merchant class, this ghost was also named Uncle Ben, a raconteur that advised protagonist Willy Loman, in Death Of A Salesman, another ill fated dreamer Not sure what le Carr was up to with all of this, and not sure he was after hooking in old lit majors to find the references, but they are there On a technical level this book is really brilliantly written the structural complexity at hand is no match for Mr le Carr s craft execution I am knocked out by the concision, the considerable expertise at large ensemble cast writing.But in the end this is a practice piece, an excercise for le Carr He has dressed this design in an amazing skin and cloak of colors, but the bones will always belong to Graham Greene. This is best book about bullshit I ve ever read It is a wonderfully dry satire on Britain s inept attempts to overreach itself in foreign affairs The setting is Panama in the late 1990s and the fate of the canal is a hot topic of discussion Back in Britain, a shadowy cabal decides that a new listening post should be opened there, so they select a fleshy twentisomething public school boy for the job Of course they do Andrew Osnard, as he is called, arrives in Panama and recruits a tailor named Harry Pendel to start a network Unfortunately everyone is lying to each other and also themselves, leaving the actual fate of Panama in other hands Osnard and Pendel are a fascinating pair, both exhibiting a range of flaws Their manipulations lay bare the hypocrisies of the British class system, as well as the ease with which these hypocrisies are exported It took me a while to get into the novel at first, as some time is expended initially on scene sitting I was immersed by page 100, however Once the reader starts to realise just how much lying is going on, the novel becomes darkly hilarious and very entertaining It is profoundly cynical throughout As an example, on Osnard s younger days He had no craft or qualification, no proven skills outside the golf course and the bedroom What he understood best was English rot, and what he needed was a decaying English institution that would restore to him what other decaying institutions had taken away His first thought was Fleet Street He was semi literate and unfettered by principle He had scores to settle On the face of it he was perfectly cut out to join the new rich media class.Ultimately, geopolitics consists of many flawed humans with incomplete information attempting to survive and promote their preferred ends It is thus profoundly chaotic Le Carr conveys this in an appealing, deadpan fashion. This book had me in stitches Yes, le Carre can be very funny Aside from this book being hilarious I was caught by the story and wanted to finish it quickly I also enjoyed the way how le Carre employed spycraft in this story.If you need a thrilling humour break, give this story a go. Between February 2017 and September 2017 I read the entire George Smiley series Having reached the end of the series, I was left wondering about John le Carr s life and work, and whether to read other books by him, and so I read John le Carr The Biography by Adam Sisman in April 2018 John le Carr The Biography convinced me I should probably read everything John le Carr has ever written, and so it was I came to The Tailor Of Panama 1996 my first non Smiley JLC book It is very clever and darkly comic Harry Pendel is the titular tailor of Panama, ostensibly a quality bespoke tailor whose customers include some of the movers and shakers in Panamanian society Andrew Osnard, a Thatcherite intelligence operator,interested in getting rich quick than serving his country, recognises Pendel s potential as a spy and proceeds to blackmail him into taking the job Sadly, Pendel s intelligence isimagined than real and this is the springboard for a complex, insightful and meandering plot As always, beneath the beautiful descriptions of people, places, interactions and character, there is a darkly compelling narrative that shines a harsh and illuminating light on greed, opportunism, fear, expediency, modern geopolitics and stupidity How those in power seek to justify their actions and mistakes, and how Britain tries vainly to come to terms with its diminished global role in a post Imperial world Another JLC winner.4 5