August 19, 2007


The thrill is gone: Charles McCarry's great, but series has run its course: a review of CHRISTOPHER'S GHOSTS By Charles McCarry SAM ALLIS, Houston Chronicle)

It is a pleasure to report that Charles McCarry has regained his form after stumbling in his last book, Old Boys. Christopher's Ghosts is a fine, free-standing spy story about the childhood of master spy Paul Christopher, as well as essential reading for McCarry addicts.

John le Carré's gems featuring George Smiley have no equals in espionage fiction, but the best of McCarry's extended Christopher saga run a strong second. There's no shame here. No one has touched le Carré at the peak of his powers. McCarry's books are generally excellent, and the man is a sly, knowing writer.

...that not only are Mr. McCarry's books the finest series of political novels this side of Anthony Trollope, but they're written for folks who rooted for the West during the Cold War, unlike the LeCarre books.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 19, 2007 3:00 PM

LeCarre's "The Tailor of Panama" is the only book that I have literally thrown in the trash in disgust before finishing. Everything in it was a lie.

So what's the best McCarry book to read first?

Posted by: b at August 20, 2007 2:06 PM

Miernick Dossier is the first Christopher, but is written in an usual style--made up entirely of reports and letters. Tears of Autumn and The Last Supper are the best in the series. Shelley's Hearst is a very amusing stand alone and a nice pot shot at the Left.

Posted by: oj at August 20, 2007 3:04 PM