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Jennifer's Books




The Night Manager

Night Manager - John le Carré

Disclaimer: I only read this book because they're making a TV version, and Tom Hiddleston is going to play the protagonist.


With that out of the way, I have to say, I struggled mightily with this book.


The plot--man infiltrates criminal organization to seek revenge on the man who heads said organization—should have made for a compelling novel, but it just...didn't. In my opinion, of course.


Overall it was plodding and slow, and could never really hold my attention for very long. I could easily put it down for days, ok, months at a time.


The bureaucratic side of things was too confusing; there were far too many government figures—all of whom had little character development—to keep straight. Burr being the exception.


It took way entirely too long to get Pine infiltrated into Roper's organization. I get that they needed to set up an intricate criminal background for him, but it took too much time. I'd have rather seen him get into Roper's organization much earlier. I think it was over a third of the way in before he finally got in with him.


I also felt too much of the novel was focused on Pine's manpain in regards to women. He wanted revenge on Roper for Sophie's murder, and that's why agreed to infiltrate his organization. I get that. I do. But instead of making it out to be wanting revenge because he felt responsible/guilty for Sophie's death, as he passed on copies of documents she gave him to British intelligence, and Roper has spies everywhere, I felt the author was wanting me to believe he was in love or at least could have fallen in love with Sophie, and I just couldn't. Had more time been spent with her and Pine in the earlier parts of the book (maybe by cutting out some of the 'criminal background setup' I mentioned earlier), then perhaps. Therefore, I felt the revenge motive to be a bit...lacking.


And then there's Jed. Jed is Roper's mistress. Gorgeous. Leggy. Blonde. And, of course, Pine is going to fall for her. And for me, there were far too many passages of Pine's internal thoughts about Jed, his feelings for her, hating himself for having feelings for her, because he's not even sure he likes her most of the time. Needless to say feelings the two had for each other never rang true to me.


All of the characters, Pine and Roper included, needed more fleshing out. I couldn't connect to any of them, really.


I don't know. This book just didn't work for me.


That being said, I didn't loathe the book, and there were some enjoyable parts. With some retooling and a lot of the fat trimmed, I can see where this could be adapted successfully for the small screen. Can't wait to see how it all plays out there.