The Night Manager by John le Carre

The Night Manager by John le Carré

Sometimes there are months, even years, between putting down a book and restarting it. One book begun in November is a totally different book come June (I’m talking about you, Cat’s Eye), and then sometimes the gap doesn’t matter, it’s still a hard read.

tnm“In the shadowy recesses of Whitehall and Washington an unholy alliance operates between the intelligence community and the secret arms trade. Jonathan Pine is ready to stand up and be counted in the fight against this ultimate heart of darkness. His mission takes him from the cliffs of west Cornwall, via northern Quebec and the Caribbean, to the jungles of post-Noriega Panama. His quarry is the worst man in the world.” GoodReads.


The Night Manager is definitely entertaining, but man, was it a slow read. There was something about the writing, jumping from one character to the next – I’m honestly not sure I know who the characters are outside of Pine, Roper, Jeds, Corky, and Barr – I found it difficult to keep up (and sometimes care).

It appears that le Carré’s Governmental internal politics are beyond me, both intellectually and emotionally. Pine and Roper, that’s where the interest lie. Roper’s adoption of Pine, displacing Corky, was brilliance, I was happy to spend half the novel setting this moment up. Roper is a fascinating character, and by the time Pine is with him I am fully on Roper’s side – I want to see him succeed with Pine at his side. I don’t think that was intended. Any chapters devoid of Roper and Pine were boring, were I more versed in political or spy knowledge perhaps this section of Roper’s downfall would have been more to my liking.

But Jeds, oh Jeds. Roper’s young girlfriend. What a complete waste of a brilliant character. What was the point of her? As the tool that ultimately betrays Pine’s secret with her inability to contain her love for him? Because that’s the impression I got. Pine spends most of the novel punishing her in his head – and his opinions were horribly misogynistic considering how much he appeared to respect his dead lover, Sophie – until finally he just accepts she’s a bit pathetic but he loves her anyway. How romantic. Only at the end does she show some sort of autonomy, but remains an object to be rescued by Pine. If he can’t have Sophie, he can have this damaged little bird.

I’m tempted to watch the series now I’ve finished the book, but unless Jeds has been fleshed out I’m not sure I’d enjoy it.

The Night Manager was a weird mix of brilliance and boredom. I couldn’t be happier that I’d read it (no sarcasm intended) I love a good discussion point.

Have you read or watched The Night Manager?
Someone tell me about Jeds!


10 thoughts on “The Night Manager by John le Carré

  1. I watched the television adaptation, which was well done, with some strong central performances. It seems they were true to the heart of the novel, while making some key changes at the same time. But I don’t think having seen the programmes that I will take the time to read the novel now.


  2. Well, I’m going to watch the series regardless, because I love and cherish Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie, but I’m not wild about the actress who plays Jeds, and I sort of suspected she wouldn’t be, like, the greatest character. I haven’t read a word by John le Carre, but he, er, doesn’t seem like the type who would put a lot of thought and energy into his lady characters. :p


  3. Can’t comment on the book but I saw a bit of the series and it seemed quite good, definitely an emphasis on the thrilling aspects (as in not as boring as the book may have been.


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