A SMALL TOWN IN GERMANY by John le Carré
Kirkus Star

A SMALL TOWN IN GERMANY

KIRKUS REVIEW

In Bonn. . .even the flies are official." Bonn, the seat of displaced power, German democracy emasculated, an invalid carefully tended by the West and never-so-much so as in this projection that has tapped the genuine restlessness and riots of today. It is about ten days in a "recent future" before West Germany must make a stand on the Common Market; anti-this alliance is one Karfeld, who has reached the reactionaries and is riding on a crest of student popularity, an enthusiasm that runs to lethal demonstrations. Karfeld represents a threat not only to the future of the Market but also to the delicate German-British relationship. And the British Embassy itself has a defector who has vanished with enough secrets to insure a devastating split. The question here is why? And as Leo Harting is traced, the personality of the man becomes a subtle, fascinating puzzle. An archivist, a well-liked man with an astonishing memory and even more surprising ingenuity, he is defended by his colleagues even now. A man with a fatal curiosity and a man obsessed... What did Karfeld "owe" this rather obscure individual. Certainly a surprise ending in the Le Carre tradition. And a fused portrait of the men behind the busy-work, men with their own strange madness -- "The files get hold of you; and you can't help it . They'd rule your life if you ever let them." Classify this one Top Secret-A.
Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1968
ISBN: 0743431715
Publisher: Coward-McCann
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1968




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