The Mudville Gazette
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Wednesday, April 16, 2003


Spy novelist David Cornwell, better known by his made-up name John le Carre, has gone mad.

Once one of Britain's leading writers, le Carre made a small fortune exploiting cold war tensions in such books as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The Honourable Schoolboy, and The Russia House. Now elderly and tragically feeble and delusional, he has accused President Bush via a statement in The London Sunday Herald of being driven to war by the thirst for oil and power.

"The reaction to 9/11 is beyond anything Osama could have hoped for in his nastiest dreams. says le Carre (French for "the Square") "As in McCarthy times, the domestic rights and freedoms that have made America the envy of the world are being systematically eroded."

"'Non-permanent' males of North Korean and Middle Eastern descent are disappearing into secret imprisonment on secret charges on the secret word of judges..."

In further evidence of his declining mental status, le Carre indicates conflicted opinions later in the editorial, stating "If the intelligence services know nothing, that will be the best-kept secret of all. Remember that these are the same organisations who brought us the biggest failure in intelligence history: 9/11." An apparent call for increased support for the spies who ensure the aforementioned envious American domestic rights and freedoms.

Although le Carre's current enfeebled status should not detract from his past accomplishments, his inexplicable comments have prompted a few readers to re-evaluate his books in an attempt to determine which side he was really on. His books, the paradigm of the spy-novel genre for a generation, spanned the cold war from the early sixties through the fall of the Berlin Wall and beyond. Desperate for a marketable theme, he actually entered his period of declining talent and limited relevance years ago, but this essay is the worst I can remember: worse than The Tailor of Panama, worse than The Night Manager, but in the long term potentially inconsequential as no one buys that crap any more anyway...