The Naive and Sentimental Lover

The Naive and Sentimental Lover Aldo Cassidy is the naive and sentimental lover A successful judicious man he is wrenched away from the ordered certainties of his life by a sudden encounter with Shamus a wild carousing artist an

  • Title: The Naive and Sentimental Lover
  • Author: John le Carré
  • ISBN: 9780340937600
  • Page: 335
  • Format: Paperback
  • Aldo Cassidy is the naive and sentimental lover A successful, judicious man, he is wrenched away from the ordered certainties of his life by a sudden encounter with Shamus, a wild, carousing artist and Helen, his nakedly alluring wife.

    One thought on “The Naive and Sentimental Lover”

    1. An excellent book. Le Carré fans will be nonplussed when they read this, there isn't a spy or a civil servant on the horizon. It's the author's only departure from the genre that he has made his own, and in his own words it "isn't everyone's cup of tea, to say the least". In fact there is hardly any plot: the book deals with an encounter between an eccentric writer, his girlfriend and a businessman going through a midlife crisis. But the prose is superb: the story is told through a series of su [...]

    2. There's a passage from this book I've often wondered about:"First there's foreplay," said Helen, speaking as though she were ordering dinner, "then there's consumation, and finally there's afterglow."As far as Helen's concerned, then, afterglow is just an integral part of sex. But not everyone agrees. For example, Galen of Pergamum seems equally certain of his facts when he says:Post coitum omnia animal triste est.I find the contrast rather striking. Is it the case that some people experience af [...]

    3. This is not, like I have seen claimed in several places, le Carré’s first novel that is not a spy thriller (there is also A Murder of Quality, which although it features George Smiley as its protagonist is not about espionage at all, but is a murder mystery) but his first (and possibly only, I have not read them all yet) non-genre novel. It also seems the least liked of his novels, and while it would be easy to dismiss that as fans complaining that they are not getting their customary fare, I [...]

    4. The title is typically Iris Murdoch as too the themes - how will Mr Average deal with people outside his norm. And here lies the rub because altho this book is Murdoch co-authors with Joyce, it is in fact a novel by Le Carre; and judging by the comments & reviews the masses have told him he can only write about espionage.The book has become quite dated & is very much a product of what I consider the bleakest period in 20th Century England - the late 60s & 70s. It might all be Carnaby [...]

    5. I rarely abandon books, and when I do, it is usually within the first chapter, and generally because I dislike the genre or the author's style irritates me. I persevered with this novel for almost 200 pages because I am trying to read all the Le Carres in order, and felt I needed to finish this in order to 'earn' Tinker, Tailor. However, I hated it so much that I felt I had to give up before it irrevocably coloured my view of Le Carre's work. My primary problem with the novel was that it just se [...]

    6. I have read most of le Carre's work and this is the only one I have really hated. I was aware that it was a departure from his usual spy/cold war espionage genre but I had decided to re-read all his books in the order in which they were written.I found this book almost impenetrable. It veered around so much and was so apparently hallucinogenic it felt the way I imagine an acid trip would feel.One of the main characters, Seamus, is one of the most unpleasantly manipulative characters you will eve [...]

    7. The only novel that LeCarre has written outside of the espionage genre, The Naive and Sentimental Lover is an exploration of the nature of love and obsession. The main character, Aldo Cassidy, is a stolidly successful businessman. When he goes to Somerset to look at house he is considering buying, he meets a couple who are squatting there: Shamus and Helen. Shamus is emerging as a successful novelist, while Helen's main attribute is her beauty. In a complete reversal of his usual obedience to th [...]

    8. I haven't read any other Le Carre books and perhaps that is why I liked this book so much. It is unnecessarily long, but is undeniably gripping. It's as charming and funny as it is bizarre. My interpretation of it is that Helen, Shamus and Aldo are the three Freudian parts of the human psyche. Shamus - wild, child like and pleasure focused - is the id. The calm, rational and balanced Helen would be the ego. And Aldo, who never takes any risks, loves his creature comforts and always minds his P's [...]

    9. While totally different from le Carre's usual spy novels,he still presents interesting characters & exotic locations. He makes full use of the double entendre and the writing is filled with innuendoes. fun. One can't help smiling at Cassidy's naivety as he befriends a pair of strange bedfellows and questions his earlier existence. What follows is an absolute romp. Very entertaining.

    10. This is such a well-written book that has nothing to do with spies, as most of le Carre's do. This book has to do with love, seduction, and the human condition. Something le Carre appears to know a lot about.

    11. I read this many years ago and it has stayed with me all this time! I found it disturbing , liberating , sad and I am still not sure I understood it all ! Those Jaguar Drivers and Gerrads Crossers have a lot to answer for! I think I will have to revisit it .

    12. A surprising and pleasurable one-off read from--of all the Queen's most unlikely subjects I could name here--none other than espionage kingpin, John LeCarre. Yes, that's right. John leCarre wrote this sweet, awkward, sheepish, contemporary modern romance novel. Why? Does anyone know? Has he ever explained it? Has anyone ever asked him? Would we believe any explanation he might provide for this weird experiment? It's rather like something one of his own covert characters might do in one of his mo [...]

    13. John le Carré is best known for his disturbing and hunting spy thrillers, for its insights and exciting twist that propelled him in the company of foremost English authors. Although this one can’t be categorize as one of Mr. le Carré’s thrillers, this one still contains his exciting narratives and insightful prose that makes it readable. When I’m on the verge of convincing myself that the novel gets boring and just my respect for the author makes me read this thick novel, then I get inte [...]

    14. Strangest book by this author I’ve seen so far. I knew it wasn’t a spy novel. A very British thing where the strait-laced character meets a couple of wild bohemians who change his life. I didn’t like the bohemians, didn’t see the attraction. But I liked the strait-laced guy. By turns boring, confusing, curious, insightful, and hilarious. What a weird alternative career JLC might have had, if this book had been a bigger hit, which I assume it was not."…but facts about him, like facts ab [...]

    15. Errrrr! It is very difficult to know what to make of this. I am a seasoned Le Carré reader and have my own categorisation of Le Carré books. Early novels (post a Murder of Quality) are action/office spy novels with Le Carré's magical take on incompetence. Then follows the Karla trilogy and, finally, we have the post-wall thrillers with their idosyncratic heroes. This novel from 1971 has the elements of the later novels (idosyncratic hero) but with no real plot. There are no spies, no thrills [...]

    16. Not at all his usual genre but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Sometimes I thought I was reading an Ian McEwan novel and at other times one by Henry James. The title gave away the theme. Rather a sad outcome for the lead character. The intrigues were beyond him.

    17. Whilst some have labeled this as one of John LeCarre's few non-genre novels, one could still class it as a thriller. There's certainly a sense the whole way through that something big is going to happen. It reminded me more of something like John Fowles's The Magus.The other thing to say is that LeCarre's spy thrillers are all superb novels anyway, brilliantly written and all more about the characters in them than the circumstances of the plot.So in many ways this is classic LeCarre. Although it [...]

    18. Classic John le Carré characters in search of a le Carré plot. They do not find it. Le Carré's first, and only attempt, at a literary novel does not succeed. He raised genre to the level of art, but his formless, pretentious The Naive and Sentimental Lover is a true annoyance. The characters are annoying, the structure is annoying, the dialogue is annoying. The novel has none of le Carré's crisp writing, bogged down, as it is, in tedious self-involvement. A personal novel it may be, a very l [...]

    19. Originally published on my blog here in May 2001.The Naive and Sentimental Lover is unique in le Carré's outpur. It is not a thriller, but a serious novel; its subject is an obsessive relationship. Aldo Cassidy is a self made man, a magnate in the pram accessory business. He goes to Somerset to view a country house he is thinking of purchasing, and there meets a couple, squatting. Aldo falls for them both; Shamus turns out to be a famous novelist, and Helen is extremely beautiful.Some people th [...]

    20. This is the odd-le-Carré-out - the only one that doesn't have some connection to the world of espionage. I only read it for completeness, thinking it was a sort of romance story but really it's literary fiction. It's about a middle-aged, highly successful, somewhat unhappy businessman (Cassidy) who becomes entranced by an anarchic, charming, child-like writer (Shamus) and also the writer's wife (Helen). I understand that this is generally derided or just ignored by le Carré fans, but I still f [...]

    21. Honestly,expected much more. This book depicts a love triangle between three extremely complex characters. I was often confused and couldn't figure it out when the main character Aldo, was imagining or whether it was reality. He gets captivated by a man named Shamus and his wife Helen. John le Carre seems like a troubled author and this book really represents his idea of love. He allows a married man to suddenly seek being in a love triangle with two very different people. Aldo is young, and ric [...]

    22. This isn't a John Le Carre spy novel, far from it. Originally published in 1971 this Carre's version of the great British novel, with a compelling story and characters that slip and slide around the pages in a really elusive way. The naive and sentimental lover is Aldo Cassidy, the owner of an innovative engineering company making top of the linbe prams. All based on design ideas that came to Also out of the blue. Aldo has a wife Sandra, and two boys Mark & Hugo. His life takes a abrupt turn [...]

    23. John Le Carre's Bohemian Rhapsody.Simply put, this is the worst book that John Le Carre has ever written. .One more book and I will have read all of his books,(This is the only reason why I picked up and completed this book). It was painful to complete this reading.I understand that aauthor too likes to 'go places" and explore other subjects and writing styles, but this book was just plain weird. You can tell that John Le Carre really did live through the 1960's as his characters are iconic imag [...]

    24. I read this book when I was very young and have somehow mislaid it in the coursde of the last thirty years but I remember the title with affection. Someone wrote here that the book came from a very personal place of Le Carre´s and I would say that is right. I might well dislike the book were I to read it again but I cannot give it less than a three since it leaves this affectionate meomory although to be honest I can remember very little about the book. A drunken Seamus who is extremely rich is [...]

    25. Creio que li todos os romances de John le Carré, um dos meus autores preferidos. Neste livro ele resolve divertir-se (nos), saindo dos seus ambientes de espionagem na guerra fria. Algumas vezes o enredo é um pouco alucinado. Para não dizer uma autêntica "maluqueira". Mas tem evidentemente passagens muito apelativas e não deixa de evidenciar as habituais ambiguidades/complexidades nas personagens dos seus romances.Uma ultima nota para sublinhar o excelente trabalho de tradução para portugu [...]

    26. This is an excellent story of escaping the humdrum existence of middle class Britain in the early 1970's. Established business man, going about buying a country estate, meets an eccentric couple with whom he both has an affair and falls in love with. The shenanigans that ensue are raucous. Mad trips to Paris and Bern with singing, drinking, dancing, guns and an Irish man in Cork who has a direct line to God. All very plausible too, in a time when people were more carefree and the corporations ha [...]

    27. Love le Carré and have been on a le Carré binge, reading through his oeuvre one by one. But this one, man, was a hard one to read. It's smart writing, and it's funny at parts, but it doesn't propel at all. And I'm not saying le Carré should stick to spy novels; it's just that this one just has unlikable everything in it, including main characters, and it's not crazy or funny enough to work on not having a likeable character. It's political, but the politics are abstract and endemic to the tim [...]

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