It takes a lot for a book to simply bore me to death but “Brandenburg” by Henry Porter and read by Andrew Sachs joins the elite group to have done so. It was a random pick-up from the audio library and promised to be at least mildly interesting judging by the Guardian’s endorsement of “Another elegant spy thriller that, I believe, John le Carre himself would be pleased to have attributed to him”. Firstly, John le Carre would spit blood if this were ever attributed to him and secondly I shall now completely ignore any Guardian book reviews.
The plot was boring, the characters were unappealing, the reading was monotonous and so after a relatively short while I just didn’t give a toss what happened to anyone and gave up with the thing. I’m left wondering whether the abridgment saved me from even longer spells of torture or cut out the parts that might have made it worth listening for one more disc.
I can see why the reviewer’s mind jumped to John le Carre because it does have that same sort of calm, understated, “intelligence” feel about it as opposed to being a James Bond style action spy thing but to compare the two is really silly. Like saying eating Salmon is the same as Carp because they’re both fish.
I’m now on a Dick Francis called “Silks”. I read a few of his many years ago and sort of enjoyed them in a popcorn kind of way. This one seems much the same but still infinitely better than Boredenburg!