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Par Lance

Par Lance is where I come to talk with my friends, mainly to discuss books. 

Par can mean at face value,and Lance is just me.


From the Oxford English Dictionary:

Parlance /'pa:l(Ə)ns/

noun [mass noun] a particular way of speaking or using words, especially a way common to those with a particular job or interest: dated terms that were once in common parlance | medical parlance.

origin late 16th cent. (denoting speech or debate): from Old French, from parler 'speak', from Latin parabola 'comparison' (in late Latin 'speech').

Currently reading

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The Spy Who Came In from the Cold - John le Carré Some people may regard this book as a modern classic. It is certainly the book which brought John le Carre to the fore.

Before I continue, I'd like to give you a warning. Please skip the Introduction by William Blake, as it will completely wreck the pleasure that you should get from the story as it reveals all, including the ending. You can go back to read the Introduction.

I well remember the first time that I read this book. I was about fifteen and I was an officer cadet at a Naval school where we could assemble in the mess hall every Saturday evening to watch a big screen feature film. I saw The Spy who came in from the Cold with Richard Burton was on the "Coming Soon" list. I borrowed the book from the school library and read it before I watched the film. I enjoyed both immensely, despite the relatively small differences in the story lines.

Revisiting the book a few decades on has been equally enjoyable experience. As you would expect, my life since those days has given me a different viewpoint, particularly as I served on the IGB (Inner German Border) during my Army days, and spent a lot of time with members of families who had spent years of forced separation from their close relatives. It was so sad.

This book is about the duplicitous games that spies play and how these affect the lives of others. There are lots of descriptions of the plot amongst the hundreds of online reviews, so I am not going to repeat that for you. What I would like to say is that this is a fast-paced story of Cold War espionage which draws you in. Every word and action of every character has to be carefully considered by that person, as any slip could place them in serious danger. That makes the story exciting.

This is one of those books which you simply must place on your have-to-read-before-I-die bookshelf.