John le Carre was born in 1931. His recent novels include ABSOLUTE FRIENDS, SINGLE & SINGLE (for which he was described as 'the essential voice of our time' by the Daily Telegraph) and THE CONSTANT GARDENER. THE MISSION SONG is his twentieth novel.
Bruno Salvo, the illegitimate son of an Irish missionary father and a Congolese mother, is one of le Carre's most interesting lead characters-and one of the most difficult for an actor to bring to life using just his voice. Fortunately, Oyelowo, a veteran of everything from televised comedy to live Shakespeare, has the ability to quickly catch and transmit to listeners the many elements of Bruno's essence in this moving and surprisingly amusing audio version of arguably the author's least typical novel. Oyelowo never falters in presenting the many other characters who flesh out the story, from the Roman mentor who shapes the orphaned Bruno's future as a professional interpreter of African tribal languages to the British intelligence agents who eventually recruit him. Oyelowo positively shines with recognizable truth as he shrewdly recreates Bruno's growing awareness of the power this knowledge gives him-personally, politically and socially. It would be difficult for any other actor, even one with more star power, to take Bruno Salvo into film or television without us hearing Oyelowo's voice in our heads while we watch. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, July 31). (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Le Carre, genius of the Cold War spy novel (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold), has created a tense thriller in Mission Song. Bruno Salvador, "Salvo," is the illegitimate son of a Congolese woman and an Irish Catholic priest. Orphaned at the age of ten, Salvo continues to develop the languages of his native Africa that he learned from his father. This ability is discovered and nurtured, eventually earning Salvo degrees from the London School of Oriental and African Studies. In London, he becomes a good citizen of the UK and a top interpreter; one of his many jobs is working for an unnamed and very secret government agency. When he is called upon to do a bit of interpreting for his adopted country, Salvo learns how very naive he has been. Le Carre is the master of suspense, and this "up all night" thriller will keep his audience enthralled. David Oyelowo does an astounding reading job; his performance of the many dialects and nationalities is an added bonus to this excellent and enlightening book. Highly recommended for all libraries.-Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.