rating: 4 of 5 stars
The movie was pretty good - one of the best spy films I've seen lately. The book was better in some ways and worse in others for me. Ignatius definitely knows his stuff, and you have no trouble visualizing the places he's talking about - he clearly knows them well. Likewise, he seems to have a decent hold on the modern business of espionag e. All that stuff is good, but the love story in the book is just not compelling for me - the girl, Alice, is a little too plainly allegorical for the "just-show-the-Arab-world-we-care-and-they-will-love-us-back" point of view, and so the whole story of their relationship and the dissolution of the main character's marriage to a "true believer in the War on Terror" becomes political commentary to beat the reader over the head with. The spy stuff is good, though.
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