This is Le Carrés first novel in which he created his master spy, George Smiley: short, stout, mild-mannered, obscure-looking (for ones concept of a spy). It is post WW II and Smiley is being forced into retirement, but first, one last task: an interview. Too bad that his object turns up dead as a door nail the next day: an apparent suicide. Hold on! He left a wake up call and failed to consume a self-prepared snack. So here is Smiley, back on the track of spies as the cold war looms in the future. The novel also forebodes Smileys life to come; his attractive, titled wife has left him, he forced into retirement, he is called back.
Just started reading LeCarre, as this is his first book I thought it was pretty good. Didn't understand why he needed to write a report at the end repeating a lot but clearing up a few things. over all a nice read.
Recently, I've hit a dry patch in my reading; everything is the 'same-old-same-old' or the dialogue is awful. So, I decided to reread some of my old favorites. I remember loving all of John Le Carre's George Smiley spy stories. Masterpiece Theatre's visual interpretations of the Le Carre stories were superb. It was time to turn back the clock to the Cold War -- when you knew who your enemies were!
What I love about this book is that Le Carre doesn't fill in all the dots, he makes the reader work to understand what is going on in the story. When I got to the story of Dieter, one of Smiley's war-time associates, I remembered the gist of the story. This in no way diminished my enjoyment of the novel. This book is the opening salvo in a group of marvelous spy novels.
George Smiley Spy Novels
1. A Call for the Dead (1961)
2. A Murder of Quality (1962)
3. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963)
4. The Looking Glass War (1965)
5. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974)
6. The Honourable Schoolboy (1977)
7. Smiley's People (1979)
"John Le Carre' is simply the world's greatest fictional spymaster". This book is a new case that develops just as George Smiley "the world's most famous secret agent is about to retire".
Great book! My son really enjoyed it!