"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", by John le Carre

  • February 23, 2014 · 6:00 PM

[From an Amazon review]:

"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" has been called the best espionage novel ever written. John Le Carre's cynical and spellbinding spy thrillers are so unique because they are based on a wide knowledge of international espionage. Le Carre, (pen name for David John Moore Cornwell), acquired this knowledge firsthand during his years as an operations agent for the British M15. Kim Philby, the infamous mole, actually gave Le Carre's name to the Soviets long before he defected. The author's professional experience and his tremendous talent as a master storyteller and superb writer make this book one of the best novels I have read in the genre.

"Tinker, Tailor..." is the first in what has come to be called LeCarré's "Karla (or Smiley) Trilogy", in which English spy George Smiley is pitted against the Soviet spymaster Karla. Written during the Cold War, it is a portrait of that time, with its paranoid and morally ambiguous view of global politics.


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  • jiele

    Hi Mark. Did you see the BB C version or the recent two hour one. A line from the series I rember is ". You don't scratch my conscience and I won't scratch your Jaguar ". It is much more than a spy story. Please read the sequel " Smileys people " if you hsve time.

    1 · February 20, 2014

    • Mark L.

      I've just started in on the BBC version and realized that I hadn't really lived until I saw Alec Guinness as Smiley. Could not be better!

      1 · February 21, 2014

  • Mark L.

    Le Carré offers, “For me, this secret world was also a metaphor for the larger world in which we all live; we deceive one another, we deceive ourselves, we make up little stories, and we act life rather than live it.”

    February 20, 2014

  • Mark L.

    The movie was great! Made me realize I only understood about half of the book.

    February 20, 2014

  • Maryrose

    Right decision! Unfortunately, I'm not able to make it this coming Sunday. Wishing you a gr8 discussion.

    1 · February 18, 2014

  • Mark L.

    Hi everyone -- because of the volume of snow on the ground in our area, and the possibility of icy patches tomorrow night, I've postponed the Meetup one week until Sunday, February 23rd. Hopefully we will have had a reprieve from the storms by then...

    February 15, 2014

    • Joy

      Oh no. .. that's when my other book club is meeting. :/

      February 15, 2014

    • Mark L.

      Oh darn, sorry Joy!

      February 15, 2014

  • Kathryn

    Ok...that's fine.....I just finished the book AND saw the movie which helped quite a bit.

    February 15, 2014

    • Mark L.

      I'll have time to finish the movie by next week too!

      February 15, 2014

  • Kate

    Never got a chance to read the book or (gasp!) watch the movie, so I will no longer be attending. Will see everyone in March!

    February 15, 2014

  • Anne

    Because of schedules shifted by the weather, I unfortunately cannot not attend :( Will miss the discussion!

    January 28, 2014

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