A Legacy of Spies
John le Carré
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Chosen as a Book of the Year in The Times Literary Supplement, the Evening Standard, the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, The Times
'A brilliant novel of deception, love and trust to join his supreme cannon' Evening Standard
'Vintage le Carré. Immensely clever, breathtaking. Really, not since The Spy Who Came in from the Cold has le Carré exercised his gift as a storyteller so powerfully and to such thrilling effect' John Banville, Guardian
Peter Guillam, former disciple of George Smiley in the British Secret Service, has long retired to Brittany when a letter arrives, summoning him to London. The reason? Cold War ghosts have come back to haunt him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of the Service are to be dissected by a generation with no memory of the Berlin Wall. Somebody must pay for innocent blood spilt in the name of the greater good . . .
'Utterly engrossing and perfectly pitched. There is only one le Carré. Eloquent, subtle, sublimely paced' Daily Mail
'Splendid, fast-paced, riveting' Andrew Marr, Sunday Times
'Remarkable. Vintage John le Carré. It gives the reader, at long last, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that have been missing for 54 years. Like wine, le Carré's writing has got richer with age. Don't wait for the paperback' The Times
'Perhaps the most significant novelist of the second half of the 20th century in Britain. He's in the first rank' Ian McEwan
'One of those writers who will be read a century from now' Robert Harris
What's New in Version 1.1.0
1.1.0 Cover has been updated to match latest edition
First time with LeCarre
Some how this book just misses the mark. A vernacular that most public school authors have at his age, slightly not in touch (spooks in the office wearing pumps and track suits). Every character middle class, and sounding like they're from the fifties. You almost forget you're going backwards and forwards in time, and just stuck in the fifties.
If you like Graham Greene, Fredrick Forsyth and Ian Fleming, then this might be for you. But there are more younger dynamic writers out there.
Continuing the recent trend of JLC output, this is disappointing all round.
Missed opportunity, irritating tone and lazily ended in equal measure I'm not sure why he bothered for anything other than financial reasons.
Don't be fooled into thinking this carries the Cold War atmosphere of his early work, half of it you'll be aware of if you've read the previous Smiley books and what is new is neither well crafted or a surprise. There was nothing to temper my disappointment.
In fact I'd rather Smiley have never surfaced again, he deserves much much better.
I doubt JLC will lose any sleep over this review but for anyone sitting on the fence save your cash and try The Deceiver by Freddy Forsyth, same premise but ten times the better story.