The enduring novel by one of our greatest storytellers. George Smiley, who is a troubled man of infinite compassion, is also a single-mindedly ruthless adversary as a spy. The scene which he enters is a Cold War landscape of moles and lamplighters, scalp-hunters and pavement artists, where men are turned, burned or bought for stock.
Smiley's mission is to catch a Moscow Centre mole burrowed thirty years deep into the Circus itself.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 432 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date: 26/11/2009
- Category: Espionage & spy thriller
- ISBN: 9780340993767
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Review by stuart10er
While not a big fan of "spy" novels, I found more than enough of a standard mystery/thriller in this to hold my interest. The novel is very well crafted moving from the present situation where George Smiley (recently retired) has been asked to come back into service clandestinely to find a Russian "mole" in British intelligence. The novel then moves between flashbacks, the present, and then stories that Smiley has to research before he finally unmasks the mole. This is no mean feat and was a bravura piece of writing. However, it seems quite dated now. The idea of fearing Russian spies seems so distant. I guess it points to how good and still "fresh" the writing seems. Many times I thought to myself - why don't they just google that guys name and findout - only to remember it is set in the mid-sixties/early-seventies. No internet, no faxes, no cell phones - whew! How did they do it back then?