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Started by levelgaze on Dec 13, 2020 10:59:42 PM
RIP John Le Carré

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/dec/13/john-le-carre-author-of-tinker-tailor-soldier-spy-dies-aged-89

Great novelist. No-one better at writing the murky ambiguity of human beings.

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solomongursky - 13 Dec 2020 23:00:59 (#1 of 169)

Smiley had a knighthood, you discover in a throwaway remark made by one of Ann's friends. And was an "inventive lover" according to Ann herself.

Shadrack22 - 13 Dec 2020 23:09:39 (#2 of 169)

I’ve read:

The Spy Who Came In from the Cold

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Where next?

Tenesmus - 13 Dec 2020 23:11:28 (#3 of 169)

Does this mean signed books might be worth a bit more?

solomongursky - 13 Dec 2020 23:16:06 (#4 of 169)

Where next?

He did write a non-spy novel which didn't go down too well. I liked it, The Naive And Sentimental Lover.

The Karla trilogy is:

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – (1974)

The Honourable Schoolboy – (1977)

Smiley's People – (1979)

dreams99 - 13 Dec 2020 23:19:30 (#5 of 169)

He was my dad's favourite author, so I avoided him for years, although I read TSWCIFTC a few years ago. Had recently started collecting and reading him, although not very far, just the first couple (Call for the Dead and A Murder of Quality) Will get through most of them next year.

ReverendBlueJeans - 13 Dec 2020 23:24:59 (#6 of 169)

Must reread '...in from the Cold' again and depress myself to bits once more.

upgoerfive - 13 Dec 2020 23:25:36 (#7 of 169)

Where next?



Why not complete the Karla trilogy?

A Perfect Spy is also a very satisfying read.

Shadrack22 - 13 Dec 2020 23:29:57 (#8 of 169)

Thanks for the recommendations.

dreams99 - 13 Dec 2020 23:32:46 (#9 of 169)

Le Carre on meeting Kubrick:

https://twitter.com/charles_kinbote/status/1338248
511075266560?s=20

TheExcession - 13 Dec 2020 23:44:53 (#10 of 169)

Damn. Really sorry to hear about this. I've come to love his books and I think he's one of those novelists that you appreciate more as you get older and you understand the world weariness of many of his characters and the moral grey areas and cynicism of their lives more.

I tried 'Tinker Tailor' when I was half the age I am now and just didn't 'get' it and then fell in love with it later but when you're younger you tend to see the world in black and white more and you want heroes and villains, whereas le Carre's characters are just people doing a job, albeit in competition with one another, and whether they're good or bad is very much a matter of perspective.

The Pigeon Tunnel is worth a read. He had a very strange life, made all the stranger by the fact that plenty of people, sometimes very senior political figures who should really have known better, thought that he was really in on the world of the secret services, that his books were based on the truth, and that he could actually offer them advice - whereas in reality he'd been a junior agent for a few years in his youth.

DesEsseintes - 14 Dec 2020 01:42:10 (#11 of 169)

Not really my thing, but I used to quite like the tv adaptations in the days when I still watched tv.

brooklyn - 14 Dec 2020 02:15:13 (#12 of 169)

let me echo "schoolboy" and "smiley's people."

I thought schoolboy was good. people was excellent (if no TTSS). and that they help create the trilogy is key.

I liked The Secret Pilgrim in large part because it told you about Peter Guillam, until then a puzzle to me.

Antimatter - 14 Dec 2020 03:06:26 (#13 of 169)

I loved all of his books, and yes, The Pigeon Tunnel is a really interesting read as well. He was so good at evoking atmosphere, and as a reader I always ended up caring deeply about his flawed and troubled characters. There was never anything black and white about his novels, just intricate and complex times, places and people.

thisonehasalittlehat - 14 Dec 2020 06:19:32 (#14 of 169)

Never read any. Never likely to.

HorstVogel - 14 Dec 2020 06:27:24 (#15 of 169)

ditto for Harry Potter



The Honourable Schoolboy probably my favourite, followed by A Small Town in Germany. Still a few to read mind.

browserbutton - 14 Dec 2020 06:28:40 (#16 of 169)

Apparently his father was a con man, an associate of the Kray twins.

HoHoHoff - 14 Dec 2020 06:32:28 (#17 of 169)

This Graun interview is pretty good https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/oct/11/john-le-carre-truth-was-what-you-got-away-with

HorstVogel - 14 Dec 2020 07:03:07 (#18 of 169)

Apparently his father was a con man,



Theme of Perfect Spy.

ReverendBlueJeans - 14 Dec 2020 07:29:05 (#19 of 169)

The Adam Sisman biog is a good read. The Pigeon Tunnel is in some senses a response.

cozzer - 14 Dec 2020 08:53:54 (#20 of 169)

No-one better at writing the murky ambiguity of human beings.

Unless those human beings were women, or 'common' (or, even worse, both).

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