L'onorevole scolaro (The Karla Trilogy #2)
In this classic masterwork, le Carré expands upon his extraordinary vision of a secret world as George Sm...more
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It is very different from the last book: suddenly there is this unexpectedly huge scope of Southeast Asia to go alongside the muted meetings in grey London office rooms. I can well understand how some readers might have felt it was two books jammed together, but for me the contrast worked perfectly and I was riveted by how brilliantly Le Carré ...more
This penultimate work of that series is really the triumph of LeCarre's career; the point at which he reached the full breadth and scope of his powers. Afterwards--although he enjoyed further achievements--I suggest that he never again eclipses th ...more
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.
― W.H. Auden
“Yet it's not for want of future that I'm here, he thought. It's for want of a present.”
― John le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy
Well sport, this was a messy, sometimes uneven AND occasionally a plodding novel but I absolutely loved every single word of it. This is the second book of le Carré's Karla trilogy. Perhaps, the greatest spy trilogy ever. While more people focus on the first ...more
“A redhead, which was half-way to whoredom for a start. Not enough breast to nurse a rabbit, and worst of all a fierce eye for arithmetic. They said he found her in the town: whore again. From the first day, she had not ...more
All I know is that I got sick of reading about Jerry. I got sick of Guillam’s overdone fawning. I got sick of the female characters—including Connie—portraye ...more
This is the second volume in the Karla trilogy, and as such is the direct sequel to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Do not expect more of the same, however. This is, after all, John le Carre, and he rarely, if ever, writes the same novel twice.
The le Carre novels that I have read tend to make use of two general frameworks. There are the 'whodunit' style stories, set primarily in London, such as Call for the Dead and TTSS. These ar ...more
The Hong Kong of the early 1970s in the book wasn't very different from the Hong Kong I encountered in the early 1 ...more
The plot concerns the Circus (British espionage unit) tracking down a Soviet operation in the far East. Smiley rebuilds the shattered agency and hurls it into the fray. Without spoilers I can assert that The Honourable Schoolboy takes place largely in south and southeast Asia, with long stretches back in London, and an ultimate focus on Hong Kong. E ...more
The main character is not George Smiley (although he is present in much of the novel) but Jerry Westerby, one of the Occasionals as they are referred to - foreign correspondents who do a little spying on the side. As such, it is altogether more human than either Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy or Smiley's People - the r ...more
To start with, this book has little connection with the Karla-Smiley story of Tinker, Tailor. Yes, Karla is mentioned as linked to the spies being chased but with no other role whatsoever. Smiley team is there but more as a sideshow to the juvenile story of a fringe spy falling in crazy love over a single meeting, his Southeast Asian ventures and a complex capture tale where one is never cl ...more
The Honourable Schoolboy, second in the Karla Trilogy, coming after Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and before Smiley's People, is all a ...more
I like LeCarre a lot. He ...more
1/3: It's 1975, and spymaster George Smiley takes charge of dealing with a betrayal. Stars Simon Russell Beale and Hugh Bonneville.
2/3: The Americans make their presence felt, and tragedy strikes in Hong Kong.
3/3: Can George Smiley keep the situation under control? Can Jerry Westerby be trusted? Stars Simon Russell Beale and Daisy Haggard.
This book has a range of characters: Asian capitalists, crazy expat journalists, peasant soldiers, one femme fatale; and puts them in action in a multination ...more
The British Secret Service is reeling and George Smiley, the pensive, middle-aged Cold War veteran has been charged with setting the Circus back on it’s feet. To that end he employs Jerry Westerby, a minor character from Tinker, Tailor, to run down a possible lead – a myst ...more
But the book's main shortcoming is the titular character, a journalist aristo cum spy named Westerby, dispatched by Smiley on a mission in the south-east. Annoying by half, in the final part of the book he [spoiler!] inexplicably turns out to be an utter cretin, when the plot so dictat ...more
One fat book it is and in it John Le Carre has tried to portrait the entire East Asian theatre of the mid 70s, the British colony of Hong Kong, Red China and Soviet Russia's pressure on it, the last days of the Vietnam War and the extended insurgencies into Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and the opium trails in these parts controlled by the Hong Kong elites.
The only book by John Le Carre I have read before this is The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and as a result I continued to compare the two books d...more
Jerry first travels to Hong Kong because his chief, George Smiley, has reactivated him in order to investigate a fat cat businessman with ties to Moscow, China, and the underworld of South East Asia. Following the money ...more
See also: John le Carré - Wikipedia