Call for the Dead: A George Smiley Novel (George Smiley #1)
George Smiley is no one's idea of a spy which is perhaps why he's such a natural. But Smiley apparently made a mistake. After a routine security interview, he concluded that the affable Samuel Fennan had nothing to hide. Why, then, did the man from the Foreign Office shoot himself in the head only hours ...more
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This first George Smiley novel—also the first for John le Carre—is not a spy novel really, but more like a murder mystery with spies in it.
You see, Smiley is ordered to conduct a routine security check on Samuel Fennan, and, since he sees no serious concerns in Fennan's past—just a little harmless wartime flirtation with communism—he reassures Fennan and they part in friendly fashion. But soon Fennan is pronounced a suicide, and Fennan's wife Elsa claims that, after his interview with Smiley, he ...more
Description: John le Carré classic novels deftly navigate readers through the intricate shadow worlds of international espionage with unsurpassed skill and knowledge, and have earned him -- and his hero, British Secret Service Agent George Smiley, who is introduced in this, his first novel -- unprecedented worldwide acclaim.
George Smiley had liked Samuel Fennan, and now Fennan was dead from an apparent suicide. But why? Fennan, a Foreign Office man, had be ...more
In this book Smiley interviews a fa ...more
"take your hands off me! Do you think I'm yours because I don't belong to them? Go away! Go away and kill Freitag and Dieter, keep the game alive, Mr Smiley. But don't think I'm on your side, d'you hear? Because I'm the wandering Jewess, the no-man's land, the battlefield for your toy soldiers. You can kick me and trample on me, see, but never, never touch me, never tell me you're sorry, d'you hear? Now get out! Go away and kill"
The first novel by John le Carré is also the 1st novel with the ic ...more
In many ways, Call for the Dead is a book of its time. It opens with a chapter setting out ‘A Brief History of George Smiley’, something a modern novelist might find difficult to get away with. But the ‘backstory’ of S ...more
"When Lady Ann Sercomb married George Smiley towards the end of the war she described hi ...more
I've wanted to read the George Smiley books since watching the BBC adaptation of 'Tink ...more
One of the things that makes George Smiley stand out among the others of his ilk is his looks, oddly enough. He is a quiet, ordina ...more
This book—which I believe was his first—reminded me a great deal of Graham Greene's work: It was short, fast-paced, and highly entertaining. But even in so short a book his talent for weaving intricately tangled webs of espionage asserts itself. He strings the reader along throughout the narrative dropping little clues here and there, slowly revealing t ...more
I haven't ye ...more
The book follows spy George Smiley, as he investigates the apparent suicide of a man who was suspected of being a Communist sympathiser. It was more of a murder mystery than a spy novel, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. The char ...more
Dramatisation by Robert Forrest of John le Carre's first novel.
London, the late 1950s, and a disenchanted George Smiley is engaged in the routine job of security vetting. When a Foreign Office civil servant commits suicide not long after being cleared of Communist sympathies, Smiley investigates and uncovers a deadly conspiracy with its roots in his own wartime past.
George Smiley ...... Simon Russell Beale
Inspector Mendel ...... Kenneth Cranham
Elsa Fennan ...... Eleanor B ...more
The mystery itself is straight-forward: I fig ...more
Smiley is asked to interview a man in the Foreign Office, Samuel Fennan, in a routine security check. Fennan has been under suspicion of Communist sympathies but Smiley talks to him as they walk i ...more
Nice introduction of George Smiley. Nothing too difficult to read. Slow and steady wins the race with this lot. I definitely had Gary Oldman pictured (remember Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy??). Of course, the description of George and chubby and plain, kind of threw me off. Of course, it had no bearing on his thought process and figuring out of this mystery.
Did Fennan kill himself, or was he "liquidated?" If murdered, then why? What role does the past play in current events? I ...more
was really crazy about spy novels. I'm rereading LeCarre's old ones
though. He's good. This one introduces the character of George Smiley
who figures in the best of his spy fiction a decade later (Books like
Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy, The Honorable Schoolboy and Smiley's
Smiley, an secret intelligence officer , interviews a Foreign Office
official about whom his bosses have received an anonymous letter
saying he's a Communi ...more
Some people may even feel it to be a little dowdy. There's maybe only one female in the tale and she is an older married woman. (LeCarre wised up after this, and in most of his later books there's usually one young female somewhere; whether a secretary or a lover or whatever).
But no matter. The point I want to make here needs to be ...more
I'm glad I did. CALL FOR THE DEAD is a pretty straight-foward murder mystery with spy trappings, but it serves as a fine introduction to Smiley and what makes him tick. Smiley, who is clearly ...more
As alway ...more
Indeed the density and complexity of the characters he portrayts, is very close to reality. This is not for everyone.
In the case of the main character of this first book, George Smiley, who I already knew from other works, such complexity and ambiguity are all too evident.
Still "Call for th ...more
Smiley interviews an agent who had been anonymously denounced, and Smiley gets a good feeling about ...more
See also: John le Carré - Wikipedia