Call for the Dead (George Smiley #1)
George Smiley had liked Samuel Fennan, and now Fennan was dead...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
"When Lady Ann Sercomb married George Smiley towards the end of the war she described hi...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, theno-man's land, the battlefieldfor 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 icon...more
I haven't ye...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
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
As one reviewer said, if I'd known there was an introduction to George Smiley in this I would have read it long ago. We meet Peter Guillam for the first time here as well as hear the sad story of George's marriage with Anne. I have a feeling LeCarre was thinking of combining spies and police thrillers because much of the investigation in this is done in cooperation with a police inspector.
The LeCarre style, the slightl...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
You can see the mature le Carré in this first effort. He uses good prose, knows the value of characterization, has sufficient story to carry the word count, and uses the George Smiley plot device.
Good prose is the mark of a good writer and le Carré always delivers: forceful, fresh, and concise.
At 150 pages, Call for the Dead is short and the story is not overly elaborate. Finding the clues could have been a little more subtle, with a little more misdire...more
Smiley disregarded Frey as suitable clandestine material simply because of his disablement but many yea...more
'Call for the Dead' reads more like a detective novel than Le Carre's later works. In it, the immortally old George Smiley teams with...more
Structured as a simple mystery, with a murder investigation at its core and only tangent...more
I think everybody knows the story. Smiley is the brilliant but determindly innocuous officer in British intelligence. This first meeting sees him sent to investigate the suicide of a civil servant which as you can already guess becomes anything but a straightforward assingment.
This first book introduces us to Smiley giving some of his background and features two recurring characters in the series Peter Guilllam and the nosyparker ex-copper Mendel.
I find it fascinating that his first spy novel, Call for the Dead, showcases a tired, cynical spy who wants out of the job. George Smiley is an experienced intelligence officer who's lived through the Second World War, but who's not that excited about the job anym...more