Agnieszka's Reviews > Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
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Oct 19, 14

bookshelves: own, 2012, favorites, london-calling, john-le-carré, reviewed
Read in January, 2012 — I own a copy


Who can spy on the spies ?

We are at the heart of British Secret Intelligence Service , commonly known as MI6 . For the initiated the Circus .

Tinker , tailor, soldier, spy it’s the look at the firm from the inside . Author himself worked there for many years and thanks to it I have no problems with his credibility . We get to know world of intelligence , its structure , jargon . Babysitters , lamplighters , ferrets , shoemakers , scalphunters . Sounds really crazy .

Intelligence work it is not guns and fast cars and agents themselves look more like tired office workers . It is tedious , painstaking and endless digging in the archives , reading hundreds of reports to pick out this only one information , it’s patiently investigation of every new lead . It’s an experience of solidarity and friendship but also the bitterness of defeat and betrayal .

We are in the middle of cold war and here nothing is what it seems . And people from MI6 have to struggle not only with threat from the outside but most off all with enemy in own ranks . Because in the Circus there is a mole spying for Russian.

LeCarre has populated agency with well drawn , diverse characters . George Smiley , apparently slowcoach but in fact fiendishly intelligent and patient , charming Haydon , Prideux - a patriot and a soldier , Toby Esterhaze - a toady , Percy Alleline - fishy careerist , Tarr – young tearaway , loyal Guillam and the boss , Control.

Don’t listen if others say that it was boring or unattractive . Believe me , there was more action than in any thriller and observing the investigation and set a trap was more exciting than any pursuit . Well , I’ve always preferred brainy guys than muscleman with a gun .

And don’t feel yourself too comfortably . Though cold war had ended , though we were witnesses how Berlin Wall collapsed world didn’t change too much . There is a really thin line between us and them . Don’t get me wrong , I’m not saying that LeCarre is a philosopher or something . But after reading some disquieting thoughts hatching up in your head . So , welcome to the Circus .




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Reading Progress

12/30/2011 page 75
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala You're on a Le Carré binge, Agna! Sounds like fun. Cold, perhaps, bitter, perhaps, but still fun. I think I'll have some!


Agnieszka Fionnuala wrote: "You're on a Le Carré binge, Agna! Sounds like fun. Cold, perhaps, bitter, perhaps, but still fun. I think I'll have some!"

You're quite correct , Fio.Though ,in fact it was my older reading. But as today is LeCarre's birthday I thought I would write some words ...


message 3: by Dolors (last edited Oct 19, 2014 08:59AM) (new)

Dolors You've been on a Le Carré quest Agnieszka...I am torn between the cold snow and the cold war now! :) Another fitting picture that added personality and color to the suspenseful tone of your review.


Agnieszka Dolors wrote: "You've been on a Le Carré quest Agnieszka...I am torn between the cold snow and the cold war now! :) Another fitting picture that added personality and color to the suspenseful tone of your review."

Thanks Dolors . Glad you liked it. And this photo is from the movie based on the novel. And highly recommend watching it too .


message 5: by Garima (new) - added it

Garima Lovely review, Agnieszka and a fitting reminder for me to pick one of the Le Carre's books asap. I really enjoyed the movie based on this book and it also had its share of comments about being about 'boring' and 'unattractive' but like you mentioned, it's a kind of thriller I call chilling and perfect.


message 6: by Florencia (new) - added it

Florencia Excellent review, Agnieszka! I've never read this author before, but he sure is on my TBR shelf.


Agnieszka Florencia wrote: "Excellent review, Agnieszka! I've never read this author before, but he sure is on my TBR shelf."

Nice to hear from you , Florencia ! I'm so happy to see you around again :)


Agnieszka Garima wrote: "Lovely review, Agnieszka and a fitting reminder for me to pick one of the Le Carre's books asap. I really enjoyed the movie based on this book and it also had its share of comments about being abou..."

Thank you Garima as always for being so kind :)


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