After watching the recent American movie version of TTSS, in which Gary Oldham tries to channel Alec Guinness, & Peter Guillam's elusive girlfriend is a boyfriend, I had to go back to the Ur: to fill in gaps (kudos to anyone who could follow the movie's plot without having read the book), & to revive my original vivid, awed memories. What an amazing writer John LeCarre is! This time through I'm staggered by his brilliant touch not only at storytelling but with language & information. Nabokov was right that our first read is biased toward finding out what happens, & only on the second read & beyond can we fully savor the whole multilayered opus.
Since this impulse first struck me in transit, I started reading the free online Nook sample, & had the good fortune to discover the author's preface added in 1991. Highly recommended.