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

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
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's review
Feb 02, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: mystery-and-suspense
Read in February, 2009

set during the cold war, this novel deftly lays the the clues to the identity of the mole in the circus (the branch of england's intelligence service the characters work for) while searching the lives and stories of those devastated by him through the quiet investigation of the rotund george smiley. he is not just concerned with the mystery, but how the mystery, i.e. who the mole is, has lived like a ghost in the department as people guess at his existence and are quietly foiled, ruined, and in at least one case crippled by his intimacy. to the very end le carre pits loyalties of friends against loyalties of country and philosophy. he explores how scrambled they become when persons who live by both discover they don't always neatly coexist. le carre does not preach and takes side with neither east or west. and as he burrows the reader deeper and deeper, i think it is impossible for the reader to take such a side by the end of this book.

again le carre's writing is superb, stirking, literary. his narrative voice delicately moves from a more distanced 3rd person omniscient to a closer view where the narrative takes on the syntax and vocab of the individual character, sometimes dancing between two different voices as characters converse. his writing is not just visual, but makes use of all the senses. a very well told story.
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Reading Progress

12/31/2008 page 64

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