Call for the Dead (George Smiley)
Popular Answered Questions
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
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
In this book Smiley interviews a fa ...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
"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, 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
I've wanted to read the George Smiley books since watching the BBC adaptation of 'Tink ...more
Love the writing style and the characters - oh so very British! - and the way he leads us through the maze of the ...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
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
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
The first chapter is a briefing on Smiley - how he came to be where and who he is - so he is immediately familiar. The period, in the years just after World War II, was one of turmoil in Europe, as its division into Communist and non-Communist blocs shook into place, and here Le Carre's focus is on the newly divided Germany, with East Germa ...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
See also: John le Carré - Wikipedia
Other Books in the Series
in black and white, equip them with
sins and motives easily conveyed in
the shorthand of conversation.”