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

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
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's review
Oct 06, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: spy

You know when you're at a party and you see those mutual friends that you only see once or twice a year at parties, and they're talking about people and things you kind of know about but not really? That's how the beginning of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy starts -- right in the middle of things so you'll need to keep your wits about you to understand what's going on.

For most of the novel, I didn't understand exactly what was going on. I knew the Cold War backdrop, and the general plot of trying to find a mole, but that was about it. Despite my confusion, the novel was still enjoyable because le Carre write such genuine characters with real emotions and real problems that I forgot that I was still confused about the plot. Sure, there's a lot of (awesome) trade-craft going on, some stealthy, seemingly coincidental meetings in parked cars and chalk lines, but at its heart, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is about the people coping with their job-related dilemmas.

The novel was slow to start, but I read the last quarter in one rushed sitting because everything was finally coming together and I really wanted to know what happened. After I finally digested What Happened, my mind was nicely blown. Good play Karla. Good play.
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Reading Progress

October 6, 2011 – Shelved
October 21, 2011 – Started Reading
October 21, 2011 –
17.0% "I'm really confused but I think something is afoot."
October 23, 2011 –
34.0% "I think I know the plot now."
October 24, 2011 –
41.0% "Shoulda paid attention to the Cold War while it was happening because now I have no idea what's going on in this book."
October 25, 2011 –
55.0% "What, I think I missed something??"
October 26, 2011 – Shelved as: spy
October 26, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Otis (new) - added it

Otis Chandler Awesome! How come FB had a different cover than here?

Louise FB is using the work's best book.

Patrick Brown Now that you finished the book, you can check out this AtoZ that William Boyd did of it:


Brian thanks for that link, patrick. just started reading it and it explains an "autobiographical" comment that le carre (rather, cornwell i suppose it is?) made about one of his other novels...didn't realize he was in the spy business himself!

Amar Pai Totally. It's bizarre to me that I enjoyed this book so much despite at NO point EVER understand WTF was going on.

Amar Pai And I read the end in a rushed sitting too! I guess he's good at suspense

Amar Pai +1 enjoyed the link from Patrick

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