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

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
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Dec 17, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: own-a-copy, 2012, favorites, london-calling, john-le-carré, reviewed, i-saw-a-movie-too, 2017
Read 2 times. Last read November 6, 2017.


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 outside threat 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 that 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

December 17, 2011 – Shelved
December 30, 2011 –
page 75
17.77%
Started Reading
January 1, 2012 – Finished Reading
Started Reading
November 6, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 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)

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 :)


Patrick Fantastic.Vintage leCarre


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