Jeff Crosby's Reviews > Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
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Jan 28, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: espionage, ebook, re-reads, 2012, ibooks, top-20-spy, top-20-all-time
Read from September 04, 2011 to January 19, 2012

Written at the apex of the cold war, this stand alone is the greatest spy novel I have ever read. The threat of subversion to national security, the theme of betrayal, the complexities of motivation and purpose, the brutal nature of the spy game, and its impact on personal lives creates an atmosphere unique in the genre. Others have written very good mole hunt stories, but here the author takes his most enduring character, George Smiley, and places him on the ultimate stage. It doesn't matter if you read the clues and get ahead of Smiley. He plays the game out to its conclusion, despite your conviction that he has known from the start who the traitor in the Circus is.

There are no flashy action scenes, gratuitous sex or violence in Tinker Tailor, but the story is well paced and contains no red herrings. Each event reveals important events or insights into characters.
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