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The Honourable Schoolboy Paperback – June 7, 2011
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“Energy, compassion, rich and overwhelming sweep of character and action…one of the finest English novels of the seventies.”—The Times (UK)
“All the good things are there: the Balkan complexities of plot; the Dickensian profusion of idiosyncratic characters; and above all, le Carré’s glistening social observation.”—Time
From the Publisher
Top Customer Reviews
Le Carre is the bravest popular novelist around. He panders to no one's politics; he doesn't care how much work a reader might normally choose to invest in a book; and he adheres to no formulae. You either trust him utterly, and let him take you where he's going, or you read Grisham.
"Schoolboy" features a Le Carre regular character, George Smiley, and centers on a bit character from earlier work, Jerry Westerby. In a sense, the novel is a contrast between, on the one hand, the bluff, hearty, athletic, noble, and, well, superficially superficial Westerby; and on the other, the deepest and most complicated character in the genre, George Smiley. But there's so much more here: the contrast between Eastern and Western cultures; between England in its late-twentieth century posture and the then-seeming decline in influence of the U.S.; between the young Turks at the Circus and its old guard.
What unites it all is Le Carre's remarkable gift at storytelling, dialogue, and character development.
I read many authors in the intrigue, mystery, and crime fields. But they're all just faint echoes of Le Carre. If you want real gold, and not just cheap imitation, he's your man.
Unlike Tinker which was set entirely in Britain (minus reminisces and flashbacks), le Carre splits the story of this novel across two continents. On one continent is George Smiley running the Circus and the operation that will hopefully redeem it. To do that, le Carre brings back many of the supporting character's he used in Tinker such as Smiley's right hand man Peter Guillam and the eccentric researcher Connie Sachs to name two such people. The main narrative takes place on the other side of the world in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia where former newspaper reporter and occasional Circus agent Jerry" Westerby (introduced as one of the supporting characters in Tinker) is sent to follow up information the Circus has obtained about Hong Kong Fat Cat Drake Ko. As a result, the novel is split up far more then Tinker was something that is both good and bad.
On the good side is its introduction of an all new series of character's and locations. The new character's range from the mysterious Liese, Hong Kong Fat Cat Drake Ko, CIA agents Martello and Murphy and aging Hong Kong journalist Bill Craw. Really though it is the locations that give the novel a much different feel from its predecessor.Read more ›
Trilogy's can be difficult. Ask anyone who's read the Tolkein tomes. Visit the home of those who own them. "The Two Towers" is the book most forget and, alas, it enlcoses some of the most important story developments. This is happy break from that fate.
The Honourable School Boy is a wonderful and pleasing surprise as it perhaps the book touched most by the challenges and grace of human fraility and devotion. Of the three books that make up the Smiley trilogy, ( "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", "The Honourable Schoolboy", and "Smiley's People" ), this is by far my favorite. Best of all, if you've never at all read any of Le Carre's novels, this is enjoyable on it's own merits. Enjoy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've read this book a number of times over the years and keep coming back to it.
Through all the plot twists and multiple characters, I found this to be a great book.
I only wish that after all the work was done and villains caught that the villain's... Read more
Wonderful in all respects. I have long postponed reading LeCarre but am so grateful that I have begun all his books at last.Published 2 months ago by Fritz
After "Tinker, Tailor", le Carre's fans waited many years for the follow-up "The Honourable Schoolboy". When I first read the book 35 (! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bradley West
Part travelogue part spy thriller. The first half can be slow but the second half is pure action.Published 2 months ago by brendan dugan
One of the few le Carre novels I had not read. The unabridged audio is wonderful; Michael Jayston is a very talented reader.Published 2 months ago by Traveler