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Smiley's People: A George Smiley Novel Paperback – June 28, 2011
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“A delight to read, intricate, exciting, absorbing.”—Chicago Tribune
“An enormously skilled and satisfying work.”—Newsweek
“An achievement of subtlety and power of which few novelists would be capable.”—Financial Times
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author John le Carré (A Delicate Truth and Spy Who Came in from the Cold) was born in 1931 and attended the universities of Bern and Oxford. He taught at Eton and served briefly in British Intelligence during the Cold War. For the last fifty years he has lived by his pen. He divides his time between London and Cornwall.
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Top Customer Reviews
Also, I am now a fan of Toby Esterhase. Always thought he was just an untrustworthy little creep but the little creep gets to show some skill here. Plus, he has some classic quotes. This guy could sell ice cubes to eskimos while robbing your igloo at the same time.
The characters are not complex, you already know half of them and the others are easy to envision, but how did this all come to be and why ? You get to start from scratch with George Smiley and figure it out. Fun !
I have all John Le Carré's books either on the shelf or in my Kindle. I could say that "Smiley's People" is one of the 7 or 8 top preferred although I also re-read with similar anticipation and pleasure such titles as The "Night Manager", "Single and Single" or "The Taylor of Panama". It is perhaps the atmosphere that touches me more closely in "A Small Town in Germany" or in "Smiley's people".
This particular book is a thoroughly satisfying end of the trilogy. As different from the "Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy" as from "The Honourable Schoolboy" (which, IMHO is a superb, complex work which might require multiple readings) it is also a "Spy novel" but as usual with Le Carré, it is so much more than that. Many of the protagonists of the 2 previous tomes re-appear and, for the curtain call, even Anne's lighter.
In typical Le Carré style, the story progresses through a succession of scenes tour à tour macabre, frightening, sad, suspenseful, humorous or rejoicing, observed through the humane vision of a master. True to the genre Le Carré also gives us some good spy tradecraft.
He is my favorite author by far although my compatriots - their government rather- are sometimes in his sight. (with good reason probably) Everybody gets the same treatment anyway. Certainly his hero has no illusion about himself no matter what his nemesis Karla thinks about "the last illusion of the illusionless man".
Although Le Carré describes terrible situations, life goes on (for most of the participants anyway) with its little habits and comforts and funny moments that he presents with much humor and compassion.