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Smiley's People

A book by John Le Carre

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Back to his best

  • Feb 12, 2008
Rating:
+5
Le Carre picks up the thread of Smiley's pursuit of Karla as it was at the end of Tinker, Tailer . . . , the first book in the series, with barely a reference to the second. And like the first, this is a return to the spare, taut writing that makes Le Carre's best writing classic, without the overplotting and "literary" touches that marred the second.

Le Carre writes with omnipresent omniscience, getting in every character's head, selectively, sometimes pulling the story forward, sometimes pushing it forward, a style that works best with Le Carre's spare prose. And the last 100 pages push the reader forward inexorably, having reached that tipping point of good suspense or mystery writing beyond which the reader must finish without interruption.

My plan now is to stop reading Le Carre now and double back to the Vollman novel Europe Central (see my review here)

Europe Central

which retrospectively covers the same ground and see if there are touch points of similarity, congruity, or extreme difference that cast light on the time and place.so central to the history of the 20th Century but so fast fading in the distant rear view of the 21st.

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About the reviewer
Todd Stockslager ()
Ranked #38
I love reading and writing about what I have read, making the connections and marking the comparisons and contrasts. God has given man the amazing power to invent language and the means to record it which … more
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About this book

Wiki

'Smiley's People" has all the le Carre touches' -- Sunday Telegraph An enormously skilled and satisfying work -- Newsweek An achievement of subtlety and power of which few novelists would be capable. It is the best single thing le Carr has done -- Financial Times--This text refers to an alternateHardcoveredition.
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Details

ISBN-10: 2891491122
ISBN-13: 978-0394508436
Author: John Le Carre
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Knopf
First to Review

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