I don’t want to read tragedies. I want happy endings.
But many readers are ok with bad things happening to good guys, and they call this a classic, so I’ll mention some good things about it below.
The plot is excellent. A guy goes deep undercover doing a variety of things. There are complicated twists and turns. They were good.
There’s a bleak and dull quality to Leamas, the main character. I did not enjoy watching him, but his character fit well in the story.
I love eccentric characters, and this story has one, Miss Crail, the head librarian. Leamas worked for her for a few weeks. She hated Leamas. When he put his coat on her coat hook, she stood there fuming, in a silent rage, for a long time. When asked what was wrong she said nothing. Then she spent the morning on the phone mumbling to someone, probably her mother. I love wacko characters like Miss Crail, but she was just a tiny part of the story. Still it might be worth reading just for her.
Great Britain vs. East German intelligence agencies. Leamas is an agent for Great Britain. He wants to eliminate an East German agent. The setting is 1961 with a couple scenes at the Berlin Wall.
Michael Jayston was good.
Genre: mystery suspense, espionage, tragic ending
I was born near Chicago, and moved to Texas 22 years ago. I taught high-school English for probably too many years. Love a good mystery.
The mood and tone reflects the deceptive lives of the spy world. It comes across as believable.
This story was long on detail and short on story-line...too many words for too little action and the voice was boring. I was disappointed.