George Smiley is no one's idea of a spy - which is perhaps why he's such a natural. But Smiley apparently made a mistake. After a routine security interview, he concluded that the affable Samuel Fennan had nothing to hide. Why, then, did the man from the Foreign Office shoot himself in the head only hours later? Or did he?
The heart-stopping tale of intrigue that launched both novelist and spy, Call for the Dead is an essential introduction to le Carre's chillingly amoral universe.
©2012 John le Carre (P)2012 Penguin Audio
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
John le Carré's first novel is a subtle story of friendship, espionage, guilt and tradecraft. le Carré is one of those great genre writers who I think will be read 200 years from now. This short first novel foreshadows many of the themes and moral ambiguities of later le Carré espionage novels.
My first exposure to le Carré was the recent Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy film. I was so intrigued by the characters, especially George Smiley that I decided to read all of the George Smiley books. The physical description of Smiley, in Call for the Dead, does not bring Gary Oldman to mind, but the persona is dead on. The plot and character development are far less complex than in TTSS, but it was an enjoyable read none the less. It will be interesting to see how le Carré grows as an author throughout the books.
Overall the book was well worth the time, and the narration was great!
I'm a high school English teacher, partner, mom, daughter, sister, and adventurer.
If le Carre had developed and distinguished his characters more clearly.
Sarah Water's The Paying Guests.
Smiley's first interview with the widow.
I was disappointed that w book deemed as a 'classic' was so mundane and boring.
I wish I had chosen a more recent le Carre book to introduce me to this author.
This obscure little book is the first in the Smiley series, introducing our unlikely hero, along with Mendel and Guillam. For fans everywhere, this is a must-read. Michael Jayston, who played Guillam in the original BBC versions of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People does A wonderful job as narrator. Not to be missed--I am reading all my favorites all over again.
Probably not. George Smiley just doesn't do it for me.
The narration was good. I would listen to him again.
I thought this was about spying but it was more of a murder mystery. The main character, Smiley, didn't seem like a main character. Mendel was a much more intriguing character.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
This 1961 novel was British authorJohn le Carré's first published work and Iin my opinion his best. For 16 years beginning in 1983 I was on airplanes and in airports for more than 1,000 hours annually most of it on long international flights with much of the time spent reading books, mostly mystery/thriller fiction. During that period I read ~15 le Carré novels because the famous British spy novel writer was so popular and his books were so readily available in airport shops in North America, Europe, Asia and South America. I was determined to find at least one that was really excellent. (I also read novels by many other authors.) To this day I have not found a le Carré novel that earned more than 3 stars.
So I am not a le Carré fan! In my opinion he is the most overrated novelist of the 20th century and 21st century to date. Call For the Dead remains in my view his best novel and it is is really a 3 star suspense mystery rather than a spy thriller. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the 5th novel in the George Smiley series and widely considered le Carré's seminal work, is from my perspective literary garbage.
Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.
I have wanted to read le Carré's "The Spy Who Came In from the Cold" for quite a while, so decided to read this book first as it precedes "The Spy...". I like le Carré's style of writing, but because it is set in an early 20th century time period, it took me a little getting used to. It is a relatively short book, and so I reread it as soon as I finished it the first time. I don't usually do that, but when I do, I seem to always be rewarded with greater understanding and enjoyment. So it was with this novel. Now I am ready for "The Spy..." and hope it is as good as I have come to believe it will be.
i have read a couple of le carre's novels and liked them, (Constant Gardiner & From the Cold being excellent) and thought i'd start Smiley series and see how far i wanted to go, at least to Tinker, Tailor & then watch the film. I like the mystery aspect of this one, but I really like how convoluted the spy motive aspect of these get. I may like Le Carre more than i thought, maybe I waited too long to keep up with him. Narrator is good and I think the writing style is in general better from european authors.
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