George Smiley has become chief of the battered British Secret Service. The betrayals of a Soviet double agent have riddled the spy network, and Smiley wants revenge. He chooses his weapon: Jerry Westerby, "The Honourable Schoolboy", a passionate lover, and a seasoned, reckless secret agent. Westerby is pointed east, to Hong Kong. So begins the terrifying game.
©2009 David Cornwell (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
"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 magazine)
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"Good but not great"
Perhaps what I did wrong was listen to this right after I'd finished Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which I really loved. It's not as good, though it is still very good. The narration is fantastic. I felt that this was too 'padded' out, with long sections that seemed to add little to the overall plot. The setting was atmospheric, though I missed George Smiley who featured a lot less than I'd expected. We had of course met the main character - the Honorable Schoolboy of the title - in the last book. His character in this story seemed at odds with the way he was portrayed in Tinker Tailor.
utterly enchanting story telling with the familiar and brilliant le carre prose, saturated by caustic humor and subtle characterization. probably one of the finest english novels of the late 20th century that moves beyond of the cloak and dagger genre. To top it all, a brilliant narration by michael jayston who above everything else is able bring his TTSS - BBC experince to the front by adding alec guinness’ intonation to george smiley’s character. just loved that sound!
"If you only buy one"
The story is read extremely well and at the ideal pace and the stry does draw you in to a tangled web as you would expect from the author. It helps if you know Tinker, tailor , spy but can stand up on its own. My one negative is the story itself is just not as good as tinker taylor spy and if you only by one le Carre that should be it.
"detailed and connected"
The narration is good throughout and the cast are well represented the story flows. I enjoyed it
Not sure why, but the book seemed to drag. I couldn't even bring myself to listen to the end. The story line was confusing, bland and yes, tedious. Maybe you need to read Le Carre in book form to speed past the over indulgent scene setting.
"Right in the Le Carre stable"
I've listened to a few Le Carre's and this one follows the expected enjoyable thread. The storyline builds well and includes his typical descriptive detail. Well read too; characters are effectively brought to life.
"A plot against Smiley?"
This is the 'missing' story that the BBC didn't make, it lies between the two that they did, Tinker, Tailor... and Smiley's People. With Michael Jayston reading, it fits right in. He really does give le Carre's world a sense of gravity. In particular the ending; it has just enough information to show what happened, while leaving us wanting to know more about the fallout for the leading characters.
"Another great listen"
Really enjoyed it. It might be me having not paid enough attention to the story but I was a touch disappointed by the denouement of the story!
"A little colour to Smiley's grey world"
Although the second book in the trilogy it can be enjoyed in isolation or avoided altogether without impact on the series. Piggot Smith is again wonderful in portraying Smiley and the usual subjects but struggles with a few of the more 'colonial' accents. StillI, I can forgive all as this is a truly excellent audio book.
Probably due to the foreign locations the atmosphere is less claustrophobic than the other two books. The bleak UK and European locations replaced by images of a manic and chaotic Far East. Wonderfully painted, the book travels at a greater speed and with more open intensity than the other two and I found I enjoyed equally but different ways.
"Great story well told"
This a terrific spy story that displays spies at work both in the strategic centre (the Circus) and out in the field. Michael Jayston brings all the characters to life and the tale is both fascinating and suspense filled from beginning to end. A must for Smiley devotees but a great listen for anyone who likes their stories to contain rich and accurate detail.
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