It would have been an easy job for the Circus: a can of film couriered from Helsinki to London. In the past the Circus handled all things political, while the Department dealt with matters military. But the Department has been moribund since the War, its resources siphoned away. Now, one of their agents is dead, and vital evidence verifying the presence of Soviet missiles near the West German border is gone. John Avery is the Department's younger member and its last hope. Charged with handling Fred Leiser, a German-speaking Pole left over from the War, Avery must infiltrate the East and restore his masters' former glory.
Darkly compelling and brutally Machiavellian, The Looking Glass War is a stunning accomplishment by one of today's most remarkable and enduring literary writers.
©2013 John le Carre (P)2013 Penguin
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
A minor le Carré on par with 'A Murder of Quality' and 'Call for the Dead', 'the Looking Glass War' explores the pathetic ineptitude, personal and professional betrayals, and the amoral universe of a former military espionage department that has seen better days. With nuance le Carré dissects a dying animal.
At times it felt like a strange combination of Philip Roth (see 'The Dying Animal') meets Robert Littell (see 'The Sisters'). By the end the reader feels betrayed, humanity feels soiled, and nothing at all has really changed.
this is very good and again a stand alone type story though it does peripherally tie in with Smiley. I like the fact that not everything is spelled out for you, you have to think and pay attention. and the ending is a little ambiguous. there isn't a lot of shooting and blowing things up, it's more of a realistic chess game approach. hard to top In From the Cold. on to Tinker...
this outdoes A Spy Who Came in from the Cold for futility and bleakness to a degree that is straining credulity, patience and interest. we get it: the UK is small potatoes and the farmers are all fighting over the last few... the reader was competent, but I really didn't see the point of this book. i enjoy books driven by character, or 'slice of life' or plot-driven, but this failed to provide any point of ingress..
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