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Honourable Schoolboy Paperback – 21 Sep 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (21 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340924292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340924297
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.6 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,504,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John le Carré was born in 1931. His third novel, THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, secured him a wide reputation which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, THE HONOURABLE SCHOOLBOY and SMILEY'S PEOPLE. His other novels include THE CONSTANT GARDENER, A MOST WANTED MAN and OUR KIND OF TRAITOR.

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Review

Praise for The Constant Gardener (:)

The master storyteller...has lost none of his cunning (A. N. Wilson, Daily Mail)

The book breathes life, anger and excitement (Nigel Williams, Observer)

A cracking thriller (Economist)

Nobody writing today manipulates suspense better. Nobody constructs a more tantalisingly complex plot . . . essential reading (Chris Woodhead, Sunday Telegraph)

Book Description

'Simply the world's greatest fictional spymaster' Newsweek

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By J. E. Parry VINE VOICE on 30 Nov 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second of Le Carre's Smiley trilogy. Following the Secret Services uncovering of a Russian mole Smiley is put in charge to rebuild the battered and demoralised service.

We follow the exploits of Gerald Westerbury as he sets out to uncover the destination of $500,000 of funds transferred to a trust account in Hong Kong by the Russians. Jerry has to discover what this money is for.

There is cross and double cross by the main protaginists as there are several stories running in tandem. As Smiley plots he is under pressure from the Americans and the machinations of his own political masters. Does anyone know what is happening or who is planning what?

What is Drake Ho, the Chinese industrialist, up to? Who is Liese Worth? Did Ricardo, a drug running CIA pilot, die in Laos? What is the role of drake's dead brother in everything?

In typical Carre fashion the story is told in the third person, as though reminising after the fact. We are led through the events after they happened. We know that something major is waiting but not what exactly.

The hero of the piece is Westerbury. He is the old school spy, sent in as a journalist and left to run with little support. We see the efforts of a demoralised agency trying to rebuild and inject a new pride.

Another great story from the master of Cold War spying.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Kinniburgh Kid on 15 Feb 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am working my way through the new BBC John LeCarre series and loving every minute of them. The production is crisp and clear, the acting exemplary and the adaptations convey all the drama and tension you want from a cold war thriller.

At three hours long this is perfect for a long car journey or, as I did, a long afternoon sitting in the chair as the cold grey skies rolled past outside the window. As they say, radio has the best pictures and these are better than most movies.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "philbennett9" on 24 April 2000
Format: Paperback
This book, the second in the so-called "Smiley versus Karla" trilogy, is bar none, Le Carre's best novel. It is about a complicated ploy by George Smiley, now re-instated in the circus and it's new head, to gain revenge on Karla and Moscow Centre over it's decades long humiliation by the hands of a British spy. The novel is primarily based in the far east, mainly in Hong Kong and reaching out to war-torn Cambodia. The man on the scene, set to land the coup, is Jerry Westerby, a sometime news Reporter, a some time spy for the circus. Unfortunately for him, the cards are stacked against him from the outset. I would read Tinker Tailor before reading this novel, so as to have much of the background knowledge needed. But in my mind this is LeCarre's finest work. Pity the excellent Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Smiley's People didn't have this gem filmed along with them as well.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bill Kelly VINE VOICE on 26 July 2011
Format: Paperback
I have read this novel several times over the years and it never pales. It is ahrd to ad anything to most of the reviews here, but i do agree with J Byrne that the book carries echoes of Conrad, particulalry "Heart of Darkness"-certainly Jerry's journey to see Ricardo through splendidly described war torn scenes of Laos and Cambodia reminds one of Marlow's quest for Kurtz.

The darkness side is also perhaps more evident here than in the earlier Smiley novels, particulalry in the character of Fawn the psychotic bodyguard for George, and the callous reflections on the deaths of "dispensable" characters. It is left to Westerby, rather than George to carry the flag for some approach at morality in what the Circus does.

Highly recommended if you like thoughtful espionage, history or just good, literate novels.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Dec 2000
Format: Paperback
This remains my favorite le Carre novel.It has everything you expect from him, being beautifully written,well paced and with a great feeling for the locations and people.But with this book le Carre has created a most likable hero in Jerry Westerby.Tough,romantic but essentially niave he is a perfect foil to the the fantastically corrupt asia of the last days of the Vietnam war. .The novel builds beautifully having introduced and combined plots,sub plots and a great cast of weird and wonderful bit players rouges, cynics and soldiers as Jerry faithfully follows the orders of his mentor George and plans to betray him.Great stuff.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Gtj Charmley VINE VOICE on 25 Mar 2010
Format: Audio CD
This is a BBC dramatisation of the second book in the trilogy begun with Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. It is useful to at least know what happened in that book before listening to this. Following the events of that book, George Smiley, the technocratic spymaster has become head of the Circus, Le Carre's fictional espionage organisation. He must deal with a legacy of betrayal, and a part of that is finding out where Karla, the enemy spy chief, is vulnerable. The discovery of a case which the traitor had placed in cold storage leads Smiley to send a long inactive agent, former journalist the Honourable Jerry Westerby, son of a fallen Press Baron, to travel to Hong Kong in order to trace the plot.

Westerby, played as a bored colonial type by Hugh Bonneville, is a romantic as well as a spy, his world-weariness hiding a search for the one girl. As he seeks to find out exactly what suspected Soviet agent Drake Ko (David Yip) is up to, he meets Liese Worth (Daisy Haggard), a similarly jaded personality. Fascinated by her, he comes to believe that she is the one. The question facing Smiley is whether Westerby can be trusted to deliver the goods, or whether he will throw over the service for true love.

Action is split between the Far East, mostly Hong Kong, which is portrayed as a sleazy world of intriugue and broken dreams, and the London offices of the Circus, where Smiley matches wits with the unseen Karla in a well-acted tale of suspense. Worth getting, but probably only if you are familiar with the events of 'Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy'.
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