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The Honourable Schoolboy Paperback – 26 Nov 2009


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The Honourable Schoolboy + Smiley's People + Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
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Product details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (26 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340993774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340993774
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 5.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,482 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

'His command of detail is staggering, his straightforward, unaffected prose is superb. In short, wonderful value.' (Sunday Times)

'Simply the world's greatest fictional spymaster.' (Newsweek)

'Energy, compassion, rich and overwhelming sweep of character and action . . . one of the finest English novels of the seventies' (The Times)

Book Description

A wonderful, classic le Carré now reissued in a stunning new package.

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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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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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18 of 20 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cheerful Dragon on 10 July 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have two major problems with this book. One is the story itself. As a sequel to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy it lacks the pace of the previous book. The story is slow to get going and really drags in places. I understand that this book was never adapted for TV because they couldn't afford to film in the Far East. If they had tried to adapt it, they would probably have cut or 'edited' huge chunks of it.

Which brings me to my second problem with this book - editing (or lack of it). Or perhaps the problem is proof-reading. A previous reviewer commented on words running together and blamed Amazon for lack of quality control. I'll place the blame where it should be - the publisher. Amazon can't check every book they sell and has to rely on the publisher getting things right. This is one case where the publisher got it wrong.

I've read Tinker, Tailor on Kindle and didn't have anything like the problems I had with this book. I'm hoping I won't have these problems with Smiley's People, which I also own on Kindle.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Steven Forster on 3 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm pretty new to Le Carre. I read 'The Spy Who Came in from The Cold' and was blown away. It's dark, it's realistic - it's the dirty, unglamorous world of what you'd imagine spying must really be like.

I read 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' and though it was a bit slow at times, I loved it. Great story - makes you really work at it but it's really rewarding too.

When I realised 'Tinker Tailor' was part of a trilogy, I thought I must read the rest.

'The Honorable Schoolboy' is the second in the trilogy and you must read 'Tinker Tailor' first. It's a good story, a good development of 'Tinker Tailor' showing how Smiley tries to rebuild a shattered service with little support or thanks from the political masters.

However.... it's 686 pages long. You're 80 pages in before the intrigue first starts to get opened up. You're 150 pages in before there's anything very exciting. It's split into two halves, the second of which is paced much better but he really drags his heals. I would love to edit this book - at 450 pages, it could be a very worthy sequel to 'Tinker Tailor'. As it stands, it takes an effort of will - or good skimming skills - to stay with it.

I bought the final one - 'Smiley's People' - and note it's only 450 pages long. Perhaps he had more confidence in himself by this stage to just get down to the meat and potatoes and cut the waffle. Fingers crossed.
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