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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive reading, 28 July 2011
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This review is from: Smiley's Circus: Guide to the Secret World of John Le Carre (Hardcover)
If like me, you love John le Carre novels, but in particular, the shadowy world of The Circus,(the fictitious special department of the British Intelligence Service,) then this book is an absolute goldmine!

When 'Smiley's Circus' was published in 1986. David Monaghan was Professor of English at Mount Saint Vincent University, Nova Scotia. In a thoroughly authentic style, perfectly encapsulating the essence of the novels, Monaghan provides a detailed analysis of the Circus', charting people, places and events through seven novels starting with 'Call for the Dead' and culminating with 'Smiley's People'. (At the time of writing, The Secret Pilgrim had yet to be published.)

Scanning the contents, you feel akin to Guillam, investigating the Circus mole, furtively trawling files for classified information... and what intelligence is yielded: a history of major operations and their chronology; the hierarchy of the Circus, as well as a 'Who's Who - Biographies of People, Places and Particularities'. Photographs and maps of recognisable locations are also included.

David Monaghan diligently ties together the threads that run through each story. So convincingly does he write, you have to remind yourself that even this book is a work of fiction!

I cannot believe that no one has yet reviewed 'Smiley's Circus'! If, by the way you are just starting to read 'The Circus' novels, then Monaghan's book will provide a valuable guide. Be warned, however, it does contain spoilers!
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Smiley's Circus: Guide to the Secret World of John Le Carre
Smiley's Circus: Guide to the Secret World of John Le Carre by David Monaghan (Hardcover - 21 Aug 1986)
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