A Greek Tragedy,
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This review is from: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (George Smiley series Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
I have just finished re-reading The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, having first read it about 25 years ago. In that time, the world has changed, and the cold war depicted by Le Carre is almost unimaginable to readers under the age of 40. However, none of that detracts from the sheer quality of the writing and thought in this outstanding novel.
The novel shows a world where there are no moral certainties and where even the smartest and most worldly wise characters can unexpectedly become victims. It shows that everything that anyone does in the story has consequences, often unexpected, and makes us ask the question of whether anyone can really be described as innocent.
Without wanting to spoil the plot, the book is elliptical in that the end has a certain similarity to the beginning, and this feature of the book's structure very appropriately reflects the tragic nature of what the cold war was all about.
The book also asks important questions - do the ends justify the means ? If we support a particular type of regime, how far are we prepared to go along with that ideology ? What is right and what is wrong ?
There are no easy answers, and Le Carre pushes the reader to reflect very carefully. It is difficult to overstate the importance and the excellence of this book.