Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A spy remembers - 4+, 30 Mar. 2012
This review is from: The Secret Pilgrim (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
This is a wonderful collection of vignettes that flow from the memory of Ned, serving in his last assignment for the British intelligence service as the director of a training school for novice agents. The visit of the iconic Le Carre character, George Smiley, as a guest speaker at the school sets Ned to thinking about his own long career in espionage. It has been a career of unique adventures, some successes, many failtures, but most of all, a life full of unique characters.

"The Secret Pilgrim" , though far from a linear action novel, has a beautiful flow and richness to it that surpasses even some of Le Carre's better known books--most of whom share those admirable qualities. Throughout this reminiscence, the reader feels connected at the hip with Ned and his former mentor/boss, George Smiley, as their achievements and failures are chronicled. There is a characteristic honesty and candor here about the frequent impurity of national purpose and equally frequent betrayals and cynical use of friends and allies. It all smacks of authenticity and should make all of us wonder about what our own government might be up to and why at this moment and certainly in the past 50 years.

This is a lovely book that only enhances (for me, at least), the attractiveness and enjoyment of John Le Carre's writing. Recommended.
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