- Paperback: 608 pages
- Publisher: Coronet; New edition edition (5 May 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0340494905
- ISBN-13: 978-0340494905
- Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.9 x 3.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (197 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,621,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Honourable Schoolboy (Coronet Books) Paperback – 5 May 1994
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"Time"All the good things are there: the Balkan complexities of plot; the Dickensian profusion of idiosyncratic characters; and above all, le Carre's glistening social observation. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'Simply the world's greatest fictional spymaster' NewsweekSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
686 pages – Gawd.
It has terrific reviews on Amazon; five star, five star, five star although I can’t find for example reviews from The Times or The Guardian from the time. I am sure they liked it.
As I have written before, I loved Tinker Taylor, I have read it twice in fact and watched the Alec Guinness television adaption at least once. But after the disappointment of the Night Manager, I was wary of picking up yet another John LeCarre. However around about page 250 I actually thought the thought, ‘this is the best book I have ever read’. It is so beautifully crafted, it takes your breath away. Line after amazing line. I loved this, among many:
‘She would be funny, he decided. If Lizzie were here she would definitely see a funny side and laugh at it. Somewhere among all her imitations, he reckoned, there was a lost original, and he definitely intended to find it.’
Haven’t we all at some point in our lives thought those thoughts about someone we fancy? It’s what makes the world go round.
But that turns out to be the last great line and we are in to LeCarre the dirty old man: Korean whores; Bangkok whores; Eurasian whores, whatever they might be and of course because it is largely set in Hong Kong, Chinese whores. Never-ending racial stereotyping. Never-ending misogyny. And every character is explored in minute detail, Lizzies mother, Ko’s son, Captain Urquhart, there is a supporting cast of hundreds.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent book, holds your attention, I would recommend it without any criticism
The book was in good condition and excellent value,
The Honourable Schoolboy is the middle of the Smiley/Karla trilogy written by John Le Carre. I first read this many years ago and it bears re-reading. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Calypso
very different in style. Personally, I did not enjoy it. I lost sight of Smiley. The book seemed to be an attempt to write in a different manner. Read morePublished 4 months ago by E D Floyd