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The Honourable Schoolboy (George Smiley Novels) Audio CD – Audiobook, 9 Feb 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 196 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Audiobook, 9 Feb 2012
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (9 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611760887
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611760880
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 5.5 x 14.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,966,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

'Simply the world's greatest fictional spymaster' Newsweek --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John le Carré was born in 1931. He attended the universities of Bern and Oxford and later taught at Eton. He spent five years in the British Foreign Service. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By A Customer 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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you loved Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and want to know what happens next, this is what happens. The Circus, rocked by the Bill Haydon betrayal, is placed in the hands of George Smiley, who brings back in Peter Guillam, Connie Sachs and old faithful the newspaper stringer Jerry Westerby, the 'Honourable Schoolboy' of the title. But the Circus charter and budget are dramatically curtailed, and there is a good chance that the Circus will not survive at all. Circus centres across the world are closed down, including the famous Hong Kong residence. British Secret Intelligence seems blind, and this is exactly the way Carla wanted it.

With a bare minimum of resources, Smiley starts to track Carla's 'handwriting', discovering a potential mole of the Bill Haydon type embedded in the Chinese communist hierarchy. With Westerby despatched to Hong Kong as the legman, Smiley begins a complex process of triangulating the elusive Nelson Ko, which eventually results in a magnificent sting which... well, enough of the spoilers. It doesn't end the way you expect it to.

This is by far the most expansive of the Smiley books, with Westerby traipsing through war torn South East Asia, escaping death often by no more than a whisker. Back in London, we see Smiley and his team in their element, doing all the things which we most wish they would be allowed to do, and leaving the Americans in the dust as they do it.

My only criticism of this book is that it tends a little towards self-indulgence, with old chums back running the Circus like what they should, with enough camaraderie and table-tennis to give the Famous Five a run for their money.
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