The Honourable Schoolboy Paperback – 21 Sep 2006
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|Paperback, 21 Sep 2006||
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'His command of detail is staggering, his straightforward, unaffected prose is superb. In short, wonderful value` (The Sunday Times)
'Simply the world's greatest fictional spymaster' (Newsweek)
'Energy, compassion, rich and overwhelming sweep of character and action . . . one of the finest English novels of the seventies' (The Times)
A wonderful, classic le Carr now reissued in a stunning new packageSee 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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 11 days ago by Calypso
Another holiday book from France, which I was reluctant to even pick up because I was so disappointed by The Night Manager and because it followed on from Tinker Taylor, one of my... Read morePublished 1 month ago by KIKAREN
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 1 month ago by E D Floyd