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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 8 November 2017
This is the second of John Le Carre's Smiley novels, and like the first, Call for the Dead is interesting both in itself as a story, and for the picture of an emerging novelist.

In this, Le Carre seems to be exploring a different course for Smiley's and hence his own career. Here Smiley has left the Circus, and is encouraged by a magazine editor, and old acquaintance, to look into a cry for help from a reader. Things take a fatal turn and Smiley finds himself looking into a murder in the claustrophobic, political and arcane world of an English public school.

This is a straightforward detective novel, with no element of espionage in it, and Le Carre seems to be establishing Smiley as an English Poirot, ready to launch into a series of novels.

As with the previous book, Le Carre is experimenting with characters, in particular the magazine editor has elements of being a prototype for Connie Sachs.

Also of interest is the strong social and political tone of the work, a common thread throughout Le Carre's career. Both in the story itself, and in an afterword, this is an absolutely vicious attack on the English public school system, both for its cruelty to those within it, and for its corrosive impact on society. Like Orwell attacking the excesses of the Stalinist left, this has the feel of an insider biting the hand which beat him.
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VINE VOICEon 27 September 2017
John le Carre's books are all of a very high standard this this one is no exception. He is one of my favourite authors and I am just in the process of going through his books once more. I read them all originally in the 1970s and it is time to revisit them. First class entertainment but really bad if you have things that you really must get done because it is hard to put them down.
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on 17 May 2017
Always give him 5 stars. what else can you do. Critisize him / I don't think so.
Superb as ever,
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on 17 October 2017
This was a bit of a surprise with Smiley filling a role unlike that to which I had become accustomed. Essentially a good "who dunnit" and most enjoyable. Perhaps I'm easily pleased?
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on 19 July 2017
I enjoy all of John Le Carre's spy fiction. The psychology of his characters and plots are always fascinating. Well written and I can always recommend them.
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on 26 July 2017
An intriguing legacy of privileged individuals competing for recognition succumb to clinical scheming murders but unravelled by the marvellous Smiley intellect.
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on 12 September 2017
A rather ordinary who dunnit from the 60's... Well written though as you'd expect.
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on 17 November 2017
Different from the usual George Smiley stories but thoroughly enjoyable.
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on 18 July 2017
Early days both for Le Carre and George Smiley.
Turned out well
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on 14 July 2017
This is one of his earlier novels, a very enthralling read.
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