2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Paperback)
I wanted to read this before the Hollywood version is released and I haven't seen the BBC TV adaptation either. What I have read though is a classic book that not only gives a portrait of Spying at the time (allegedly) but also of London and the shrinking Britain struggling in a post empire environment.
The premise is simple. A spy exists in the circus (named after its location in central London). Someone needs to brought in from the outside to identify the spy. George Smiley, having recently left the service under a cloud, is that person. What follows is a look back to why Smiley left and uncovering the spy. Its densely plotted and you need to pay attention. It is not an airport novel that you can just flick through. Its depiction of seventies London is striking in comparison to the modernity of London now. It really does evoke the place it used to be and the way people used to be.
The ending is satisfying and makes you want to real the other two following novels. It certainly delivers it fair share of twists. It does use trade terms sometimes which can be confusing and yes you do have to keep up and sometimes re-read a passage or flick back. However, its well worth the effort and is rightly hailed as a classic