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Old Faithful - The Titfield Thunderbolt
Heisenberg might have stayed here
Old Faithful
Book Review: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, by John Le Carré
It is several years (possibly almost 20) since I last read this book; certainly I haven't read it since I saw the 2011 film and probably not since I watched the BBC adaptation either. As a long-term project I've been reading the Smiley novels in chronological order. I know the story by now and this remains in my top three favourite fiction books (the others are Foucault's Pendulum and Doctor Zhivago; I wouldn't want to choose a ranking between them). So it was a pleasure to read and to enjoy spotting new details. Amidst the references to lamplighters and scalphunters, previously I had not picked up on "wranglers" as a term for codebreakers, but obviously to anyone who knows, it is a reference to those gaining a first in mathematics at Cambridge. For some reason I had thought the book had the mole Gerald take his own life at the end; but it's clear this is not the case. The book doesn't state who is responsible but there are hints enough that both dramatisations choose to make explicit.

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vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: December 31st, 2014 08:42 am (UTC) (Link)

Have you tried to translate "The magician is dead. I have come for you from London in his place." into rusty schoolboy French?
qatsi From: qatsi Date: December 31st, 2014 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't recognise this, but then Google tells me it is from Smiley's People!
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: December 31st, 2014 07:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
True, it is; and the collection is one of my lifetime favourites. Le Carre is a courageous writer, and Smiley and his world immensely resonant. I could have pointed to one of the models for Connie in Oxford, the character was so well drawn.
qatsi From: qatsi Date: December 31st, 2014 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're absolutely right; and how interesting to hear your thoughts on Connie.
4 comments or Leave a comment