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John le Carre was born in 1931. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People. His recent novels include A Most Wanted Man, Our Kind of Traitor and A Delicate Truth.
This title is an oddity among le Carre's espionage fiction for being a loosely connected group of stories more than a novel, as top spy George Smiley's protege Ned reflects upon his career during a lecture by his mentor. Ned's story reflects upon his growing awareness of the moral ambiguity of his endeavors. The first-person narrative gives veteran le Carre interpreter Michael Jayston an excellent opportunity to use inflection to convey nuances to reveal both theme and character. VERDICT The anecdotal, episodic nature of the tale makes it easier to follow than some of le Carre's labyrinthine novels.-Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr., New York (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.