Showing men carried away by fear and pride, The Looking Glass War is a powerful, moving story of human frailty.
John le Carre was born in 1931. For six decades, he wrote novels that came to define our age. The son of a confidence trickster, he spent his childhood between boarding school and the London underworld. At sixteen he found refuge at the university of Bern, then later at Oxford. A spell of teaching at Eton led him to a short career in British Intelligence (MI5&6). He published his debut novel, Call for the Dead, in 1961 while still a secret servant. 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. At the end of the Cold War, le Carre widened his scope to explore an international landscape including the arms trade and the War on Terror. His memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel, was published in 2016 and the last George Smiley novel, A Legacy of Spies, appeared in 2017. He died on 12 December 2020.
A book of rare and great power * Financial Times *
A devastating and tragic record of human, not glamour, spies * New York Herald Tribune *
This 1965 novel is one of le Carre's finest early works. When a bumbling British spy agency learns that the Soviets may have placed missiles in East Germany near the West German border, a Polish agent who was valuable during World War II is reactivated and sent on an ill-defined mission. With its emphasis less on espionage than on bureaucratic dissension, this title prefigures Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. The best scenes are the few featuring George Smiley, le Carre's greatest creation, who views the events from afar with weary resignation. As always, Michael Jayston gives a masterly reading, slowing his cadences to underscore the humanity of the characters. VERDICT Highly recommended.-Michael -Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr., New York (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.