Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Such an utterly disappointing book to me. I read doggedly on, until the bitter end, in the hopes that surely I would see what made this book a best seller. A spy novel extraordinaire. Any reason whatsoever to turn it into a film.

Alas, I find practically nothing.
Is the story of finding a Russian mole within British intelligence told with any clarity whatsoever for those who are not spies? Does it follow any logical, sequential order? No, Le Carre fills it with jargon best known to those involved with espionage, and flashbacks which made my head swim.

I wasn’t even comforted by caring about any of the characters. George Smiley, to be sure, is the most likable of them all. We see his weaknesses, briefly, underneath a stoic and calm exterior. But, we don’t come to know him. I, for one, cared little about his disappointment when he discovered which  tinker, tailor, soldier or spy was the mole set by Karla in the Circus (Secret Intelligence Service).

I was only glad that finally, after numerous attempts since 1974 when this book was first published, I was able to finish it tonight. Hopefully, the film will prove more interesting when it’s released December 9, as Colin Firth plays Bill Haydon. The tailor.

Thanks to NetGalley for the chance to download this book onto my Nook.

Addendum: After having read the book and let it settle for 24 hours, I can now see why it has such popularity. It is not an easy read, not a smooth read, not a linear read. But, it is a read which I can’t forget. I keep thinking over the plot, the slow unraveling in the discovery of the mole, and I can see that the subtle way which le Carre has done this is quite powerful. I regret my earlier disdain to some degree. Perhaps it is due in large part to being used to novels which pound one over the head with their dramatics.