|Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy|
A modern classic in which John le Carré expertly creates a total vision of a secret world, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy begins George Smiley's chess match of wills and wits with Karla, his Soviet counterpart.
It is now beyond a doubt that a mole, implanted decades ago by Moscow Centre, has burrowed his way into the highest echelons of British Intelligence. His treachery has already blown some of its most vital operations and its best networks. It is clear that the double agent is one of its own kind. But which one? George Smiley is assigned to identify him. And once identified, the traitor must be destroyed.
I'm fresh off the boat with this one - the reason there are not one, but two blog posts today for your reading pleasure. I figured that I had better get my thoughts out about it right away, while they were still fresh - 'cause god knows this wasn't a light read in any sense of the word.
I actually HAD to put this novel aside in order to loosen up my brain a little - which is another reason why I so thoroughly enjoyed Minding Frankie. As I mentioned in my last update, THAT book was an easy read - lighthearted and hopeful - compared to the confusing intrigue and wash of information in Tinker, Taylor.
Halfway through the book, I think I finally caught on to what was going down, but after finishing it, I realised that there was a LOT that I had missed. Either because the jargon escaped me, the plot was too thick, or there was just so much blathering going on at some points that I may have skipped over a few chapters here and there... However, I persevered, and I'm glad that I did.
The end had a neat twist, the bad guys were punished (well, most of them) and the possibility for a sequel (or sequels, as the case may be - as I just read that this is part of a trilogy) had me curiously wanting for more.
Still - it wasn't until watching the 2011 movie minutes after finishing the novel - with the fantastic Gary Oldman as George Smiley, and Benedict Cumberbatch (my favourite ill-named actor ever) as Peter Guillam - that I really learned to appreciate the genius that is John le Carré's understanding of the spy genre.
Even so, I gave the novel a four out of five - for it's not Carré's fault that I'm not a regular aficionado of these kind of tales - and once I got my head cleared, it really did shine through as a good read.
Mind you, the movie helped a lot too - so kudos Director Thomas Alfredson and his outstanding cast. No wonder it was nominated for so many Oscars!