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John Le Carre's deftly drawn characters and well informed books on the world of espionage should need no introduction. Yet despite watching the two BBC miniseries based on the George Smiley character I hadn't read any until I listened to this, the first book in the eight featuring George. Smiley is a fascinating character, quite opaque, quiet and undemonstrative. He is the polar opposite of James Bond yet is a superb protagonist. Le Carre's first book is well plotted and paced, gently ambling towards a conclusion. I did anticipate a couple of plot points but it was still a pleasure to seem them play out.
The audio book is excellently narrated with the characters easily distinguished and full of drama.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Great book and well read. Michael Jayston is a great reader and lends himself to the characters.
Book is interesting and often times dramatic.
First venture into the world of George Smiley, good to start at the very inception of his character.
The 4 * is because despite the narrator being amiable there was at times difficulty in distinguishing which character was speaking. You have to really 'listen' intently to the narrative to follow the plot. Perhaps because of the style of narration I found myself rewinding the story quite a bit on numerous occasions. This said, I did enjoy the story and am happily listening to the next installment read by the same chap. I've tuned into him now!
George Smiley - not quite sure what to make of him yet, he reminds me a bit of C J Sansoms Shardlake character; beguiling but with an underlying intrigue, I like him, I hope that he develops as a character throughout the books, that we get to know more about him.
The length of the story is just right, I generally enjoy 20hr plus novels but it has been quite refreshing to partake of this short book.
Recommended - yes
An easy listen - not necessarily and certainly not for when you are tired.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Meeting George Smiley again after a number of years is like running into a dear old friend. A friend who you take at face value with all his foibles because time has taught you he will not let you down. Le Carre draws you into the tale from the very beginning and then there's no stopping .
4 of 4 people found this review helpful