Smiley :-)

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A double whammy: John le Carre releases a new book containing what must count as his most famous character: George Smiley. Then he announces he is going to appear in public at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Back of the net!

The joy of le Carre is in the journey, not the destination, to my mind. Watching the world unravel and swirl around Smiley is where I derive the pleasure. The wrap-up at the end? Lovely. Nothing against it, but the route we took to get there is what appeals to me.

Of course, the other thing I love is that I believe le Carre’s depiction of the spy world is what it is really like. I don’t mean he just builds a believable fictional world. A bit like the early Fleming Bond novels, I feel there is reality at the heart of the way the characters behave and the bureaucracy they follow.