2007: 153. Call For The Dead

“When Lady Ann Sercomb married George Smiley towards the end of the war she described him to her astonished Mayfair friends as breathtakingly ordinary.  When she left him two years later in favor of a Cuban motor racing driver, she announced enigmatically that if she hadn’t left him then she never could have; and Viscount Sawley made a special journey to his club to announce that the cat was out of the bag.”

Call For The Dead, John Le Carre

This is the second Le Carre I have read, and I enjoyed it as much as the first.  This is Le Carre’s first novel, and the first George Smiley novel.  It certainly made me want to read the real good stuff - the Quest for Karla series.  In fact, I have obtained them - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honorable Schoolboy, Smiley’s People - in one convenient package.  So exciting!!*

Anyway, this book is a post-war spy novel, Cold War style.  What makes it great is the character of George Smiley. He’s the anti-James Bond - a plain, dumpy bureaucrat, who just happens to be a really good spy - of the realistic variety (and this book, perhaps drifts a bit more thriller-ey from the ones to follow).  The book is short, but fast paced and engaging, and I can’t wait to read the rest.

Recommended for:  People who like really well-written and realistic (well as far as I know!) thrillers.


* Except it’s in hardcover and kind of hard to hold, which means, don’t look for it any time tooo soon in these pages. 


Date/Place Completed: 9/28/07; Flying to Boston

Categories:  Fiction; Commuting Book

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017