Smiley’s People by John le Carre

This is the third entry in John le Carre’s spy trilogy that began with the greatΒ Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. I tried to read theΒ second entry in the trilogy,Β The Honorable Schoolboy, but found it slow-moving and uninteresting (le Carre later said that he should have reduced the role of the George Smiley character inΒ The Honorable Schoolboy; I thought Smiley was the only interesting thing in the book.)

Smiley’s PeopleΒ begins with the investigation of a murder in London. This leads Smiley to come out of retirement again and attempt to get some Russians, including a very important one, to defect. Although the story held my interest throughout, the ending is anti-climactic. There could have easily been a fourth novel in the series, considering how this one ends. Unfortunately for those of us who enjoy George Smiley, that didn’t happen. (4/7/11)

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre

A great spy novel, in which the unglamorous George Smiley identifies the Russian mole “Gerald” within British intelligence. Lots of flashbacks and vivid characters. It’s also the first part of a trilogy. I kept seeing and hearing the characters from the terrific mini-series that starred Alec Guinness as Smiley. Β (3/18/10)