Friday, September 23, 2011

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52 {Books} in 52: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

First of all, it's been a long time since I've even posted. Secondly, it's been even longer since I've posted about a book I've read. Including Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carré I've read seven books since writing about Tuck Everlasting a month ago so to say I'm behind is an understatement. Life happens and time gets lost.

Anyway, I have been wanting to read a John Le Carré book for the longest time. After breezing through all of Ian Fleming's Bond books, I wanted a new spy novel to latch onto and I read that Le Carré was supposed to be an exquisite writer of the genre. I even own Perfect Spy but have not been able to make it through a third of the book because I couldn't keep up with everything that was going on. The same thing almost happened with Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. I think it took me until halfway through the book to get really into it, but once I was hooked I could not put the book down. It's not that the book is slow, it's that the book is very cerebral and not flashy with action sequences like Fleming's books. The pace is steady and centers around the discovery of a Russian mole within Britain's intelligence.

Brought in to investigate is former British intelligence George Smiley. As is stated on the jacket of the book, he is in a "chess match of wills and wits" with his Soviet counterpart, the illusive Karla. First shunned from the service because they thought he was involved in a botched mission, he is brought back to piece together the puzzle so you see his progression from disgraced to redeemed and maybe even revered. Smiley is a man, who both professionally and personally, has a history with Karla and it's brilliant to see how that relationship is played out and how Karla set things into motion.

Throughout the book you have an inkling of who the mole might be and in the end you are left wondering whether the mole got what he deserved. The book is so intelligently written; it's intricate and layered and a complete mind game. You feel your nerves vibrating with tension and excitement. In the end, I was left thinking about the bliss that is found in ignorance. I can't imagine being a spy and being aware of every single detail and having the mentality that coincidences don't exist.

Here's what I've read for my 52 {Books} in 52 challenge:

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
4. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
5. Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace by Ayelet Waldman
6. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
7. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
8.  Misery Loves Cabernet by Kim Gruenenfelder
9.  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
10. Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
11. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
12. Best Day of Someone Else's Life by Kerry Reichs
13. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
14. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson
15. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
16. The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf
17. Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson
18. Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler
19.  The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
20.  Bossypants by Tina Fey
21. Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
22. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
23. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carré

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