|Publisher:||Random House Inc|
|Publish Date:||Apr 2008|
|Number of Pages:||382|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.65|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.25 x 8.0 x 0.75|
David John Moore Cornwell writes bestselling espionage thrillers under the pseudonym John le Carr. The pseudonym was necessary when he began writing, in the early 1960s because, at that time, he held a diplomatic position with the British Foreign Office and was not allowed to publish under his own name. Originally inspired to write intrigue because of a 1950s scandal that revealed several highly placed members of the British Foreign Office and Secret Service to be Soviet agents, or "moles", the plots of most of le Carr's books revolve around Cold War espionage.
His own position with the Foreign Office, as well as his earlier service with the British Army Intelligence Corps, gave him an intimate knowledge of Britain's espionage bureaucracy and of Cold War politics. When his third book, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, became a worldwide bestseller in 1964, le Carr left the foreign service to write full time. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, which was also adapted to film, featured spy master George Smiley, who was introduced in le Carr's first book, Call for the Dead (published in the U.S. as The Deadly Affair) and also appears in A Murder of Quality; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; The Honourable Schoolboy; and Smiley's People.
Le Carr has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America (1986), and the Diamond Dagger from the Crime Writers Association (1988). In addition to The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, several of his other books have been adapted for television and motion pictures, including The Russia House, a 1990 film starring Sean Connery and Michelle Pfeiffer, and 2005's The Constant Gardener.
Le Carr was born in Poole, Dorsetshire, England in 1931. He attended Bern University in Switzerland from 1948-49 and later completed a B.A. at Lincoln College, Oxford. He taught at Eton from 1956-58 and was a member of the British Foreign Service from 1959 to 1964.
This title is an oddity among le Carre's espionage fiction for being a loosely connected group of stories more than a novel, as top spy George Smiley's protege Ned reflects upon his career during a lecture by his mentor. Ned's story reflects upon his growing awareness of the moral ambiguity of his endeavors. The first-person narrative gives veteran le Carre interpreter Michael Jayston an excellent opportunity to use inflection to convey nuances to reveal both theme and character.
Verdict: The anecdotal, episodic nature of the tale makes it easier to follow than some of le Carre's labyrinthine novels.
-Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr., New York
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