My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I absolutely enjoy anything about George Smiley and his time during the Cold War. I thought we would never come across him again after Smiley's People. Then this story came along. Often George Smiley only has cameo roles in some of his stories. This is one where George is a secondary character. The main man is Ned. He has been retired from the Circus spy network. It is about 1989 or 1990. The Cold War is over. He has a class of up and coming hopefuls for Britain's world of espionage. Ned writes a letter to his old mentor George Smiley. He is inviting him to a seminar for the young graduates. The reserved and long retired George Smiley accepts the invitation and turns up for the seminar much to Ned's delight and surprise. As George Smiley starts to give his lecture and answer questions to the young graduates, Ned finds himself reminiscing episodes from his past where George Smiley plays parts within the various stories. We see other characters too. Toby Esterhase, Peter Guillam and the infamous Bill Haydon. This is absolute peach, Le Carre. All the old favourites come out. I loved it all and enjoyed the old style Cold War feel. I can't wait to read The Gathering of Spies.
The Black and Tan Summer: Ireland's Turbulent Year of 1920
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