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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: A George Smiley Novel - John le Carré

This only gets two stars based on a couple of different things.  I took stars away because too much of this book pretty much bored me to tears.  It was so slow in the parts where George Smiley is essentially acting as a detective.  Is there a mole in the British Centre intelligence office or not?  And if so, who is the mole?  That sounds interesting but he plods through reports with excruciating thoroughness, and the reader has to plod through all the information in those reports with him.  Then I took away another star because there are just so many people involved in the various stories that it is hard to keep track.  I was a full third of the way through the novel before I felt like I had a glimmer of understanding of what was going on, and it was only a glimmer not full understanding. 

 

I’ve seen quite a few other reviews that noted that this novel is slow but they still enjoyed reading it.  Slow parts don’t necessarily kill a story for me, but in this case it detracted from the overall enjoyment so much, I can’t rate it highly.  I enjoyed The Spy Who Came in From the Cold despite its lack of action, and I had high hopes for Tinker as well, but I probably won’t try any more Le Carré novels since this is obviously his typical style.  However, if you enjoy intricately plotted spy novels and don’t require much action at all, Le Carré will probably be just the author for you