Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carre

The Circus has already suffered a bad defeat, and the result was two bullets in a man’s back. But a bigger threat still exists. The legendary George Smiley is recruited to root out a high-level mole of thirty years’ standing – though to find him means spying on the spies.


Ok first, how cool does Gary Oldman look in that cover ? The entire image is actually made up of codes and the key character names are hidden in it 🙂

This is the first John Le Carre I’ve read though I have had it on my TBR forever. What did I think of it ? I quite liked it actually. When I first got it from the library, I was apprehensive that it would be a bit of a drag since it is over 400 pages but luckily that isn’t the case. Even at places where the author goes into considerable detail over files and reports, it isn’t boring.

It is different from other spy thrillers I have read though. There are no high intensity action sequences – Smiley works using only his intelligence and experience and even the descriptions of some of the more thrilling sequences are done in a very matter-of-fact conversational way. In that sense, it was a new type of thriller format for me.

If you like spy thrillers and are ok with 422 pages, then definitely go for it.

Also, it turns out I was living under a rock in 2011 when the movie came out. How on earth did I miss it especially when it had that powerhouse star cast ?

Have you read this and/or watched the movie ? What do you think ? 

Are the next 2 books in the trilogy worth a try ? 


7 thoughts on “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carre

  1. I’ve seen the movie, and I agree with you that the story really is a different type of a thriller. I enjoyed it and I’ve been meaning to read the book, but for some reason haven’t. Since your review was so great, maybe I’ll finally get round to reading Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 🙂


  2. I watched the movie – well, of course I did, since Darcy (Colin Firth) was in it. Depsite my disappointment that no-one danced the cotillion at a ball, it was pretty good, especially since it’s not really my type of thing. I’ve never read one of his books though, but you make it sound intriguing…


  3. I don’t generally like movie covers for books,but this one is an exception!
    I like the ingenuity behind it. 🙂

    Well,the book…
    Some years ago,ignoring that it was a book,I watched the movie!! 😦
    It was great,but how I wished I had read it before.
    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Jane Eyre are two books whose movies I regret watching…
    I know all the spoilers and will never enjoy the books as much as I could have…

    And yeah,the movie is really classy.
    Like it was very subtle,yet you could feel the intelligence all along.It was very different from other spy/detective movies.
    The actors were also all very good…

    Your post led me to watch the trailer and now I feel like re-watching the movie!


    1. I read both the books before the movie 😛 I watched the Jane Eyre movie only after I found out Fassbender was in it though 😀

      The cast is just amazing, right ? I still have no clue how I missed it !! I must at least try and watch it one before you re-watch it !!


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