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A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carré

A Legacy of Spies (original 2017; edition 2017)

by John Le Carré (Author)

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2721241,704 (4.14)9
Title:A Legacy of Spies
Authors:John Le Carré (Author)
Info:Viking (2017), Edition: 01, 272 pages
Tags:Spy, 2017Sep, Espionage, Read

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A Legacy of Spies: A Novel by John Le Carré (2017)


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Two stars with the firm hope that the master is having us on. Because he was good. ( )
  JohnChic | Oct 9, 2017 |
This novel revisits some of the events of Le Carre's earlier works about George Smiley and the complex operations of British spydom during the Cold War. The legality and morality of the events we may have already read about are called into question by the new bureaucrats in British Intelligence. As a result, Peter Guillam is brought out of retirement to answer for the actions that he and his colleagues participated in. ( )
  sleahey | Oct 8, 2017 |
I reread ‘The spy who came in from the cold’ just before reading this latest and I was glad that I had been told that this was a good idea as this latest book connects closely to that earliest – and I found myself well drawn into the book. In a way the main character does seem to be like other main le Carré characters, that is, out on a limb, somewhat disaffected and in trouble with one and all – and of course there has to be a love interest. Le Carré, though, writes as well as ever, with perhaps the occasional cliché (‘She had made me the man I had never been till now’) but generally in an engaging way. ( )
1 vote evening | Oct 8, 2017 |
I'd give John LeCarre's 'A Legacy of Spies' 6 stars if I could. The acknowledged master of the genre brings it all home with a novel that ranks among his best. I don't know if he intends it to be his swan song, but if so it's a great one.

If you're familiar with LeCarre's 'Smiley' spy thrillers, you'll recognize the characters in 'Legacy', which serves as both a backstory and sequel to 'The Spy Who Came In From the Cold' & 'Tinker, Tailor....'. In Legacy, children of characters killed during an operation depicted in his previous books are suing the British intelligence services and one of Smiley's long-retired lieutenants is called in to London to be debriefed by the current group of spies who view him and the 'old ways' with disdain. He quickly surmises that he's being hung out to dry. He's the narrator.

The story of the operation that's under the microscope is told via flashbacks in the form of notes and other written artifacts explained by the narrator. As his debriefing becomes increasingly contentious, he reminisces about his career, actions, other characters, loves, etc., while also plotting how to protect himself and others close to him. It's a great way to tell the story. In the past, I've had problems deciphering the sometimes incomprehensible Brit colloquialisms that LeCarre tends to use, but the artifacts and their explanations are much clearer.

What continues to fascinate me about LeCarre's work is his intricate plotting of the 'game within the game within the game....etc.' that Smiley and his group performed. I won't go into how it all turns out, but as with all of his work there isn't shoot 'me up violence, car chases, or explosions at the conclusion . There's an ending that's logical with enough twists and turns to make an experienced reader of his work say 'hmmm' to himself several times. The writing as always is superb, the dialogue as well, the tradecraft spot-on, and the plot inventive and satisfying. It's LeCarre wrapping things up and it's great. ( )
1 vote gmmartz | Oct 1, 2017 |
This is not the master's best. In fact, I did not even know how the book ends and I want this clarity. Peter Guillam, who worked with Smiley to bring down Haydon in Tinker, Tailor, is sort of happily retired on his 100 acre farm in
Brittany, when he is summoned to London to aid the Circus in defending a lawsuit from Alec Leamas's son and Liz
Gokd's daughter that the circus ended deliberately the lives of spies who were in 'the Spy Who Came in from the Cold. There is a lot of old Circus bullshit and nonsense and Smiley is pissed off big time. At the end of the book i did not care,

;ld's ( )
  annbury | Sep 29, 2017 |
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Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one. Attributed to Heidegger
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What follows is a truthful account, as best I am able to provide it, of my role in the British deception operation, codenamed Windfall, that was mounted against the East German Intelligence Service (Stasi) in the late nineteen fifties and early sixties, and resulted in the death of the best British secret agent I ever worked with, and of the innocent woman for whom he gave his life.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0735225117, Hardcover)

The undisputed master returns with a riveting new book—his first Smiley novel in more than twenty-five years 

Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself, are to be held to account by a generation with no memory of the Cold War and no patience with its justifications.
Interweaving past with present so that each may tell its own intense story, John le Carré has spun a single plot as ingenious and thrilling as the two predecessors on which it looks back: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In a story resonating with tension, humor and moral ambivalence, le Carré and his narrator Peter Guillam present the reader with a legacy of unforgettable characters old and new.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 05 Apr 2017 09:13:51 -0400)

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