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The Looking-Glass War by John Le Carré

The Looking-Glass War (1965)

by John le Carré

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Sorry but I just didn't like it. Couldn't engage with any of the characters and there were plot holes big enough to drive a Routmaster London bus through. Too much time spent on the training of the spy part...the last part seemed rushed and hastily thought through even though one suspected how it would end. ( )
  mcintcj | Apr 26, 2016 |
starts slow and builds to a great ending. ( )
  clarkland | Jun 4, 2015 |
This the Le Carre book that sets up the world of George Smiley's Circus. And I recall it as a "Business as usual" book, before Le Carre began to discuss the cost of the spy business, at which he was the master. One doesn't fully understand the following works without this home base book. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Apr 25, 2014 |
ok. demoralising. ( )
  mahallett | Apr 3, 2014 |
I like the change that Le Carré makes with the plot lines of this story. Some of it is a bit more telegraphed then usual, but it is still a masterful piece of writing. His characters are, as always, stooped in mystery and originality. Makes for some glaring realism that is quite refreshing. ( )
  TJWilson | Feb 22, 2014 |
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The spy part of "The Looking Glass War" is, of course, excellent. It concerns a former military espionage department in London (small, left over from the glorious days of World War II) and its struggle to train one of its former agents for a mission into East Germany. The technical background for the mission is well presented. The action itself, once it finally gets under way, is tense and doomed in a gratifying manner; we are given just the right sort of sketch-portrait of Leiser, the special agent. Moreover, as in "The Spy," we are given a strong sense that all this tension, duplicity and personal betrayal exist within the little world of espionage mostly for their own sake and not very much for the sake of the greater political good they are supposed to serve.
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The carrying of a very heavy weight such as a large suitcase or trunk, immediately before sending practice, renders the muscles of the forearm, wrist, and fingers too insensitive to produce good Morse.
—F. Tait's Complete Morse Instructor, Pitman
A fool lies here who tried to hustle the East. — Kipling
For James Kennaway
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Snow covered the airfield.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743431707, Paperback)

John le Carré's classic novels deftly navigate readers through the intricate shadow worlds of international espionage with unsurpassed skill and knowledge, and have earned him unprecedented worldwide acclaim. THE LOOKING GLASS WAR Once upon a time the distinction had been clear: the Circus handled all things political while the Department dealt with matters military. But over the years, power shifted and the Circus elbowed the Department out. Now, suddenly, the Department has a job on its hands. Evidence suggests Soviet missiles are being positioned close to the German border. Vital film is missing and a courier is dead. Lacking active agents, but possessed of an outdated mandate to proceed, the Department has to find an old hand to prove its mettle. Fred Leiser, German-speaking Pole turned Englishman -- once a qualified radio operator, now involved in the motor trade -- must be called back to the colors and sent East....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:30 -0400)

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Focuses on a former military espionage department in London and its attempts to train an agent for a mission in East Germany.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141196394, 024196220X

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