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The Looking Glass War by John Le Carre

The Looking Glass War (original 1965; edition 1975)

by John Le Carre

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1,789295,720 (3.57)78
Title:The Looking Glass War
Authors:John Le Carre
Info:Bantam Books (1975), Paperback
Collections:Your library

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The Looking-Glass War by John le Carré (1965)


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Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Another well performed Smiley book. The storybis told in le Carres usual understated style, evoking more strongly than previous books the bureaucracy and petty rivalries of the secret world. The characters are very plausible and well developed. ( )
  bevok | Jul 31, 2017 |
Certainly not my favourite John le Carre. I found the training section in the middle of the book particularly tiresome. ( )
  VersionPerson | Dec 21, 2016 |
Another great spy thriller were the agent is betrayed for the greater good. ( )
  brakketh | Jul 8, 2016 |
This has the feel of a prototype for Le Carre's later works. The cynical and manipulative world of cold war espionage is drawn in bolder strokes whilst the inept and delusional efforts of the Department are almost a caricature of British bumbling. Indeed the whole effect could well have been one of farce if it were not for Le Carre's usual smooth and measured prose.
Set in the early years of the cold war, it throws an interesting light on the transition from war-time to cold war espionage, but left me eager to follow Le Carre's own transition into the peerless master of the cold war spy thriller. 19 May 2016. ( )
  alanca | May 20, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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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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)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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Average: (3.57)
1 6
1.5 2
2 18
2.5 12
3 83
3.5 40
4 105
4.5 12
5 38

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141196394, 024196220X

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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