John le Carré, Call for the Dead

by B Thornton- Harwood

Smiley was dead tired. It was raining again and cold. Smiley hugged his greatcoat round him and despite the tiredness, watched with quiet pleasure the busy London night go by.


I’ve never been particularly into spy and espionage stuff. Neither Fleming’s James Bond nor the subsequent films have ever really got me going. I think in the back of my mind I perhaps knew going in to get a le Carré book was a bad decision. I went ahead regardless.

I just didn’t get Call for the Dead. I know le Carré is supposed to be tha man when it comes to espionage, but overall I found it tedius. After reading for 20 minutes I’d find myself having missed about 3 pages as my mind had wondered onto other, less grey, subjects.

And let me assure you, it was very grey- grey men in grey suits, in a very grey London where it’s all foggy and rainy and shit and grey.

As far as I could tell some spy geez has shot himself then another spy, Smiley, goes to find out who killed him. Smiley seemed alright, plus I know he was played by Gary Oldman, and he had a tache, so that’s cool. Turns out Smiley was right in thinking something was rotten in Denmark, as they guy was killed by someone, not himself.

There wasn’t a lot else.

I watched Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy when it came out last year and didn’t really get that either, for more or less the exact same reasons. I found myself coming around from a day dream about 9 minutes into a monologue from Colin Firth, with absolutely no idea whether he was talking about the butcher, baker or candlestick maker.

So it seems le Carré isn’t for me. If you’ve got summat you think I might enjoy a little more then lemme know yo!