A Legacy of Spies
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The undisputed master returns with his first Smiley novel in more than twenty-five years--a #1 New York Times bestseller and ideal holiday gift.
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 scrutinized 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
After a quarter-century away, our greatest spy novelist returns to his greatest creation: George Smiley. Reading a Smiley story now is like visiting an old friend. In a matter of sentences you’ve fallen into all the familiar rhythms and slang, as well as the gray morality of spooks struggling to balance means and ends. But A Legacy of Spies is also very much a novel of the moment—with the European project coming undone, it reckons anew with old moral ambiguities. How collateral was the damage? How good were the greater goods? John le Carré is in fine form, even if the world around him isn’t.
Last seen in 1991's The Secret Pilgrim, George Smiley returns in this stunning spy novel from MWA Grand Master le Carr , though it's Peter Guillam, Smiley's devoted assistant from MI6, who takes center stage. Guillam, who's retired to Brittany, is summoned to London to answer questions about allegations of malfeasance in Windfall, an old operation involving a particularly enthusiastic East German source who needed exfiltration to England. The case has reared up because a couple of descendants of Cold War casualties are threatening an expensive and public legal action against the British government. The story of Windfall comes out through interrogations, old files, and Guillam's memories. The result is both a riveting reprise of the Smiley novels and a new articulation of le Carr 's theme: spying is as morally bankrupt as the ideologies it serves. Readers familiar with le Carr will recognize allusions everywhere; those who aren't won't be left out, given the power of the storytelling and le Carr 's inimitable prose. He can convey a character in a sentence, land an emotional insight in the smallest phrase and demolish an ideology in a paragraph.
Solid, but not his best
I think this book was well worth reading, but it's not one of John Le Carre's best. I wish he leave the cold war behind and write about current affairs.
A Legacy of Spies
A happy and haunting return to the Circus world. As ever, filled with the style and guile that places le Carre atop the list of awaited and favorite reads. Please let there be more.
Great follow up to previous Smiley novels, this time with his assistant as main character and only a brief appearance at the end. Great read!