From the New York Times bestselling author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Our Kind of Traitor; and The Night Manager, now a television series starring Tom. John Le Carré: his characters propel the narrative onwards. The Honourable Jerry Westerby, cast in the same mould, is holed up in deepest. From the New York Times bestselling author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Our Kind of Traitor; and The Night Manager, now.

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And as stimulating and exciting as this book seems to have been for many readers, it was not interesting to me. Afterwards–although he enjoyed further achievements–I suggest that he never again eclipses this colossal, supreme effort of authorship. I’m a longtime reader of the espionage genre –beginning as just a lad–and although I massively enjoyed all of John LeCarre’s earlier works and particularly his George Smiley series–I must call out “The Honourable Schoolboy” for especial recognition.

The Karla Trilogy 2George Smiley 6. Knowing what happens in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy helps understand why the London office is dysfunctional and essentially broken.

One affecting scene has the book’s lead agent, Jerry Westerby the title is his code nameconfronting an American spy right after the fall of Saigon. Can George Smiley keep the situation under control? Le Carre invested a lot of effort fleshing out Jerry’s character, and considerable time on Lizzie’s, too. EngvarB from September Use dmy dates from September Articles needing additional references from September All articles needing additional references Pages to import images to Wikidata.

Add to this mix the man’s extraordinary longevity and his personal courage and integrity, his willingness to take on the right enemies absolutely, and ladies and gentlemen I nominate for the Nobel Prize for Literature M. Oh that’s wonderful and practically thrown away in the middle of a paragraph. So we not only know who the Circus and the Cousins are, but we also know what Housekeeping is, what the Nursery is, and the many other phrases for departments within the British secret service.


Without spoilers I can assert that The Honourable Schoolboy takes place largely in south and southeast Asia, with long stretches back in London, and an ultimate focus on Hong Kong.

However, it also takes us to other parts of Asia and there are a few side-trips to London where George Smiley has been doing everything possible to pull together a stronger team after exposing the mole Russia had planted high in the ranks of the Circus.

On 30 AprilWesterby arrives at an American air force base in north-east Thailand and cables his report to the Circus; he also learns that the North Vietnamese Army has captured Saigon, winning and ending the Vietnam War — So the ending wasn’t wholly satisfying, but that mild disappointment wasn’t enough to reduce the rating.

I love this book and highly recommend yonourable. A burial ground of French, British, and American colonial cultures, the region is a fabled testing ground of patriotic allegiances? Lizzie’s actions rang true, while Westerby always seemed a bit off even the second and third time through the book.

His espionage is an all-embracing literary device. The United States of America has just applied to join the club of second-class powers, of which I understand your own fine nation to be chairman, president, and oldest member. I doubt that Hnoourable shall choose to read another by this author.

One is equally dark about the true nature of feelings between Jerry and Lizie, and if this was supposed to be the pinnacle of the retiring Jogn, it was simply too sad.

There are large passages of inaction throughout.


The Honourable Schoolboy

This is, after all, John le Carre, and he rarely, if ever, writes the same novel twice. Those chapters would have been a standalone novel for any other writer; le Carre works them into the depths of this single book beautifully, integrating tones, themes, and action. The year is and the Vietnam War is drawing to its awful conclusion. That said,there is no intrigue of the previous book.

The tiny ponds outside the high-rise hotels prickled with slow, subversive rain. More than he’s ever tried before, I think. I just finished the book whew! Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In the preface he acknowledges the assistance of people in Hong Kong and it is obvious that he took in a lot when re catr the novel.

The Honourable Schoolboy by John le Carré | : Books

The plot was secondary to the characterisation, and while I might not have been able to relate to the foibles of the Old Etonian brigade, they still formed as fully fledged players in my mind. Most of this appears less appetising now. View all 3 comments.

From the highest corridors of political power, down to the dullest middle-class drudges of London’s suburbs, down to the meanest, alley-scrabbling police informant, he roves his eye.

I also subsequently loved the film adaptation directed by Tomas Honourwble, which I saw in the cinema, and rewatched recently. Open Preview See a Problem? Given the charge of the gravely compromised Circus, George Smiley embarks on a campaign to uncover what Moscow Centre most wants to hide.