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John le Carré, espionage novelist, passes away at 89


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Thanks, pherank. Quite a life. I often feel that I have read more of le Carré's books than I actually have done, thanks to the many movie adaptations of his works. The only ones I read between two covers were Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People, which were both great.

As Garner observes, le Carré actually contributed to the "flavorful and recondite language of espionage"; there were no "moles" before le Carré began calling them that.

I thought le Carré had something of a point regarding the paperback publication of The Satanic Verses, without agreeing with everything he said about the matter. 

 

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An appreciation by Anthony Lane in  The New Yorker.

Quote

He wrote about the satanic business of arms dealing, in “The Night Manager” (1993), whose drawling British villain is referred to as “the worst man in the world”; about the corrupting influence of grand pharmaceutical companies, in “The Constant Gardener” (2001); and about Russian money laundering, in “Our Kind of Traitor” (2010). Even in the absence of physical brutality, the mere fact of political foolishness, as le Carré saw it, was enough to rile him; his final completed novel (so far as we know) was last year’s “Agent Running in the Field,” which included a thundering broadside against Brexit. True, it was a character, on center stage, who delivered the speech, but le Carré, you felt, was prompting from the wings. 

 

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