1. Exquisite Tweets from @stephenkb, @aaronhughellis, @olibradley, @djmgaffneyw4, @tomayates, @alexmassie

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    Re-reading the Smiley books before A Legacy of Spies comes out. Le Carré summarises government policy shifts 1945 to present.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

  2. Missing tweet: 892323059205623808

  3. Yes. He hits top form with Spy Who Came In From The Cold, though there's a lot to like in the earlier books.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

  4. I'm afraid to read the later stuff after trying, and failing, with 'A Most Wanted Man'.

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    aaronhughellis

    Aaron H. Ellis

  5. Constant Gardener is good - Our Kind of Traitor & A Delicate Truth are well-made disposable fiction.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

    Call for the Dead is a fun, but odd read: feels closer to Bond or a murder mystery than anything Le Carré wrote afterwards.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

  6. Missing tweet: 893199901647147010

  7. @AlexPMacLaren Although didn't Le Carré say that Guiness became Smiley for him when he wrote Smiley's People and the Secret Pilgrim?

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

  8. A murder of quality is the next one in the series, I just read it and really enjoyed. Wish he'd carried on with the murder mysteries...

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    olibradley

    Oliver Bradley

  9. Yes, he does then v well. In a way I think A Looking Glass War is the first proper Le Carré novel.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

  10. Likewise Murder of Quality basically a (not so good) whodunnit. But the detective story tropes come back wondrously transformed in TTSS.

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    djmgaffneyw4

    Declan Gaffney

  11. I think Murder of Quality is the worst of the Le Carre books. He definitely got better after the first two.

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    tomayates

    Tom Yates

  12. djmgaffneyw4

    Declan Gaffney

  13. Missing tweet: 893211181380501504

  14. Indeed. And no, Murder of Quality is a passable runaround. Absolute Friends is his worst novel.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

    @AlexPMacLaren Agree - Lowe would have been fantastic.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

  15. It's awful, but Single & Single takes the palm for me.

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    djmgaffneyw4

    Declan Gaffney

  16. Didn't JLC essentially disown his first 2 books? Absolute Twaddle is indeed grim but The Constant Gardener is also loopy to the tonsils.

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    alexmassie

    alexmassie

  17. Constant Gardener, Delicate Truth and Our Kind Of Traitor are all odd: if I told you "here's a shlocky thriller for NS readers"...

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

    ...you'd go, "Oh, these are good fun". But because they're Le Carrés, we find them disappoointing IMO.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

    Whereas Absolute Friends, Single & Single and Most Wanted Man are simply bad.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

  18. Indeed. A Most Wanted Man his best this century by some distance.

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    alexmassie

    alexmassie

  19. To change tack, Looking Glass War seems to me most underrated. Bombed & turned him off cock-up as opposed to conspiracy stories.

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    djmgaffneyw4

    Declan Gaffney