Saturday, November 19, 2016

Insights of a Spy

The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life – John le Carre – (Viking)

Over the course of his career British spy novelist John le Carre has masterfully crafted some of fictions most memorable stories and characters. Right from the start, with The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, threaded his stories with insights acquired first hand from his time serving with British Intelligence during the cold war.

While many have speculated about the authenticity of le Carre’s characters being modeled after those he crossed paths with in his real life escapades, he has never confirmed nor denied that thought process, choosing to never really delve deeply into his experience. That is until now; with the release of his latest outing, The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life, the elder statesman of spy fiction has lifted up the tent side and allowed us all to see snapshots of his time in her Majesties Secret Service.

le Carre is a true craftsman, has he skillfully presents vignettes, some as brief as a couple of pages, others more expansive, detailing his interactions with not only his colleagues in the service, but the diplomats, despots and deviants he crossed paths with. His recounting include where were you when it happened tales of historical events of the time, including the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the so-called Profumo affair.

le Carre’s life journey has been dotted with real life versions of the characters who are a hallmark of his fiction. His memories strike an interesting balance of clarity and at times self-admitted fog about the people, places and events that were part of the story. It is truly a remarkable gathering of stories about a remarkable man and a remarkable life and proves to be high entertainment for fans and non-fans alike.


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