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CALL FOR THE DEAD de John Le Carre
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CALL FOR THE DEAD (original: 1961; edição: 1962)

de John Le Carre

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2,489884,374 (3.67)134
George Smiley had liked the man and now the man was dead. Suicide. But why? An anonymous letter had alleged that Foreign Office man Samuel Fennan had been a member of the Communist Party as a student before the war. Nothing very unusual for his generation. Smiley had made it clear that the investigation - little more than a routine security check - was over and that the file on Fennan could be closed. Next day, Fennan was dead with a note by his body saying his career was finished and he couldn't go on. Why? Smiley was puzzled ...… (mais)
Membro:justkim
Título:CALL FOR THE DEAD
Autores:John Le Carre
Informação:Walker and Company (1962), Edition: 1St Edition, Hardcover, 128 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:DH, Fiction

Detalhes da Obra

Call for the Dead de John le Carré (1961)

  1. 30
    The Spy Who Came in From the Cold de John le Carré (otori)
    otori: Key character Hans-Dieter Mundt first appearance.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 86 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I have a little secret for you. Despite loving both fiction and non-fiction books about the cold war and espionage, this is the first le Carre book I have read. I'm not sure what has taken me so long to get round to reading his work, perhaps I wanted to leave the best till last. This book introduces us to the character of George Smiley, an overweight and rather grey man who has some history working for the intelligence services. He interviews a civil servant about a letter his department has received outing him as a security threat. Smiley thinks that the interview went well and on departing tells the man that he has nothing to worry about. The next day Smiley is told that the man has killed himself and is asked if anything he did could have been the reason for his suicide. Smiley doesn't think this all feels right and decides to investigate further.

This book reads more like a crime thriller than a spy book but it was entertaining enough to keep me interested throughout. Despite being a short book (160 pages) I thought it was a solid introduction to the George Smiley series. ( )
  Brian. | Apr 4, 2021 |
Before the death of author John Le Carre, I'd already promised myself a re-run through the George Smiley series, for two reasons. I'd listened to AGENT RUNNING IN THE FIELD last year and been absolutely taken with the style of narration from the author himself; then late one night we'd stumbled upon a stream of the 1965 movie of THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, having already been very pleased to find the same of Sir Alec Guinness in the TV series TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY. Distinctly remember Clive James being somewhat underwhelmed by the same - a quote from his original review “The first instalment fully lived up to the standard set by the original novel. Though not quite as incomprehensible, it was equally turgid.”

There's always been something slightly captivating, and worrying about the George Smiley series although it has dawned on me that you have to approach it with the same sardonic, dry tone that Le Carre used in his narration mentioned above; but most importantly, you have to remember that this is probably more akin to spycraft than all the bang bang shoot 'em up daring doing of the average spy thriller written. Long periods of introspection, interrupted by sporadic bits of quietly dangerous shadow boxing, and a lot of wondering what the hell is happening and why you just couldn't have gone out and got a real job thinking. Which is part of what makes, upon reflection, the Smiley series so darn clever. It can be drawn out and it can equally be tense and rapidfire, it's often times almost incomprehensible, and it's quietly, menacingly, dangerous. It's playing with minds and futures. It's destroying lives, not always cavalierly, sometimes so matter-of-factly that it's more frightening as a result.

The core of CALL FOR THE DEAD is exactly that, a routine security check, nothing out of the ordinary as far as George Smiley is concerned, leading to a seemingly blameless civil servant killing himself. It's the attempt on the part of one of Smiley's overlords to blame him for the death that triggers his investigation, his meeting with the widow of Samuel Fennan, onto the connection with East German intelligence.

This is Le Carre's first book, and it set the tone and style for everything that was to come, particularly the George Smiley series, tenacious, controlled central characters who quietly go about their dangerous, deadly work with commitment and conviction. Run it in your head in a low-key, sardonic manner and the stylings make sense, the plots are most definitely convoluted and frequently incomprehensible, but for this reader that really kind of works.

https://www.austcrimefiction.org/review/call-dead-john-le-carre-0 ( )
  austcrimefiction | Mar 29, 2021 |
Smiley realizes an apparent suicide is murder
  ritaer | Mar 22, 2021 |
Fijne hernieuwde kennismaking met George Smiley en het werk van John le Carré. Ook al doet hij er amper 160 bladzijden over, toch slaagt Carré erin een degelijke plot - met de nodige wendingen - uit te werken en bovenal karakters van vlees en bloed te schetsen. Bij Carré geen kartonnen personages die alleen dienst doen als pionnen in een schaakspel naar een fabuleuze plot toe, maar personages met geloofwaardige motieven, herkenbare karaktertrekken en levensechte twijfels. Giet daar een saus over van maatschappijvisie, idealisme of net het in vraag stellen van idealen en je hebt een heerlijk boek. En dat in 160 pagina's. Goe gefikst, John. Op naar de volgende. ( )
  GertDeBie | Mar 22, 2021 |
'Call For The Dead', published in 1961, was John le Carré's debut novel. He wrote it while posted to the British Embassy in Berlin, working for the British Secret Service.

This a short novel (167 pages) but it does a very effective job of introducing you to the nuanced world of George Smiley, British spy, while solving a mystery around the apparent suicide of a Foreign Office colleague.

George Smiley is a spy who couldn't be further from the James Bond 007 image. Smiley is short, fat, expensively but badly dressed, bespectacled and in late middle age. Recruited out of University, he created and ran spy networks in Germany before and during the Second World War. When we meet him, he's desk-bound and seen as too old for field work. Le Carré does a good job of suggesting, without ever stating, that Smilely is seen as being too old-fashioned for post-war spy work, where political savvy is valued more highly than operational effectiveness. We soon see that Smilely has a disturbing habit of digging for answers long after his masters have found the answer they were looking for.

Even in this first book, John le Carré's writing is captivating. His storytelling is intelligent, articulate and accessible. He builds Smiley's character with deft strokes that display Smiley's trade craft, his class and most of all, his dogged determination to make sense of what he's seeing even when it goes against his own best interest.

As with the spies in Le Carré's later works, Smiley is not a blindly-loyal patriot, convinced that the British are always right. He sees the compromises and the evasions of the politicians and recognises that he has more in common with his opponents that he does with his masters. The content of the story, which involves spies from the GDR, would have been mildly controversial in 1961, when Britain didn't recognise the GDR, the Berlin wall was being built and Britain still had troops on the ground.

There a simple but satisfying mystery at the centre of the novel although I think its main purpose was to introduce us to how George Smilely thinks.

There were a couple of things that marked this out as a debut novel for me. I found the start of the novel a little florid, perhaps trying too hard for a high-flown style but that settled down after a couple of chapters. I thought the inclusion of Smiley's report towards the end of novel as a way of explaining what had been going on was a little clumsy. Despite those things, this was an engaging and memorable read.



I recommend the audiobook version of 'Call For The Dead'. Michael Jayston's narration captures the tone of the text perfectly. ( )
  MikeFinnFiction | Mar 19, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 86 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
His Zimmer frame in overdrive, Smiley sprinted after Dieter and cornered him by the Thames. "So?" Smiley said. "So?" Dieter replied, before allowing the much older, much weaker man push him into the river.

Smiley sat down, exhausted and overwhelmed by a need to recap in case some readers still hadn't quite gathered what was going on. And this time he would make it even easier for them by writing them in bullet points. 1. It was Elsa who was the spy. 2. Sam had become suspicious and was going to denounce her. 3. Dieter...

"Well I'm glad that's all cleared up without the Press being involved," cried Maston cheerily. "I take it we can tear up your resignation letter?"
On balance Smiley thought he could. It was true there had been a number of rough edges. Some of the plotting had rather stretched credulity and the characterisation had been thinner than he hoped. But it was a more than decent start and his career as Alec Guinness was under way.
adicionado por John_Vaughan | editarGuardian UK, John Crace (Aug 9, 2012)
 

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le Carré, Johnautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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Taylor, MattArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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When Lady Ann Sercomb married George Smiley towards the end of the war she described him to her astonished Mayfair friends as breathtakingly ordinary.
Introduction, 2012 edition: With the possible exception of the person interviewed, there is nobody more predictable than an interviewer, and in my experience they come in two sorts, you might almost say two ages.
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Call for the Dead was reissued in 1966 under the title The Deadly Affair to coincide with the release of the Sidney Lumet film with this title.
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George Smiley had liked the man and now the man was dead. Suicide. But why? An anonymous letter had alleged that Foreign Office man Samuel Fennan had been a member of the Communist Party as a student before the war. Nothing very unusual for his generation. Smiley had made it clear that the investigation - little more than a routine security check - was over and that the file on Fennan could be closed. Next day, Fennan was dead with a note by his body saying his career was finished and he couldn't go on. Why? Smiley was puzzled ...

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2 edições deste livro foram publicadas por Penguin Australia.

Edições: 0141198281, 0241962218

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