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    Ah, sorry, I misunderstood. I agree that it would work really well as a stage play, though some aspects might be difficult to adapt.


      Anthony Barnett reminds us about le Carres campaigning

      It's the discovery, in his sixth decade, that half a century after the death of Empire, the dismally unmanaged country he'd done a little of this and that for is being marched off to quell the natives on the strength of a bunch of lies, in order to please a renegade hyper-power that thinks it can treat the rest of the world as its allotment...

      We marched with him and his wife Jane in London against the visit of President George W Bush in November 2003. With his bright eyes David picked out a demonstrator with large polished boots as a policeman.

      In 2006, enraged by the Israeli attack on Lebanon and with his views no longer so welcome in the mainstream press, he published a surgical condemnation in openDemocracy and in support of Saqi Books.

      When we needed to launch a funding campaign he gave us its lead endorsement:
      Last edited by Nefertiti2; 14-12-2020, 17:57.


        “The privately educated Englishman is the greatest dissembler on earth.... “Nobody will charm you so glibly, disguise his feelings from you better, cover his tracks more skillfully or find it harder to confess to you that he’s been a damn fool.”

        They are: “[M]en who see the threat to their class as synonymous with the threat to England and never wandered far enough to know the difference.”

        In my lifetime probably no one understood the English ruling class better than Le Carre. His insights are more true today — and even more pertinent — than they were when written. He'll be be greatly missed.

        Christ this is the shittiest year of my lifetime.


          I recall faintly talk in my home that Le Carre stayed in a house near us, in a street parallel to ours, in Germany in the late 1970s. I suppose he was in Lubeck to research for Smiley's People, which was published in 1979 and is partly set in Lubeck (where he also set his 1960s short story Dare I Weep, Dare I Mourn?").


            My Dad worked in the Bonn Embassy in the 50s. A couple of years before JLC, but the link probably encouraged me towards his books as a teenager. A bit earlier, James Bond films inspired me aged 12 to study Russian at school. When Dad found out he chided me for not choosing German instead


              [M]en who see the threat to their class as synonymous with the threat to England and never wandered far enough to know the difference.

              That’s true in every country, I think.


                Just to say I finally read my first JLC novel over the last few weeks, TSWCIFTC (which I was told was the best place to start). Bloody hell, it's good. Which JLC novel to read next?


                  A Legacy of Spies? It's effectively a sequel to TSWCIFTC, 50 years on.


                    I read In from the Cold followed by The Looking-Glass War recently. Both really good but I thought the latter was the most complete picture of that world and its motivations and contradictions.
                    Struck me how comparatively short 'genre' novels used to be - in both of those the action part is only about 40 pages. Look at the size of a spy or crime novel today in comparison