The Reading Room

The Return of George Smiley

John Le Carré’s new book…..

John Le Carré’s publisher, Viking has announced the date for the release of his new book and a sensational return of his most loved character, George Smiley following an absence of twenty seven years in written form. His latest book, A Legacy of Spies sees the return of many of the original characters from those ‘Circus’ days and most especially that of Peter Guillame who is summoned back to London from his retirement on a farm in southern Brittany.

His agent is unsurprisingly gushing about it, declaring it ‘one of, if not his best novels yet’, and the book which ‘closes George Smiley’s story’. Le Carré has long used his writing to strike at those governments, companies and individuals who seek to capitalise from the misfortunes of others, be it political interference, medical drug companies, rendition or the Middle East. What then one wonders is the reason behind this revival? A sabre strike at Putin’s Russia? His agent won’t comment but it would seem a logical step given today’s climate. Viking says the book will flow between the past and the present, with Guillam an elderly man we can assume Smiley is dead but his legacy and the actions of those around him scrutinised by a new, younger intelligence agency far removed from those heady days in the Cold War.

Legacy of Spies will be published by Viking in September 2017, in the meantime Penguin continues to publish Le Carré’s entire body of works via their Modern Classics branch which will be the most extensive collection they have released to date.


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