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Author: John Le Carre
ISBN13: 978-0862201449
Title: The Looking Glass War (Windsor Selections)
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ePUB size: 1292 kb
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Language: English
Category: Thrillers and Suspense
Publisher: Chivers Press; Large type edition edition (February 11, 1986)
Pages: 368

The Looking Glass War (Windsor Selections) by John Le Carre

September 2006 : UK Paperback.

Penguin modern classics. The looking glass war. John le Carré was born in 1931. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley’s People. I must thank above all my wife for her untiring cooperation. John le Carré, Agios Nikolaos, Crete.

He writes espionage thrillers under the pseudonym John le Carré. The pseudonym was necessary when he began writing, in the early 1960s because, at that time, he held a diplomatic position with the British Foreign Office and was not allowed to publish under his own name. When his third book, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, became a worldwide bestseller in 1964, he left the foreign service to write full time. Hall Large Print Book Series George Smiley Series Large print series The Windsor selection.

The Looking Glass War book. But o John le Carré's classic novels deftly navigate readers through the intricate shadow worlds of international espionage with unsurpassed skill and knowledge, and have earned him unprecedented worldwide acclaim. THE LOOKING GLASS WAR Once upon a time the distinction had been clear: the Circus handled all things political while the Department dealt with matters military. But over the years, power shifted and the Circus elbowed the Department out. Now, suddenly, the Department has a job on its hands.

John Le Carre - - The Looking Glass War (html)/The Looking Glass War. htmlJOHN LE CARRÉ The Looking Glass War PENGUIN BOOKS. Contents PART ONE TAYLOR’S RUN PART TWO AVERY’S RUN Prelude Take-off Homecoming PART THREE LEISER’S RUN Prelude Take-off Homecoming. PENGUIN MODERN CLASSICS THE LOOKING GLASS WAR John le Carré was born in 1931. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley’s People

International Standard Book Number (ISBN): 1417569603 (electronic audio b. International Standard Book Number (ISBN): 9781417569601 (electronic audio b. System Control Number: (OCoLC)57409166. Personal Name: Le Carré, John, 1931-. Publication, Distribution, et. Prince Frederick, M. .Recorded Books ; NetLibrary, (c)p1988.

The Looking Glass War. Dramatised from John le Carre's novel by Shaun McKenna. The fourth of John le Carre's novels featuring spymaster George Smiley is dramatised by Shaun McKenna. But the world has changed. Leclerc: Ian McDiarmid. Smiley: Simon Russell Beale. Avery: Patrick Kennedy. Haldane: Philip Jackson. Woodford: David Margraves.

The Looking Glass War is a 1965 spy novel by John le Carré. Written in response to the positive public reaction to his previous novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, the book explores the unglamorous nature of espionage and the danger of nostalgia. The book tells the story of an incompetent British intelligence agency known as The Department and its multiple botched attempts to verify a Communist defector's story of a Soviet missile buildup in East Germany.

Complete your John Le Carré collection.

Reviews: 7
The Looking Glass War is billed as “A George Smiley Novel.” It is the fourth installment in the series of John Le Carré books where Smiley plays a part, but his role here is very small.

The main story concerns the U.K.’s “Department” (military intelligence) competing with its “Circus” (political intelligence) for glory. The Department ran agents against the Nazis during World War II but has since fallen in missions, personnel, and funding. The Circus, on the other hand, seems to be gobbling up all those things. So, when the Department receives intelligence of a possible missile program in East German, it reactivates an old agent to confirm that program’s existence. The program doesn’t exist, the agent is captured but his fate left unknown, and Smiley is sent by Circus’ “Control” to communicate to the reorganization of the Department.

While The Looking Glass War has some interesting bits about interdepartmental rivalry, the training of spies, and the perils of espionage to those who are carrying it out, on the whole, the novel failed to capture my imagination. I read it more out of duty than delight. Even Le Carré admits in his Introduction that it was received poorly by critics. After reading The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, this novel was a disappointment. Thankfully, Le Carré followed The Looking Glass War with Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which I am currently reading, and that is a real page-turner.

If you, like me, prefer to read series’ novels in order, I can honestly recommend that you skip this one and go directly from The Spy Who Came in from the Cold to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. You won’t be missing much.
I have always heard that John le Carre is the preeminent spy writer, that he came from that world and is also a serious writer. I cannot vouch for the authenticity in THE LOOKING GLASS WAR but I can confirm this book is more than “just” a spy story.

The setting of the story is post-World War II, but near the beginning of the Cold War. The plot involves a division of British Intelligence attempting to place an agent in East Germany to investigate rumors of a possible missile installation. It is interesting to see the planning and execution, which is definitely World War II era “old school” rather than James Bond high-tech.

This is part of the “real story” that LeCarre is telling because the agency in charge of the operation is small and manned primarily by veterans of World War II, when they conducted similar operations against Hitler. Since the war, history seems to have passed them by with new equipment, new techniques, and younger men. They are almost forgotten by the British overseas intelligence agency referred to as “the Circus.”

Le Carre describes these men without emotion, but the reader almost winces at the way they try to recapture past glories and succeed only in fooling themselves.

Adding another level of meaning is the way le Carre shows the rigid class structure of England. Those running the show are all “gentlemen” while Leiser, the agent they recruit is lower class, a Polish national living in England. They see themselves as naturally superior: “They saw that the Department had provided direction for his energy: like a man of uncommon sexual appetite, Leiser had found in his new employment a love which he could illustrate with his gifts. They saw that he took pleasure in their command, giving in return his strength as homage for fulfilment. They even knew perhaps that between them they constituted for Leiser the poles of absolute authority: the one by his bitter adherence to standards which Leiser could never achieve, the other by his youthful accessibility, the apparent sweetness and dependence of his nature.”

This leads to the third level of meaning. As le Carre describes the men, it is almost as if they have lovers’ relationships that are deeper than with their women. Even the wife of one of the team notices: “When you came back earlier in the evening you looked as though you’d fallen in love. The kind of love that gives you comfort. You looked free and at peace. I thought for a moment you’d found a woman. That’s why I asked, really it is, whether they were all men . . . I thought you were in love.”

A spy story? Yes. But also a fine novel.
One of his earlier novels, it uses a power struggle between two post-war intelligence agencies as its background. His depictions of this internecine combat ring true but there really aren't any memorable characters in this one - whether major ones like Smiley and Guillan, or the minor ones who sparkle like Esterhase and Connie Sachs. By the way, it's not really a Smiley novel - he's a very minor character whose only role is to clean up someone else's mess at the very end of the book.
By far and away the worst of the Smiley series. With the exception of a bright start, it is a collection of le Carre's worst traits. Long winded, depressing, and a series of characters that struggle to attract any sympathy (indeed any emotion) from the reader. More than 80% of the book deals with the build up to the final mission - which is then dealt with over a handful of pages and the outcome is never in doubt.

It is interesting to compare this with The Secret Pilgrim - written much later and with more maturity (or a better editor!) - which was impossible to put down.
In the forward of the re-release, Le Carre reminds us that this book was largely panned when it came out. Critics and fans disliked the message and, in particular, the ending. I would say Le Carre was simply ahead of his time. In a very recent NYTimes interview, the author said that spies and spying made little difference in the Cold War. This book reflects that belief by putting the reader right in the middle of Britain's dubious espionage culture.
Here's the main reason I like this book: all of our heroes are ugly, even the pretty ones. This story starts off with a tragedy and ends in an even bigger one. You see the train wreck coming, but as has always been the case for me with Le Carre novels, you can't put it down. That he knows the materials is patently obvious to anyone in the business. That he could write a story that shows just how quickly human life can be disregarded in pursuit of regaining some equity and/or relevance as a government's collection priorities shift, is a testament to his willingness to show the ugly side of the business.