An adaptation of his novel The Night Manager just won a load of Golden Globes for everyone’s favourite psychotic high rise dwelling doctor Tom Hiddlestone. However I’ve always been in love with his series of stories centering around the enigmatic George Smiley, ever since Tomas Alfredson’s masterful adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. This is the book that sparked it all, the first George Smily book, George Smily, origins.
To a degree it does take the sheen off somewhat when his backstory is given in the fist chapter but that doesn’t mean he isn’t still a truly compelling character and le Carre’s sense of history and time gone by still never falters. It’s occasionally clunky with whiffs of vague mysoginy but the latter is something you’ve always had to take as given with le Carre’s boy’s club novels, and he’s still just really good fun to read and can tell a story with pitch perfect pacing. He clearly has to settle into his style a bit but that doesn’t mean that Call For The Dead isn’t a hugely compelling read.