Book #73: The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold was my first John le Carre book. I was excited to read it, but also a little apprehensive.

One of my good friends loves le Carre and raved about his books when we were in college. I’d heard lots of good things from her and from a lot of other people, so when my dad asked for a new book recommendation, I told him to read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. He didn’t like it. I don’t think he finished it. He said it was too slow.

My friend who loves the books and I have a lot in common and really similar interests. However, my dad and I have really, really similar tastes in books. I anticipated a conflict, and I was right.

I wanted to like The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, but there was something about it that stopped me from really enjoying it. It had everything I could want in a plot – intrigue, East Germans, spies, Control lurking in the background of everything – but there was some unnamable thing that stopped me from getting into the the book.

I suppose I feel about this book the way I feel about the Game of Thrones books. I like the plot and I want to know what happens, but I really don’t want to have to read the books to find out.

The actual plot of le Carre’s book interested me. I really wanted to know what was going on and who had Leamas and who was actually on which side, but I did not want to do the work of reading to find out. I did, because curiosity ultimately got the best of me, but the book was a struggle for me to get through.

I can’t say what, for sure, it was about this book that I didn’t enjoy. I guess I just wasn’t interested in le Carre’s style. Maybe I prefer to get my spy/intrigue fix by watching movies instead of reading books. I don’t know.

I’ll have to see if I like any of le Carre’s other books before I write him off altogether.

Rating: **
Up Next:
The Lover

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