Monday, March 8, 2010

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carré

The nine readers who contributed took immense pleasure in discussing the pros and cons of spying and the different types of spooks in this novel. The dedication to eliminating their rival agents, and traitors in their own midst, without ruth or compunction, was seen as a dominating characteristic of the spy trade, which persists to our day, long after the end of the Cold War era in which this novel is set. References from the dawn of history show spying to be as ancient a profession as prostitution.

Bobby, Pavithra, Priya, Amita, Talitha, KumKum, Indira, Joe

There was general admiration of the style in which the book is written. No fast cars or women, no eye-popping gadgets, and not a great deal of violence. It is more a battle of wits, and exploring the underlying philosophies of the two sides of the Cold War. Many readers admired the lean prose of John Le Carré, so well-adapted to the no-frills character of the protagonist, Alec Leamas. Here and there, a spring bud of elegant description breaks out of the otherwise unadorned style of the author.  A few weaknesses in the story line do not take away from the engrossing read this novel is.

Please find here the full account and record of the session on Mar 5, 2010.

The next session featuring Poetry will be held on April 9, 2010. The session after that to read For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway will be on Friday, May 21, 2010.

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