Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Author: John le Carré
Last Read: September 2016
Quick Summary: I'm not normally one for spy or mystery novels. The spy I read about and liked was Jason Bourne. I shared this and received a recommendation to read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, claiming it would get me hooked.
I can safely say after finishing the book that I didn't really feel the pull. The book was slow-paced and sometimes the writing left me confused as to what had transpired (mostly in the beginning). There was so much slow buildup, and the book just ended in a quick manner without much fuss.
I do think that George Smiley is a very interesting character, so I can see how one would want to read more about him. However, I won't be continuing on.
Well, you can’t blame him, can you? You can’t blame a man for wanting a drop of peace in the evening of his life. I can’t.” --loc 425
“Living off the wits of his subordinates—well, maybe that’s leadership these days.” --loc 443
And now it was pouring with rain, Smiley was soaked to the skin, and God as a punishment had removed all taxis from the face of London. --loc 468
But Smiley had a second reason, which was fear, the secret fear that follows every professional to his grave. Namely, that one day, out of a past so complex that he himself could not remember all the enemies he might have made, one of them would find him and demand the reckoning. --loc 495
‘To possess another language is to possess another soul.’ --loc 927
That a man’s wealth should be counted by the number of his names! --loc 961
After a lifetime of living by his wits and his considerable memory, he had given himself full time to the profession of forgetting. --loc 1202
Patiently Smiley waited for the speck of gold, for Connie was of an age where the only thing a man could give her was time. --loc 1574
“An artist is a bloke who can hold two fundamentally opposing views and still function: who dreamed that one up?” --loc 2290
Sitting is an eloquent business; any actor will tell you that. We sit according to our natures. We sprawl and straddle, we rest like boxers between rounds, we fidget, perch, cross and uncross our legs, lose patience, lose endurance. Gerstmann did none of those things. His posture was finite and irreducible, his little jagged body was like a promontory of rock; he could have sat that way all day, without stirring a muscle. --loc 3068
"I often thought that. I even put it to Control: we should take the opposition’s cover stories more seriously, I said. The more identities a man has, the more they express the person they conceal." The fifty-year-old who knocks five years off his age. The married man who calls himself a bachelor; the fatherless man who gives himself two children . . . Or the interrogator who projects himself into the life of a man who does not speak. Few men can resist expressing their appetites when they are making a fantasy about themselves.” --loc 3089
Survival, as Jim Prideaux liked to recall, is an infinite capacity for suspicion. --loc 4812
he wondered whether there was any love between human beings that did not rest upon some sort of self-delusion --loc 4985
He thought about treason and wondered whether there was mindless treason in the same way, supposedly, as there was mindless violence. --loc 4988
As an artist he had said all he had to say at the age of seventeen, and one had to do something with one’s later years. --loc 5319