Customer Reviews for

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Average Rating 3.5
( 177 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(66)

4 Star

(44)

3 Star

(34)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(18)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Is There a Mole Deep Within the Circus?

George Smiley and Control,the head of the Circus, have been disgraced and removed from Her Majesty's Secret Sercvice (A.K.A. The Circus)With a new group of bright young men running the operation, the quality of the Circus's product (Secret Information) has never been be...
George Smiley and Control,the head of the Circus, have been disgraced and removed from Her Majesty's Secret Sercvice (A.K.A. The Circus)With a new group of bright young men running the operation, the quality of the Circus's product (Secret Information) has never been better or more consistent. But maybe that's the problem. Is the Circus's product just a little too good to be true? Information sufaces from a renegade Circus agent in Hong Kong that causes the very highest man of the Secret Service to look over his shoulder for fear of a mole. (A mole is a double agent planted deep in Circus's fabric by the Soviet Union.) George Smiley is called back from his forced retirement to root out the mole. You can't put the book down until you have reached the last page.

posted by Anonymous on September 15, 2002

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Not if your looking for an action packed thrill ride

Found this to be an intriguing book, but this was not like many of the spy novels I typically read. You know the ones where you are quickly flipping through the pages to find out what happens next. If you are looking for a bit of action, this is not for you. If you a...
Found this to be an intriguing book, but this was not like many of the spy novels I typically read. You know the ones where you are quickly flipping through the pages to find out what happens next. If you are looking for a bit of action, this is not for you. If you are looking for a thinker novel, then dive in.

Interested in seeing the movie. If it's close to the book, I'll definitely be renting it.

posted by 2203168 on January 1, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2002

    Is There a Mole Deep Within the Circus?

    George Smiley and Control,the head of the Circus, have been disgraced and removed from Her Majesty's Secret Sercvice (A.K.A. The Circus)With a new group of bright young men running the operation, the quality of the Circus's product (Secret Information) has never been better or more consistent. But maybe that's the problem. Is the Circus's product just a little too good to be true? Information sufaces from a renegade Circus agent in Hong Kong that causes the very highest man of the Secret Service to look over his shoulder for fear of a mole. (A mole is a double agent planted deep in Circus's fabric by the Soviet Union.) George Smiley is called back from his forced retirement to root out the mole. You can't put the book down until you have reached the last page.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 7, 2012

    Highly recommended

    I decided to reread this thriller because of the new movie version. I found the book as thrilling as the first time I read it. And I was glad I had reread it as it helped the movie make sense to me (and my friends whom having not read the book, needed some gaps filled in).

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Well Written Crescendo

    I’ve only ever read one book from John le Carre before, and it’s entirely possible that The Mission Song is not representative of the rest of the author’s writing, but I was not expecting this book to be as good as it was. The skill with which Mr. le Carre worked this story into being is nothing short of amazing. The entire book feels like it was one big crescendo, building anticipation and constantly working toward a closing note that sounds resiliently. This is a book that I’ll definitely be suggesting to customers when they come in asking for a book to read, and I’ll also be seeking out some other books written by John le Carre. 4/5

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2002

    Le Carre Shoots and Scores

    This was an absolutely marvelous book. Intriguing and clever, Le Carre deftly takes you through the role of George Smiley and the mysterious Karla. More twists than a roller coaster, it never gets boring. This is one book that should be preserved through history.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    Not if your looking for an action packed thrill ride

    Found this to be an intriguing book, but this was not like many of the spy novels I typically read. You know the ones where you are quickly flipping through the pages to find out what happens next. If you are looking for a bit of action, this is not for you. If you are looking for a thinker novel, then dive in.

    Interested in seeing the movie. If it's close to the book, I'll definitely be renting it.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    First Book in a Great Trilogy

    Highly recommend reading or rereading this absorbing trio of books: Tinker Taylor, The Honorable Schoolboy, and Smiley's People. These books offer insight into the Cold War period, particularly because they were written during the 1970s, only a decade or so before the fall of the Soviet Union and the toppling of the Berlin Wall. George Smiley and team are an engaging, if somewhat enigmatic group, and the complexity of the plots are quite enjoyable.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Great

    Read it, you won't be disappointed

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Gave up

    I am not the most sophisticated of readers, but this was impossible to follow and I gave up on it half way through. Too much mental exercise.

    3 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    Excellent book!

    Le Carre amazes me with how he develops and integrates his characters. He not only writes about the spy story but covers each of his characters with a very human brush.
    If one has ever followed the machinations of the Cold War this is a very real picture.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2012

    I found this book to be outrageously dull. Apparently being a s

    I found this book to be outrageously dull. Apparently being a spy is about as exciting as being an accountant, or any other mid-level employee for a large business: go through files, attend meetings, go through more files, take notes, etc. The main drag on this book is that there is no sense of urgency whatsoever. Yes, there is a Soviet mole inside British intelligence, but while the protagonist obviously has an interest in finding out who, there is no reason to rush. What will happen if he doesn't find out soon? Will the British lose some top-secret info? WIll the mole goad both sides into war? Is the mole about to escape, so they have to find him soon? Apparently not. The good guys aren't working against the clock, so my reaction as events unfold was largely "So what?"

    Another gripe, the author likes to throw out spy terms as if you know what they mean and only chooses to explain them (if at all) several chapters later, which makes this book hard to follow, in addition to boring.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2012

    I first read this book in the 1980s, and enjoyed it immensely th

    I first read this book in the 1980s, and enjoyed it immensely then. I just saw the recent movie, and went back to reread it, and was pleased to see it was as good as I remembered. LeCarre is the antidote to Ian Fleming. His characters are plodding, methodical but every bit as competent at what they do as the glitzy Mr. Bond.

    This is not an action novel, but it is a wonderful read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2012

    Thriller

    I enjoyed every morsel as I read them. Can't wait to read more Le Carre.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    Jules

    Gosh..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Sam

    Hello?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2013

    A fantastic book. Great characters, lot of tension, and wonderfu

    A fantastic book. Great characters, lot of tension, and wonderful twists. Le Carre is a master storyteller.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    Good

    I saw the movie first. Same for the constaant gardener His books are good. Lots of details but it is always information that carries the story not the useless setting the scene information.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    An entertaining read.

    Love this author but this book was a little confusing until I figured out Wikipedia could help sort out the characters. It was originally written in 1974, so references are a little hard to understand, but still a good read. Looking forward to seeing the movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    Love this author and this book!

    I read this book when it was first published and was blown away. My personal library contains all of his books which I continue to reread. If you enjoy a good spy novel this book is for you. Check out his other books they are also keepers. I really like The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, another awesome book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2013

    Although the overall story is a little bit interesting, I found

    Although the overall story is a little bit interesting, I found Le Carre's writing style to be horrible. Because of all the good things I've heard about it, I've been meaning to read this book for years. I was very, very disappointed. It's one of the worst written books I've ever read. I had to struggle through it. I was at least hoping to be surprised by the ending, but the mole is obvious to anybody but a 2 year old. So even the ending was a let down. 
    Basically, save your money and spend it on another book instead of this over hyped piece of literary trash.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    An amazing thriller from a master writer!

    An amazing thriller from a master writer!

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