From the New York Times bestselling author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Our Kind of Traitor; and The Night Manager, now a television series starring Tom. John Le Carré: his characters propel the narrative onwards. The Honourable Jerry Westerby, cast in the same mould, is holed up in deepest. From the New York Times bestselling author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Our Kind of Traitor; and The Night Manager, now.

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A joy from start to finish.

LeCarre is the only man who can make sense of it all. These are, effectively, murder mysteries dressed up in espionage clothing. Read it Forward Read it first. The psychological contrasts of these two characters are central to the story’s development and conclusion.

Add to this mix the man’s extraordinary longevity and his personal courage and integrity, his willingness to take on the right enemies absolutely, and ladies and gentlemen I nominate for the Nobel Prize for Literature M. Every chapter is liquid, supple, silky. The details are extraordinary, from the micropolitics of inter-governmental lobbying to the intricacies of a city quarter to many minor characters.

Rather, I felt like the severe issues and problems in London generated both unique opportunities that our hero exploited, and allowed important and thrilling aspects to occur as a result of their fumbling. At his flat he finds the corpse of Luke, his photojournalist friend, who has been shot because the killer thought he was Westerby.

So it’s a disappointed 2 stars.

See all 3 questions about The Honourable Schoolboy…. When I first read the book 35!

More than he’s ever tried before, I think. Yes, Karla is mentioned as linked to the spies being chased but with no other role whatsoever. They go to her apartment; Smiley enters unannounced and Westerby, expecting either Drake or Tiu, assaults him, before realizing it is his boss. After disarming and honurable Tiu, Westerby tells Drake that he wants Lizzie for himself, in exchange for saving Nelson from the British and the Americans.


It felt incredibly long, overlong, and full of unnecessary detail, although there is also much to enjoy too. Honourable is gorgeously written, with passages that range from lyrical to brooding, snarling to contemplative. Can Jerry Westerby be trusted?

Smiley team is there but more as a sideshow to the juvenile story of a fringe spy falling in crazy love over a single meeting, his Southeast Asian ventures and a complex capture tale where schooloby is never clear what the entire fuss is all about. Every locale is scoolboy drawn. Radio signal analysts and cryptographers; the name derives from Wrangler maths students.

Westerby coerces a banker into allowing him to photograph the documents of a trust account; the destination of the Soviet money. The book may have had more meaning in the Seventies when political events of Asia were momentous, the Cold War for all its inaction appeared thrilling and not much was known in the West about people and cities discussed here.

He attacks the ethical and moral issues to espionage and asked deep philosophical questions such as when does espionage overstep its bounds and when do you stop before you become as grimy as the criminal.

Afterwards–although he enjoyed further achievements–I suggest that he never again eclipses this colossal, supreme effort of authorship. That will never be within him. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Paperbackpages. There are large passages of inaction throughout. LeCarre merges Ambler’s ‘fun’ format with his own introspective, deeply-psychological storytelling–which is very different even than what Graham Greene does.

The Honourable Schoolboy – Wikipedia

Uncle Benny in The Tailor of Panama. It is more of morality tales that will make you think.

The numbers above are the page counts in the editions I read of the six books so far. In fact, its undoubtedly brilliant journalistic element might constitute precisely that haze — one can hardly consider it accidental that so much of the novel takes place among journalist and that one of its main protagonists is a journalist who has no scruples to manipulate the truth when it serves his purposes and who in turn is manipulated by his employers in London.


A truth that becomes ever more elusive the further the novel proceeds, and it eventually becomes clear that for all its descriptive vividness and journalistic authenticity, the novel lets us see its kernel of truth only through a thick haze of distraction and misinformation. My perception as I read this was almost as if I was reading a book by several different authors: I have johj the series, up until ‘ The Honourable Schoolboy ‘, in quick succession… ‘ Call for the Dead ‘ A really intelligent, beautifully written novel, and a great introduction to the Smiley books which I know will only get better and better.


The Honourable Schoolboy

On the run, and spurred on by schoolboy romanticism, Jerry Westerby remains in Hong Kong to rescue Lizzie Worthington he takes her from a cocktail party and to protect Nelson from capture by the Circus, while the CIA spies on Drake. Think of ‘Schoolboy’ as John LeCarre returning in triumph to the compacted, ultra-pressurized motifs which made ‘ The Spy Who Came In from the Cold ‘ so potent, and re-igniting everything contained there, on a now-enormous scale.

I thought the …more Jerry Westerby was also kicked out by Bill Haydon and the whole book revolved around him. The British secret intelligence service headquartered at Cambridge Circus.