Monday, August 26, 2013

Review: Secret Pilgrim

Secret Pilgrim Secret Pilgrim by John le Carré

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is eighth and final of John le Carré's works featuring his most well-known character, George Smiley. I have read five of the previous seven novels, and of those previous works, I think this one is most similar to The Looking Glass War in the fact that Smiley is not the main character but plays an ancillary role. The main character is a fellow spy by the name of Ned who due to the outcome of the Russia House as come to serve as the headmaster of the training academy for new agents. Ned has invited the now-retired Smiley to visit the school and address the new group of recruits.

This book does not read like a single coherent novel but rather like a group of episodic short stories or chronological vignettes. With the background of Smiley speaking to the agents-in-training, Ned reminisces about his own career starting with his first adventure as a young intelligence officer. Each episode is interesting own its own and helps develop Ned into a full-featured character. I suppose the aim of the overall novel is to highlight the themes of the Smiley series as it brings the series to a close.

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