Friday, September 02, 2005


I've been reading a lot of spy thrillers lately (hell, damn near my whole life) as they're really good for keeping my attention when on the freaking treadmill, not that I've been this week, but I'll be back to the gym next week. Anyway, I read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy by John Le Carre a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. A man at the gym saw me reading it and commented that he was impressed that I could read it and exercise at the same time because he considered the writing to be "dense." This started a discussion about books. He was all jealous that I was just finding John Le Carre's books whereas he's read them all multiple times.

Tinker, Tailor was the book that introduced the word "mole" as related to a double-agent spy into the lexicon, although the author doesn't remember how he came up with the term. In the foreword of the most recent edition of the book he says that the publishers of the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) came to him and asked where he got the word and were going to give him full credit (from what I could tell).

I mentioned some of my favorite spy authors to the man on the next elliptical machine and found he hadn't heard of Helen MacInnes who started writing in the late 30s and placed her stories into current events – one of her books dealt with the invasion of Poland. I have two copies of one of her books so I took it with me to lend to him. After I gave it to him I wondered if it was too girl-y for him. I had never considered them to be more girl books than boy books, but I'm thinking that there's a boy meets girl aspect to most of her spy novels. Ah well, we'll see. He returned the favor, however, and brought me Smiley's People which was the book that followed Tinker, Tailor. I'm in the middle of KG 200 by J.D. Gilman and John Clive which I'm really enjoying, so I have to finish it before I start Smiley's People. I've had this book on my shelf for more years than I'd like to admit and just never got around to reading it. The premise is that during WWII the Nazis had a plan to assassinate Winston Churchill. It's very different from Jack Higgins' The Eagle Has Landed which is the book that got me into spy thrillers, and not in a bad way. The last line of the book reads: "Many of the most fantastic, the most unbelievable incidents here described actually happened." And so as I continue to read it (I was looking for the authors' bios which is why I caught the end of the book) I'll just have to wonder which events were real and which were fictionalized. I was at Target last week though and saw that there was a new Jack Higgins out, so I had to pick that up. The trick will be not reading the new Jack before Smiley's People (don't bet on this one, folks).

And I have been given a massive project (Yay!) to alleviate my complete boredom. Now to find something that will alleviate my Guinness headache!!!

Have a fabulous weekend all. I'm going to sleep in and generally be lazy since I have NO plans for the weekend, except watching movies and knitting.


At Friday, 02 September, 2005, Blogger Scott said...

I'll have to give Le Carre a look, as I am always looking for a good novel to read.

At Saturday, 03 September, 2005, Anonymous Clarity said...

Hi! Just wanted to wish you a happy Labor day weekend!

P.S. I agree with the names on your laminated list..Gary Sinese and Ed Harris..definitely HOT! (I thought I was the only one that thought so! Yay! I'm not alone!)

Love, Clarity

At Wednesday, 07 September, 2005, Blogger Ben O. said...

Great writer - I love the way you get drawn in to the intrigue.

I need to read another one of his soon - thanks for the idea.

Ben O.

At Thursday, 17 November, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't miss the Honorable Schoolboy! That comes before Smiley's People and after Tinker Tailor...


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