Book Beginnings & The Friday 56: The Honourable Schoolboy by John le Carré 

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

This week I’m featuring one of the books I’ve just started to read – The Honourable Schoolboy by John le Carré, a Cold War spy thriller, the sequel to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy. It’s based in the Far East in the mid 1970s.

The Book Begins:

Afterwards in the dusty little corners where London’s secret servants drink together, there was argument about where the Dolphin case history should really begin.

I like this opening sentence – it focuses attention immediately on the Dolphin case – what was it and where did it begin? I hope all will become clear.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to Page 56 or 56% on your  ereader . If you have to improvise, that is okay. *Find a snippet, short and sweet, but no spoilers!

Only George Smiley, said Roddy Martindale, a fleshy Foreign Office wit, could have got himself appointed captain of a wrecked ship. Only Smiley, he added, could have compounded the pains of that appointment by choosing the same moment to abandon his beautiful, if occasionally errant, wife.

At first or even second glance George Smiley was ill-suited to either part, as Martindale was quick to note. He was tubby and in small ways hopelessly unassertive. A natural shyness made him from time to time pompous and to men of Martindale’s flamboyance his unobtrusiveness acted as a standing reproach.

Surely, unobtrusiveness is just the quality a good spy needs.

Summary

In the second part of John le Carré’s Karla Trilogy, the battle of wits between spymaster George Smiley and his Russian adversary takes on an even more dangerous dimension.

George Smiley, now acting head of the Circus, must rebuild its shattered reputation after one of the biggest betrayals in its history. Using the talents of journalist and occasional spy Jerry Westerby, Smiley launches a risky operation uncovering a Russian money-laundering scheme in the Far East. His aim: revenge on Karla, head of Moscow Centre and the architect of all his troubles.

8 thoughts on “Book Beginnings & The Friday 56: The Honourable Schoolboy by John le Carré 

  1. That is a great opening, isn’t it, Margaret? I think le Carré’s style is very appealing, and certainly draws one in! I hope you’re enjoying this one, and I’m looking forward to your review when you get to it.

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  2. I enjoyed both these excerpts! I have been wanting to try John le Carré. His books always sound so good. I hope you have a great weekend!

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