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Secret Agent Dog

Summer of Spies 1

The Gower Street branch of Waterstones is running a Summer of Spies in celebration of spy fiction, running up to the release of John le Carré's new novel in September.

Part of the season is a series of talks in which authors talk about their favourite le Carré. Last night's was Nicholas Searle on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

I wasn't planning to go, as I haven't read any of Searle's books, but it turned out an acquaintance from the James Bond forum was visiting London from the US and would be attending, so I took the opportunity to say hello.

We had an incredibly awkward I'm-looking-for-someone-is-it-you meeting which would have failed us both had it been a spycraft exam, then got a coffee and talked Bond while we waited for the event to start.

I enjoyed the evening but soon realised I have forgotten everything that happens in Tinker Tailor, despite having seen the recent film...recently. Time to mug up on Absolute Friends, which I read at university and about which I remember absolute 0, before hearing Mick Herron speak about it in a fortnight's time.

(Le Carré confession: I find George Smiley a bit irritating and prefer the novels that stand alone, like The Russia House and The Tailor of Panama. There.)

Afterwards, as we were debating purchase of Call for the Dead, a smartly-dressed gentleman with an umbrella approached and engaged me in conversation about the Cold War and the '60s. I started quoting 'Between the end of the Chatterley ban...' and he finished it for me, so presume I have now been earmarked for the Service.

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presume I have now been earmarked for the Service.

Trust no one.
Isn't Smiley supposed to be a tad on the irritating side?

You were approached by Steed? Or are you going to be a Kingsman lol? Actually... He didn't prod you with the umbrella did he?

I was on my guard for any umbrella-poking, believe me!

And I still haven't seen Kingsman. I should fix that.
Very wise.

Oh you should rectify that ASAP. Colin Firth shows he'd be an excellent Steed in an Avengers reboot and you'll never be able to listen to Land of Hope and Glory in the same way again
Sold! It's on Netflix so I just need a spare couple of hours...
I like Smiley - maybe because he is irascible.