Legacy of Spies Podcast Round Table
September 7th saw the publication of the latest John Le Carre novel ‘A Legacy of Spies.‘
Is it any good? Does the master still have it? What do some of his most ardent fans think?
Today’s podcast is a round table episode, Spybrary Host Shane Whaley is joined by Double O Sections’ Matthew Bradford and Spywrite’s Jeff Quest, two of the biggest Le Carre fans I know, they will give us their views on A Legacy of Spies. We have all been salivating over this one ever since the news was released that George Smiley and the Circus were back. Normally we keep Spybrary podcast episodes to around 1 hour but with the excitement of the return of Smiley, Jim Prideaux, Peter Guillam, Control, Mundt et al we could not help but run over a time as there was so much to discuss.
From the Book description:
The undisputed master returns with a riveting new book—his first Smiley novel in more than twenty-five years
Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself, are to be scrutinized by a generation with no memory of the Cold War and no patience with its justifications.
Interweaving past with present so that each may tell its own intense story, John le Carré has spun a single plot as ingenious and thrilling as the two predecessors on which it looks back: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In a story resonating with tension, humor and moral ambivalence, le Carré and his narrator Peter Guillam present the reader with a legacy of unforgettable characters old and new.
What did you think of A Legacy of Spies? Love it? Hate it? Do you have a burning question about it? We are carrying on the conversation over at our private Spybrary discussion group, feel free to join us here
Resources in Episode 18 of Spybrary Podcast
Follow Jeff Quest – Spywrite
Follow Matthew Bradford – Double O Section
John Le Carre Official Website
Legacy of Spies Reviews
A Final Turn from Smiley's Circus (The Guardian) Robert McCrum
John Le Carre Goes Back Into the Cold (The Atlantic) – Love the title image they use with this one.
George Smiley and other Old Friends Return in John Le Carre's ‘A Legacy of Spies.' (New York Times.)
A Satisfying Close to the Saga – (The Independent.)
A Legacy of Spies – (Kirkus)
We get some further information on Oliver Lacon, a fascinating character. Interesting that he was a senior Civil Servant at the Treasury before moving to the Cabinet Office, and was sent to the House of Lords presumeably after retirement.
[…] John le Carré – A Legacy of Spies: Read this one then check out Spybrary's deep dive on the latest le Carre novel. […]