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Lädt ...

Schatten von gestern (1961)

von John le Carré

Weitere Autoren: Siehe Abschnitt Weitere Autoren.

Reihen: George Smiley (1)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
2,585874,316 (3.69)145
George Smiley had liked the man and now the man was dead. Suicide. But why? An anonymous letter had alleged that Foreign Office man Samuel Fennan had been a member of the Communist Party as a student before the war. Nothing very unusual for his generation. Smiley had made it clear that the investigation - little more than a routine security check - was over and that the file on Fennan could be closed. Next day, Fennan was dead with a note by his body saying his career was finished and he couldn't go on. Why? Smiley was puzzled ...… (mehr)
  1. 30
    Der Spion, der aus der Kälte kam von John le Carré (otori)
    otori: Key character Hans-Dieter Mundt first appearance.
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I have wanted to read leCarre for a while and decided the time was now as the book sitting on the TBR had been there forever.

It was a slog for me. At only 168 pages, I should have breezed through it-but it felt like work for me to just read 3-4 pages a night. Granted this was his first book, written in 1961, and I did take that into consideration when deciding on a star rating (thus the 1/2 star to round up on Gr's).

I really liked our main character, George Smiley, a Foreign Service officer for "The Circus" (based on MI6). Smiley does a routine background check on another Foreign Service employee, who immediately afterwards commits suicide. From that point on it all became confusion for me. Remaining characters were dropped in without much pomp, and were very boring in the beginning. In fact, even Smiley was a bit of mystery until the middle of the book, where some background on him was finally put forth.

All in all, a mediocre read for me, the short page length is really all that kept me reading and not throwing it in the DNF pile. ( )
  JBroda | Sep 24, 2021 |
I have been reading too many thrillers and mysteries by more recent authors with much more action. It took time to get into the story but Le Carre did capture me. It was good and I will continue the Smiley series. ( )
  FDKreader | Jul 12, 2021 |
I have a little secret for you. Despite loving both fiction and non-fiction books about the cold war and espionage, this is the first le Carre book I have read. I'm not sure what has taken me so long to get round to reading his work, perhaps I wanted to leave the best till last. This book introduces us to the character of George Smiley, an overweight and rather grey man who has some history working for the intelligence services. He interviews a civil servant about a letter his department has received outing him as a security threat. Smiley thinks that the interview went well and on departing tells the man that he has nothing to worry about. The next day Smiley is told that the man has killed himself and is asked if anything he did could have been the reason for his suicide. Smiley doesn't think this all feels right and decides to investigate further.

This book reads more like a crime thriller than a spy book but it was entertaining enough to keep me interested throughout. Despite being a short book (160 pages) I thought it was a solid introduction to the George Smiley series. ( )
  Brian. | Apr 4, 2021 |
Before the death of author John Le Carre, I'd already promised myself a re-run through the George Smiley series, for two reasons. I'd listened to AGENT RUNNING IN THE FIELD last year and been absolutely taken with the style of narration from the author himself; then late one night we'd stumbled upon a stream of the 1965 movie of THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, having already been very pleased to find the same of Sir Alec Guinness in the TV series TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY. Distinctly remember Clive James being somewhat underwhelmed by the same - a quote from his original review “The first instalment fully lived up to the standard set by the original novel. Though not quite as incomprehensible, it was equally turgid.”

There's always been something slightly captivating, and worrying about the George Smiley series although it has dawned on me that you have to approach it with the same sardonic, dry tone that Le Carre used in his narration mentioned above; but most importantly, you have to remember that this is probably more akin to spycraft than all the bang bang shoot 'em up daring doing of the average spy thriller written. Long periods of introspection, interrupted by sporadic bits of quietly dangerous shadow boxing, and a lot of wondering what the hell is happening and why you just couldn't have gone out and got a real job thinking. Which is part of what makes, upon reflection, the Smiley series so darn clever. It can be drawn out and it can equally be tense and rapidfire, it's often times almost incomprehensible, and it's quietly, menacingly, dangerous. It's playing with minds and futures. It's destroying lives, not always cavalierly, sometimes so matter-of-factly that it's more frightening as a result.

The core of CALL FOR THE DEAD is exactly that, a routine security check, nothing out of the ordinary as far as George Smiley is concerned, leading to a seemingly blameless civil servant killing himself. It's the attempt on the part of one of Smiley's overlords to blame him for the death that triggers his investigation, his meeting with the widow of Samuel Fennan, onto the connection with East German intelligence.

This is Le Carre's first book, and it set the tone and style for everything that was to come, particularly the George Smiley series, tenacious, controlled central characters who quietly go about their dangerous, deadly work with commitment and conviction. Run it in your head in a low-key, sardonic manner and the stylings make sense, the plots are most definitely convoluted and frequently incomprehensible, but for this reader that really kind of works.

https://www.austcrimefiction.org/review/call-dead-john-le-carre-0 ( )
  austcrimefiction | Mar 29, 2021 |
Smiley realizes an apparent suicide is murder
  ritaer | Mar 22, 2021 |
His Zimmer frame in overdrive, Smiley sprinted after Dieter and cornered him by the Thames. "So?" Smiley said. "So?" Dieter replied, before allowing the much older, much weaker man push him into the river.

Smiley sat down, exhausted and overwhelmed by a need to recap in case some readers still hadn't quite gathered what was going on. And this time he would make it even easier for them by writing them in bullet points. 1. It was Elsa who was the spy. 2. Sam had become suspicious and was going to denounce her. 3. Dieter...

"Well I'm glad that's all cleared up without the Press being involved," cried Maston cheerily. "I take it we can tear up your resignation letter?"
On balance Smiley thought he could. It was true there had been a number of rough edges. Some of the plotting had rather stretched credulity and the characterisation had been thinner than he hoped. But it was a more than decent start and his career as Alec Guinness was under way.
hinzugefügt von John_Vaughan | bearbeitenGuardian UK, John Crace (Aug 9, 2012)
 

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (9 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
le Carré, JohnHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Pearson, DavidUmschlaggestalterCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Taylor, MattUmschlagillustrationCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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When Lady Ann Sercomb married George Smiley towards the end of the war she described him to her astonished Mayfair friends as breathtakingly ordinary.
Introduction, 2012 edition: With the possible exception of the person interviewed, there is nobody more predictable than an interviewer, and in my experience they come in two sorts, you might almost say two ages.
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Call for the Dead was reissued in 1966 under the title The Deadly Affair to coincide with the release of the Sidney Lumet film with this title.
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Wikipedia auf Englisch (1)

George Smiley had liked the man and now the man was dead. Suicide. But why? An anonymous letter had alleged that Foreign Office man Samuel Fennan had been a member of the Communist Party as a student before the war. Nothing very unusual for his generation. Smiley had made it clear that the investigation - little more than a routine security check - was over and that the file on Fennan could be closed. Next day, Fennan was dead with a note by his body saying his career was finished and he couldn't go on. Why? Smiley was puzzled ...

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Durchschnitt: (3.69)
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3 190
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