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Call for the Dead (1961)

por John le Carré

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: George Smiley (1)

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3,1341074,249 (3.7)176
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 ...… (mais)
  1. 30
    The Spy Who Came in From the Cold por John le Carré (otori)
    otori: Key character Hans-Dieter Mundt first appearance.
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Inglês (99)  Espanhol (2)  Dinamarquês (2)  Sueco (1)  Italiano (1)  Holandês (1)  Todas as línguas (106)
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Excellently written, with plenty of plot twists and action. I liked George Smiley very much. His two partners in solving the murder of Samuel Fennan, are Mendel and Guillam. They look out for each other and work together well.

Who is the spy? Fennan or his wife Elsa? Smiley is brilliant in working through what he learns from the widow Elsa. Who placed the 8:30 call and why? (Hence the title of the book.). Smiley is faced with a person from his past whom he worked with during the war and who was and is an extremely detailed and clever intelligence operative.

Luckily for Smiley, Mendel and Guillam are there for him when he’s attacked and also to work through the “trap” to catch the spy and the handler. It’s a thrilling chase.

I liked the wrap up of facts provided by Smiley in the report he writes for his supervisor. I also like learning about Smiley’s earlier life and work.

I can’t wait to read the next one. ( I read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy a few years ago.) ( )
  LuLibro | Jan 22, 2024 |
This is the first George Smiley spy novel, which as noted I sought out to fulfill a need for a decent spy novel since it's been so long since the last Slow Horses novel. This was a good read, and I will read more, but this was more like a murder mystery/police procedural than a spy novel, as the spying issue seems only peripheral to the main story.

Smiley is sent to interview a civil servant, Samuel Fennon , about potential communist contacts back when he was a student. The interview goes well, and Smiley is assured there's nothing untoward about Fennon. He tells Fennon all is well. But the next day, Fennon is dead, an apparent suicide, and his wife says he was upset and fearful about the interview with Smiley. On interviewing the wife, Smiley notices things that are inconsistent with the verdict of suicide that the police seem to have reached rather quickly. Smiley begins to investigate.

This was a short quick read. There are no shoot outs or car chases, just good sleuthing. Smiley is unassuming, calm, and deliberate. I will be reading more.

3 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Dec 31, 2023 |
This is the birth of Smiley as we know him in his later book. Short, fat with a moustache and nearing retirement, Smiley finds himself embroiled in the death of a man, Fennan, that he had just interviewed as a vetting procedure after a complaint.

Maston his chief, 'who wants a K', doesn't want the truth but for Smiley to just clear things up and move on. He can't however and goes to speak to Fennan's widow where stories and timelines start to unravel. The book is more novella than novel length and I did guess what had happened before the ending but was engaged enough not to worry about that.

I loved the first chapter A Brief History of George Smiley as it set out exactly what the title says and whilst you might be thinking why do we have this, it is a necessary part of the plot. I can't think of another book where I have been told upfront about the history of the protaganist quite so straightforwardly and I enjoyed it for the context whilst realising its intended relevance as you move through the story. We are also introduced to his rather tricky marriage to Lady Ann who at this point has run off with a Cuban race car driver. By the end of the book he is off to Switzerland to bring her back.

Le Carré's books have always had a focus on class and the morality of the characters and these are reflected in this book as well. Smiley is shown not to come from Eton and so on through his desire to have things done a particular way with the right wine and cutlery in the correct placements. Always a give away of someone who has been shown these things rather than grown up with them and who is quite relaxed about them. Lady Ann does not come across well, with a fair bit of repetition around the fact that no one could believe she was with Smiley, so eleagant and urbane and so unlike Smiley.

Enjoyable but not earth shattering. ( )
  allthegoodbooks | Dec 27, 2023 |
Is it weird that I'm diving back into the Cold War in an attempt to figure out what's going on? Probably, but it's still an excellent adventure. ( )
  GordCampbell | Dec 20, 2023 |
I wanted to read this book as the events in it are referenced so heavily in The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (and introduces George Smiley).

This is Le Carré's first novel, and it is clear why it is not as lauded as its great successor. It is more perfunctorily competent than grippingly immediate. Even the descriptions of post-war, pre-swinging London are nowhere near as caustically vivid (staying on the historical note, though, I did enjoy his depiction of how wartime allies then became idealogical enemies).

The plot, while still in the quasi-realistic style, feels more traditional than the later book - with policemen and spies chasing up leads and finding clues - complete with red herrings and chases through the fog. It's also very short.

The story is still interesting, and the characters are convincing and nicely depicted. If you just want to find a John Le Carré book to see what he's like, this isn't the one to start with. However, if you're fairly sure you'll read more regardless then it's worth your attention; it might even be worth reading this before The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, to get some more context, but it's definitely not essential. ( )
  thisisstephenbetts | Nov 25, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 106 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
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.
adicionada por John_Vaughan | editarGuardian UK, John Crace (Aug 9, 2012)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (9 possíveis)

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le Carré, Johnautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Marber, RomekDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pearson, DavidDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Taylor, MattArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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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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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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2 edições deste livro foram publicadas por Penguin Australia.

Edições: 0141198281, 0241962218

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