Monday, December 12, 2011

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Almost Perfect, But For The Politics

Andrew Roberts at the Daily Beast likes the new film version of thriller writer John le Carre's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, but he dislikes the anti-American, anti-west politics.

The new movie version of "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" is as good as cinema gets: subtle, taut, intelligent, gripping. The normally jaded audience at the theater where I watched on the Upper West Side of Manhattan burst into unaccustomed applause at the end. Because the book was written by the now obsessively anti-American John le Carré, it had the inevitable despicable moral equivalency one has come to expect from his work (more on that later), but stylistically, the film could hardly be bettered.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

I liked the novel and the TV miniseries based on the novel. And despite having the same objections as Andrew Roberts, I plan to see the film as well.

I wrote about le Carre's spy world in a previous post that responded to le Carre's unfair attack on the late Ian Fleming.

As for le Carre’s realism, I’ve spokened to a good number of former and current CIA and military intelligence officers who object strongly to the moral ambiguity found in his novels. Most Cold War intelligence officers were, like Bond, patriots who were dedicated to fighting communism.

British, American and other Western intelligence officers were certainly not like their utterly ruthless KGB and Eastern bloc counterparts who were defending a totalitarian, evil empire. There was a moral distinction between the Cold Warriors that you will not find not in a le Carre novel.

William F. Buckley Jr, the late author, columnist and political talk show host, noted that films and novels in the 1960s and 1970s often portrayed CIA officers as no better than the KGB.

Having served briefly as a CIA officer, he objected. Buckley, who wrote his own series of spy thrillers, believed the CIA and the Western intelligence services were a force for good in the Cold War. I agree.

You can read the rest of my piece via the below link:

You can also read my Philadelphia Inquirer review of John le Carre's latest novel via the below link:

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