Free Download | The Looking Glass War | John Le Carre

Setting mood and tone is something many modern authors spend little time on; in contrast, Le Carre is a master of this style. The books of Le Carre are becoming historical fiction in their approach to setting the specific atmosphere of the Cold War Era with the fear of Russian interference and reprisal. Without the quality of writing of John Le Carre, this might have become a lost era and with it, the fears and apprehensions of the British and Americans towards the Eastern Bloc are vividly manifested in his writings. In this story, the next after his blockbuster "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold", Le Carre builds on the fears of a simple inter-agency competition after one receives word that the Russians might be installing a rocket silo in Germany. The Circus, the vaunted organization led by George Smiley has everything. However,another agency, once in glamour, but now nearly torn down twenty years after the war, begins the competition for money, attention, and popularity from the British Government.

This is a simple tale of how a small piece of information that comes into the hands of a broken down directorate of postwar Britain allowed it to turn to fear-mongering and therefore to increase its importance. The difficulty of dealing with an agent's death in a foreign country without the proper personnel in place leads a group of "has-beens" into the foray of British Intelligence. This is a story of three different agents and the washed up agency that is attempting to take this tidbit of information and utilize it to build a rival organization to the Circus. LeCarre is very devious with the way in which the reader is manipulated into wondering whether on not the Circus watches from a distance or is pulling the strings.

Le Carre is superb at providing all of the minor details that can mean the difference between life and death. The training and the insertion of the agent are classic Le Carre. This is not a quick moving story nor is it going to pull most readers into it like a story written by Robert Ludlum. But nowhere are you going to find a better example of what the real spy world was like during this very important time period called the Cold War.