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10 thoughts on “Call for the Dead

  1. Bill Kerwin Bill Kerwin says:

    This first George Smiley novel—also the first for John le Carre—is not a spy novel really but like a murder mystery with spies in itYou see Smiley is ordered to conduct a routine security check on Samuel Fennan and since he sees no serious concerns in Fennan's past—just a little harmless wartime flirtation with communism—he reassures Fennan and they part in friendly fashion But soon Fennan is pronounced a suicide and Fennan's wife Elsa claims that after his interview with Smiley her husband was unusually despondent The higher ups want to stick Smiley with the blame for a botched interview and move on but Smiley who is not convinced this is a sucide becomes even less convinced when he answers the phone in Fennan's flat and receives a “reminder call” Fennan arranged with his service It just doesn't make sense Why would a person who intends to commit suicide one a specific night arrange for a reminder call for the morning after?Since this is a first novel it has its flaws For example Smiley and Police Inspector Mendel are both used as third person viewpoint characters but Mendel's first appearance as viewpoint is disorienting since it is far enough into the novel that we have identified ourselves with Smiley completely and le Carre has not used any of the novelistic tricks that would make such a transition less confusing and effective Also although le Carre's acerbic descriptions of many of the streets of London are precise and entertaining they are sometimes too long and thus retard the action and dissipate the suspenseStill Smiley is an intriguing narrator the characters of Elsa Fennan Inspector Mendel and the shady car dealer Adam Scarr are lifelike and convincing and the final confrontation and chase in a small London theatre and in the surrounding streets is suspenseful and exciting

  2. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    Call for the Dead The Deadly Affair John le Carré Call for the Dead is John le Carrés' first novel published in 1961 It introduces George Smiley the most famous of le Carrés' recurring characters in a story about East German spies inside Great Britain It also introduces a fictional version of British Intelligence called The Circus because of its location in Cambridge Circus that is apparently based on MI6 and that recurs throughout le Carrés' spy novels Call for the Dead was filmed as The Deadly Affair released in 1966Foreign Office civil servant Samuel Fennan apparently commits suicide after a routine security check by Circus agent George Smiley Smiley had interviewed and cleared Fennan only days previously after an anonymous accusation; because of this Circus head of service Maston sets up Smiley to be blamed for Fennans' deathWhile interviewing Fennans' wife Elsa in her home Smiley answers the telephone expecting the call to be for him It is a reuested 830 AM call from the telephone exchange Inspector Mendel a police officer on the verge of retirement who is investigating the Fennan case finds out that the call had been reuested by Fennan the night before When Elsa later tells Smiley that she reuested the call from the exchange Smiley becomes suspicious of her However Maston uneuivocally orders Smiley to refrain from any further investigation into Fennans' death Back in his office Smiley receives a letter posted by Fennan the night before reuesting an urgent meeting that day Believing that Fennan was murdered to prevent the meeting Smiley resigns from the Circus and attaches his resignation to Fennans' letter which he forwards to Mastonتاریخ نخستین خوانش سال 1994 میلادیعنوان آوای مرگ؛ نویسنده جان لوکاره؛ مترجم خسرو سمیعی؛ تهران، طرح نو، 1373؛ در 191ص؛ فروست مجموعه کتابهای سیاه؛ چاپ دوم 1389؛ شابک 9789644890741؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی سده 20مآنگاه که «لیدی آن سرکومب»، پس از پایان جنگ دوم جهانگیر، با «جرج اسمایلی» ازدواج کردند، به دوستانش در «میفر»، که از ازدواج او بسیار شگفت زده شده بودند، درباره ی شوهر خویش گفت که او آدمی است به طور غریبی معمولی ؛نقل از مصاحبه جان لو کاره با مجله اکسپرس سال 1969میلادی «دنیای جاسوسان در نظر من، ادامه ی دنیایی است که در آن زندگی میکنم، به همین جهت هم آنرا با پرسوناژهای خود میآرایم چون به هر حال، من رمان نویس هستم با تخیل عمل میکنم قصه تعریف میکنم»؛ پایان نقل ا شربیانی

  3. Candi Candi says:

    He learnt what it was never to sleep never to relax to feel at any time of day or night the restless beating of his own heart to know the extremes of solitude and self pity the sudden unreasoning desire for a woman for drink for exercise for any drug to take away the tension of his lifeWhile this isn’t my first John le Carré novel The Russia House holds that distinction it is in fact my first George Smiley book Call for the Dead is also the first in the series of the George Smiley novels and offers a very satisfying introduction to the surprisingly ordinary yet uite honorable little man When I say ‘little’ I mean in stature He’s no looker that’s a fact A James Bond type he is not Short fat and of a uiet disposition he appeared to spend a lot of money on really bad clothes which hung about his suat frame like skin on a shrunken toad I have a great image in my head of Smiley now and regardless of his looks I loved this man He’s not perfect who is? but he’s intelligent he has a conscience and he’s uite perceptive In a nutshell he is a British spy caught up in a case of intrigue involving the suicide of Samuel Fennan an employee of the Foreign Office in London who also happens to have affiliations with the Communist party But some things don’t appear to add up correctly according to Smiley’s calculations and he takes it upon himself to corroborate whether this was in fact a suicide Could there be something even sinister going on here? He teams up with Inspector Mendel to uncover the truth Those looking for a fast paced espionage thriller will likely be a bit disappointed by this one However if you like me prefer a literary type spy novel with well written and convincing characterizations then this should appeal That’s not to say there is no action here because there are certainly some wonderful moments of tension as well as some dramatic run ins with the villains of the story I found this to be smart and exciting enough to keep me completely immersed in the story throughout I’m uite certain I could never pull off a double life a life of secrets and treachery even if for a ‘good cause’ George Smiley is definitely the kind of intelligence officer I could buy into As I alluded to he is not without flaws and often reflects on his position and resultant lifestyle He mourns what life once was and perhaps could be if he had made another choice Always withdrawn he now found himself shrinking from the temptations of friendship and human loyalty; he guarded himself warily from spontaneous reaction By the strength of his intellect he forced himself to observe humanity with clinical objectivity and because he was neither immortal nor infallible he hated and feared the falseness of his lifeSince reading this first in the series I jumped to the renowned of the Smiley novels – The Spy Who Came In from the Cold although Smiley himself is not prominent throughout on that later It was excellent I will definitely circle back and try to read the one in between which I missed As a matter of fact I plan to read them all They’re that good Recommended to those that don’t mind a ‘old fashioned’ and literary type spy novel

  4. Brina Brina says:

    I am a huge fan of James Bond movies and books but had never entered the world of George Smiley written by John Le Carre When a few friends in the group reading for pleasure here on goodreads decided to read the Smiley books in order I decided to join them I enjoy reading mysteries or thrillers in between denser reads as a palette cleanser and having just read two Pulitzer winners back to back a short spy novel seemed like just what I needed to clear my head What ensued is Le Carre’s initial foray into Smiley’s world George Smiley is a member of England’s Foreign Office during the Cold War period The nation has no relations with East Germany and their working relationship with the Soviet Union is tenuous at best Smiley had been stationed as a literature professor in German universities before the war and saw firsthand the rise of fascism At the time because it was en Vogue Smiley dabbled in communism and reached out to students who he thought had potential as party members One of these students was a German Jew by the name of Dieter Frey who could have used the party as a means of escaping persecution Yet as Smiley fled Germany on the onset of war Frey had all but disappeared Fast forwarding fifteen years George Smiley is on the verge of retirement His wife left him for a Spanish race car driver and Smiley does not want to spend the rest of his life pushing papers for the British foreign service It is in this context that he receives a call that Samuel Fennan has committed suicide a Party member who had contact with Smiley in their Oxford days It is up to Smiley to crack the case which of course turns out to be murder rather than suicide We meet his colleagues Inspector Mendel same name as my so made me chuckle and Peter Guillam along with his boss Maston All three characters appear as though they will be along for the entire series Their dialogue is lighthearted as they attempt to crack whodunit in a case laced with international espionage and the return of old acuaintances It is up to Smiley to crack a potential international ring before murders happen On the surface Call for the Dead appears as the type of thriller that I would enjoy yet I wanted the action of James Bond and ended up with Hercule Poirot especially toward the novel’s ending moments As my buddy readers pointed out Smiley is cerebral and in the mold of an actual spy whereas Bond is all about action and many of his escapades might not occur in real life When I am reading about espionage I prefer the fast paced action scenes of Bond and that is what I was looking for in Smiley as well In the end Smiley gets his man and is offered a promotion It appears that the stage is set for the cast of characters to return and as they enjoyed a productive working relationship I am willing to give George Smiley a second try The Spy Who Came in From the Cold gained Le Carre international fame so I will give this first installment the benefit of the doubt At the end of the day I am always up for a good spy thriller 35 stars

  5. Jaline Jaline says:

    “Call For the Dead” is the first of 8 books in John Le Carre’s series featuring George Smiley Published in 1961 it is smart the writing brisk and contained and the story engaging Espionage and counter espionage – who is a spy? – who is being set up? This is a classic and written by an author who knew the ins and outs of national Intelligence and Security first hand This book is a very impressive and intelligent initial offering from an author whose stories have been revered for years and some of which made it onto the big screen as motion pictures I’m not a big fan of spy books or movies or I wasn’t until I read John Le Carre I think I will continue with the series to see what Mr George Smiley gets mixed up in next

  6. Lewis Weinstein Lewis Weinstein says:

    Introducing Smiley to the world this is of a detective story than a spy story except that the characters are spies There are two diversions from what I remember about le Carre's other novels at the beginning and the end amounting in each case to explanations of things telling that could have been much effective if included in the narrative showing But who am I to criticize le Carre? In between the story was excellent

  7. Susan Susan says:

    This is the first George Smiley novel and introduces us to the characters which as a reader you will come to love It is fair to say that Le Carre's spy novels are Harry Palmer than 007; he aims for realism and not fantasy which I find much intriguing Smiley is not attractive or dashing His ex wife the beautiful Lady Ann Seacomb caused surprise and gossip when they married she nicknamed him 'Toad' and unlike a Bond character who always gets the girl she leaves him for a Cuban motor racing drivingDespite Smiley's suat and unprepossing looks though he has something far attractive intelligence in abundance as well as great humanity and sensitivity to others When asked to interview Samuel Fennan at the Foreign Office who has been anonymously accused of being a communist sympathiser Smiley conducts the meeting with tact He even goes so far as to tell Fennan not to worry which is why he is so suprised when Fennan supposedly returns home devastated and later commits suicide Something does not add up and Smiley sets out to find out what really happened This is a world of real danger where Smiley is almost killed and others murdered where people are really hurt and suffer the conseuences of their actions A really intelligent novel and a great introduction to the Smiley books

  8. DeAnna Knippling DeAnna Knippling says:

    There has been a lot of blah di blah about who the literary successor for Jane Austin should be Well it's too late; it's John Le Carre Just because he happens to write Cold War thrillers doesn't mean that every word isn't infused with the same sense of humor the same love of the ordinary the same lovely tendency to linger with friends whether they be seemingly mundane characters or sentences themselvesWhen Lady Ann Sercomb married George Smiley towards the end of the war she described him to her astonished Mayfair friends as breathtakingly ordinary When she left him two years later in favour of a Cuban motor racing driver she announced enigmatically that if she hadn't left him then she never could have done; and Viscount Sawley madde a special journey to his club to observe the cat was out of the bagTell me that this couldn't have been the start to a lost Jane Austen novel Just tryAn absolute gem

  9. Jason Koivu Jason Koivu says:

    Some of the most elegant spy genre books I've ever read

  10. Jaksen Jaksen says:

    Well I wanted to read 'some le Carre' so I went to the beginning the first George Smiley book Glad I did I've been looking for a replacement for good old Reggie Wexford the police inspector from Ruth Rendell's wonderful series and here he is sort of Both George and Reggie are kind of old grumpy overweight men and geniuses at their profession Reggie does police investigations; George does spies They both go after the bad guys and they always get'emIn this book Smiley interviews a fairly low level clerk working in intelligence because an anonymous letter accuses the man of possibly being a double agent of selling secrets of trading information and what have you Smiley clears the fellow; the fellow ends up committing suicide Or does he? Now some reviewers have claimed this story is nothing than a mystery with a few spies in it but no I so disagree We have an East German operative who has a history with Smiley; there's also the dead man's wife who's an odd duck if nothing else; there's a business in a warehouse which is KNOWN to harbor spies and which the authorities are keeping a close watch on It's a short novel but complex in its own rightI enjoyed Smiley's trucking about I can see him plodding up the fogbound streets being ignored by everyone who passes by with none realizing what a brain is under that old hoary head and figuring out what's going on and why Most of his information is gathered the old fashioned way talk talk talk to someone until that someone lets drop a hint or forgets a previous lie or tells Smiley 'what happened' in a subtly different way He notices things; he's a man of detail which I rather enjoy So overall a very interesting and satisfying readOne thing I didn't get the idea of a 'phone exchange' even though I come from the era of dial phones party lines crossed lines and dialing 'O' for operator My family's first phone number had FOUR digits But I figured out what the 'exchange' was doing eventuallyAnyhow I'm going to dive into the whole Smiley series and am already reading the second oneD

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Call for the Dead ➽ [Reading] ➿ Call for the Dead By John le Carré ➲ – After a routine security check by George Smiley civil servant Samuel Fennan apparently kills himself When Smiley finds Circus head Maston is trying to blame him for the man's death he begins his own i After a routine security check by George Smiley civil servant Samuel Fennan apparently kills himself When Smiley finds Circus head Maston is trying to blame him for Call for eBook à the man's death he begins his own investigation meeting with Fennan's widow to find out what could have led him to such desperation But on the very day that Smiley is ordered off the enuiry he receives an urgent letter from the dead man Do the East Germans and their agents know about this man's death than the Circus previously imaginedLe Carré's debut novel Call for the Dead introduced the tenacious and retiring George Smiley in a gripping tale of espionage and deceit.

  • Paperback
  • 160 pages
  • Call for the Dead
  • John le Carré
  • English
  • 15 March 2016
  • 9780141198286