Gary Oldman and Colin Firth Star in a Film of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré

Set in the 1970s, TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY finds George Smiley (Gary Oldman*), a recently retired MI6 agent, doing his best to adjust to a life outside the secret service. However, when a disgraced agent reappears with information concerning a mole at the heart of the Circus, Smiley is drawn back into the murky field of espionage. Tasked with investigating which of his trusted former colleagues has chosen to betray him and theircountry, Smiley narrows his search to four suspects – all experienced, urbane, successful agents – but past histories, rivalries and friendships make it far from easy to pinpoint the man who is eating away at the heart of the British establishment.

The film stars Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, Benedict Cumberbatch and is directed by Tomas Alfredson.

*Old people may remember that Obi-Wan Kenobi starred in the BBC version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

From MSN UK:

“There’s a mole. Right at the top of the circus.” We’re beyond excited. This icy plunge into the depths of The Cold War is laced with espionage thrills. The cast is magnificent. The book is considered the pinnacle of Cold War fiction. It looks flawless, frankly.

Even the soundtrack is enough to give us the shakes. Gary Oldman is in the lead as the MI6 agent who is forced out of retirement to dig out the Soviet agent lodged in the echelons of MI6. But that’s far from all. Just look at the quality in the rest of the cast of agents and counter-agents: Tom Hardy, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Jones, John Hurt, Ciaran Hinds and loads more. The depth of the cast is astonishing.

Espionage is at it’s best when it’s in the Cold War. And this might just be the best trailer we’ve seen this year. Are we gushing over it too much at this point? We don’t care! It looks fantastic!


The novel:

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré

George Smiley, who is a troubled man of infinite compassion, is also a single-mindedly ruthless adversary as a spy.

Smiley and his people are facing a remarkable challenge: a mole – a Soviet double agent – who has burrowed his way in and up to the highest level of British Intelligence. His treachery has already blown some of their vital operations and their best networks. The mole is one of their own kind. But which one?

“A great thriller, the best le Carré has written” The Spectator

“John le Carré is the great master of the spy story . . . the constant flow of emotion lifts him above most novelists now practising” The Financial Times

“A stunning story” The Wall Street Journal

“Tinker, Tailor is as perfect a spy yarn as one is likely to find and a great novel on top of it.” Stephen L. Carter

Order your copy of the film tie-in edition of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy here.

The FlipBack edition of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy here.

Or the moody edition of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy here.

Finalists announced for The Man Booker International 2011

News from The Man Booker Prize website:

Thirteen writers have made it on to the judges’ list of finalists under serious consideration for the fourth Man Booker International Prize, the £60,000 award which recognises one writer for his or her achievement in fiction.

The authors come from eight countries, five are published in translation and there are four women on the list. One writer has previously won the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction and two have been shortlisted. Famously, another, John le Carré, asked that his books should not be submitted for the annual prize to give less established authors the opportunity to win.

The Finalists’ List is announced by the chair of judges, Rick Gekoski, at a press conference held at the University of Sydney, today Wednesday 30 March 2011 at 10.00 (EST).

The thirteen authors on the list are:

Wang Anyi (China)

Juan Goytisolo (Spain)

James Kelman (UK)

John le Carré (UK)

Amin Maalouf (Lebanon)

David Malouf (Australia)

Dacia Maraini (Italy)

Rohinton Mistry (India/Canada)

Philip Pullman (UK)

Marilynne Robinson (USA)

Philip Roth (USA)

Su Tong (China)

Anne Tyler (USA)

The judging panel for the Man Booker International Prize 2011 consists of writer, academic and rare-book dealer Dr. Rick Gekoski (Chair), publisher, writer and critic Carmen Callil, and award-winning novelist Justin Cartwright.

Announcing the list, Rick Gekoski comments:

‘The 2011 List of Finalists honours thirteen great writers from around the world. It is, we think, diverse, fresh and thought-provoking, and serves to remind us anew of the importance of fiction in defining both ourselves and the world in which we live. Each of these writers is a delight, and any of them would make a worthy winner.’

The Man Booker International Prize is awarded every two years to a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.

The winner is chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel; there are no submissions from publishers. Alice Munro won in 2009, Chinua Achebe in 2007 and Ismail Kadaré the inaugural prize in 2005. In addition, there is a separate award for translation and, if applicable, the winner may choose a translator of his or her work into English to receive a prize of £15,000.

The Man Booker International Prize winner will be announced at the Sydney Writers’ Festival on 18 May and the winner will be celebrated at an awards ceremony in London on 28 June 2011.

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UPDATE: from The Guardian

John le Carré has eyes off Booker prize

Veteran spy novelist John le Carré has asked to be removed from the list of nominees for a leading literary award.

John le Carré, who was unveiled as one of 12 writers in the running for the £60,000 Man Booker International Prize, said he was “enormously flattered” by the nomination, but did not compete for literary prizes.

The list, which also includes Philip Pullman and Scottish novelist James Kelman, was announced in Sydney.

Following the announcement, in a statement released by his literary agents Curtis Brown, John le Carré said: “I am enormously flattered to be named as a finalist of 2011 Man Booker International Prize. However, I do not compete for literary prizes and have therefore asked for my name to be withdrawn.” FULL story here

Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carré

John le Carré‘s latest novel, Our Kind of Traitor, is set in contemporary, recession gripped Britain. A left-leaning young Oxford academic and his barrister girlfriend take an off-peak holiday on the Caribbean island of Antigua. By seeming chance they bump into a Russian millionaire called Dima who owns a peninsula and a diamond-encrusted gold watch. He also has a tattoo on his right thumb, and wants a game of tennis.

What else he wants propels the young lovers on a tortuous journey through Paris to a safe house in the Swiss Alps, to the murkiest cloisters of the City of London and its unholy alliance with Britain’s Intelligence Establishment.

Those readers who have found post–cold war le Carré too cerebral will have much to cheer about with this Russian mafia spy thriller.

While on holiday in Antigua, former Oxford tutor Perry Makepiece and his lawyer girlfriend, Gail Perkins, meet Dmitri “Dima” Vladimirovich Krasnov, an avuncular Russian businessman who challenges Perry to a tennis match. Even though Perry wins, Dima takes a shine to the couple, and soon they’re visiting with his extended family. At Dima’s request, Perry conveys a message to MI6 in England that Dima wishes to defect, and on arriving home, Perry and Gail receive a summons from MI6 to a debriefing. Not only is Dima a Russian oligarch, he’s also one of the world’s biggest money launderers. Le Carré ratchets up the tension step-by-step until the sad, inevitable end.

His most accessible work in years, this novel shows once again why his name is the one to which all others in the field are compared.

Publishers Weekly 09/08/2010

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