Monday, January 30, 2006

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

As previously mentioned, I read The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, by John le Carré. And it was good—but not as good as I was expecting, unfortunately.

The book was the first “big” book that le Carré wrote, and I think the reason it is such a classic is that it opened up the spy genre a bit, and made it a bit more realistic. Frankly, the book is good—better than most of the “spy” or “thriller” novels out there—it’s just not up to le Carré’s standards, compared to the other books I’ve read by him. Which isn’t exactly a condemnation of this book; of course the other books are better. He wrote them after he wrote this one, and he got better with the years.

Funnily enough, after I read this book, I started reading The Da Vinci Code, and I’ve been warned by numerous people: the plot is good, the writing sucks. So I fully expected to be blogging about it to the same effect. But I’m about a quarter of the way through it, and I don’t actually find the writing that bad. (Except for the dialog—it’s pretty bad.) But I mentioned that to Andrea, and she just said that I haven’t got to the bad part yet, so I guess it’s going to get worse as I go.