John le Carré revisits old ground in a polished thriller with a distinct valedictory tone to it

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Friday September 1, 2017 at 7:54pm
Old age marks a rendezvous with reality that provokes timeless questions. At the end of John le Carré’s new novel, his greatest creation, George Smiley, observes that “an old spy in his dotage seeks the truth of ages”. As he approaches 86, David Cornwell, AKA John le Carré, still has to make a necessary rapprochement with his divided self, his past and its achievements. There are, no doubt, obscure and unreconciled regrets, obsessions and disappointments. But if you are lucky, as Cornwell has been, to retain your joie de vivre and your marbles, this final reckoning offers the resolution of an inner conflict. Le Carré has always loved German literature, and he knows his Heidegger: “Every man is born as many men, and dies as a single one.” https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/10/a-legacy-of-spies-john-le-carre-review
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