"Still, if less masterly than either the Karla trilogy or The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, this is a much plainer, finer accomplishment than The Little Drummer Girl—while the long memoir sections allow le Carré to write his richest, most unabashedly Dickensian prose yet: occasionally self-conscious or precious, often stirring, magical, gravely joyous."
The "perfect spy" in this bitter, stately le Carré novel—more character-study than thriller—is Magnus Pym, 50-ish, a senior spymaster for Britain, based in Vienna. . .but now, suddenly, disappeared, after returning to England for the funeral of his old father, Rick.
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