... has already been casting back the image of the staggering sales racked up by The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. This one has been run in the April and May issues of Ladies Home Journal attracting the biggest masculine readership to that magazine since the days of Edward Bok. It has been tapped as the September selection of the Literary Gulid. Columbia Pictures has purchased screen rights. The publishers are planning a first printing of 100,000 copies and major promotion. After all this wouldn't it be awful if the book didn't stand up? No fear, it does. John Le Carre dominates the espionage form as no other writer has since Eric Ambler was at his peak. In an era of overweight, undertalented best sellers, he offers sparely written, tightly plotted novels. At a time when Jemes Bond, Master Spy, has become the biggest laugh since Tarzan of the Apes, the author's spies are believable, tremendously cross pressured, average size men. Avery is the central figure here (although George Smiley, the favorite of the first novels, does appear). He's young, inexperienced, but not inept. His assignment is to recover the film purchased by an agent Just before he was murdered in Finland. The petty office politics of Avery's agency, the ambitions and the irritability of his colleagues and directors, come across like a failing, company's coffee break and add to the story tension. The ambivalence of the agents about their work and its anti-ethical aspects lifts this to the thinking man's level of reflective relaxation.