1.16 | Sophie Hannah, John le Carré & Mt. Cleverest


This week Lee reviews A Game For All the Family by Sophie Hannah, and asks listeners to tell her who to read next! Eddie compares two classic spy novels with le Carré vs Fleming in a head to head grudge match! Who will win Eddie’s preference? Does Lee know who James Bond is?? Does Spy Fi count as mystery?? Will Eddie ever stop interrupting Lee??? There is no telling what answers (if any) lie in this week’s episode!

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  1. Le Carre is more subdued on purpose because he tries to depict the ambiguities in Cold War espionage. Bond is definately more “Hollywood” (le Carre hated this). Ironically, Fleming was much higher up in British intelligence.

    1. Absolutely! LeCarre’s whole atmosphere is what makes him so effective! So funny about Fleming, I guess he was able to romanticise fieldwork with a bit of distance?

      1. Fleming was in Psychological Operations, so there’s a question if he deliberately made James Bond the way he is to cover real spies. Probably a bit of romanticism and not wanting to give any hints away to the Soviets during the Cold War.

  2. Luv Le Carre! Just finished “Smiley’s People” for a class in grad school…he really was the master of spy-fi!
    Bond is great in a more entertaining way. But for pure plot weave and character development, Le Carre was the man!

    1. I am really keen to read more LeCarre! I’d absolutely love to hear your recs!
      It might just be me, but I didn’t find Casino Royal that engaging? Would you say it’s worth trying another one?

      1. Hi eddie,
        I wud say yes, but only if it intrigues u in the first 50 pages. If not , toss it and try something else. There’s so much out there to read!
        And I’m glad you enjoy my recs.

      2. Brilliant! I have a hard time putting books down, even when they’re not too good, so it’s good to be reminded that I can! 🙂

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