Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Twit

We've been watching Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Brilliant acting by thespian God Guinness and the rest, great claustrophobic smoky atmosphere, perfect length of episodes...

But what the bloody blimey are they on about? I was fine for the first two episodes, but then I found myself in a fog of Witchcraft and Merlin and Operation Testify and which one is which out of Alleline, Haydon, Bland and Esterhase, and which adverts did the bloke with the nice voice do voiceovers for?

Halfway through the final episode I consult Wikipedia's plot summary which helps a great deal but still leaves me wanting to read the book.

Of course it's not in the library so we head to our local cheap but crap bookshop. I forge ahead to the "L" section, on a mission.

And there I see several copies of the book pictured above.

"Ooh, look," I say to Betty in a silly, high voice. "It's Abi Titmuss!"

Betty doesn't reply. I turn as a woman walks closely past me, avoiding eye contact.

And I see Betty, ten yards away, over by the Classics.

There is no le Carre.


  1. Tinker Tailor has been withdrawn from print because smoky atmospheres have been outlawed under EU regulations.

  2. Make sure you buy the trilogy while you are at it.
    And read them before you attempt to watch the TV series.
    This is only advice, not a commandment, in case you were worried.
    In fact, buy all of his books. He is the best writer in the UK over the last 30 years, I think.

  3. Murphmeister - I'm glad I got my Complete Sherlock Holmes in time, then.

    Vicus - On the basis of your track record (the Harlan Coben recommendation), I've just ordered Quest For Karla on Amazon. I'm sure it won't go through our letterbox and will be left with the man next door and we will have another long discussion about diy. As for the tv series - they didn't trust Patrick Stewart's Russian accent did they?

  4. I can remember being confused when I first saw it, too. Lots of walking about, I seem to remember. No excuse for losing it in The Works though. Haven't read the books, I may well do now.

  5. Geoff...thankyou for that lovely little play you wrote on my blog.

    I often do that in shops...start saying things aloud and then realise that someone is actually listening to me. Abi Titmus? GWABigGob...they are the same person aren't they?

  6. Richard - Some good school scenes, too. As good as Kes...The Works?

    Molly - Except Abi Titimuss doesn't kiss and tell. The blurb on the back of the book says she meets Blog Boy. Does she fall in love? Who on earth can Blog Boy be? Anybody wanna be Abby's Blog Boy? Any takers? Anybody?

  7. Mr Bloggy?

    Bloggy Bloggy Bloggy.

  8. Geoff, the Works must be a Northern thing. Try Sussex Stationers.

  9. Yes, Sussex Stationers it is.

    Good for greetings cards, not so good for books.

    Whereas WH Smith - not much good for anything nowadays.

  10. Le Carre - good
    WH Smith - used to be good, I kind of flit towards Paperchase these days.
    Blog Boy - oooh the mystery

  11. I thought Blog Boy might have been you, Billy.

    I know that's the fictional part of the book but it involves a lot of sofa sidling.

    Paperchase for those special cards, definitely.

  12. The whole GWAOTM thing.. is that dead and buried over there?
    I know that quite a few people thought or atleast suspected that her blog was ghostwritten by some big hairy shutin nerd pretending to be a nymphomaniac...but it was all..
    dare I think it let alone say it....
    real?! *sigh*

    Great wide angle view of the literary spectrum.