Festival of Books
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Alec Guinness
John le Carré's 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' reissued
John le Carré's 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' reissued

During the writing of an early draft of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," recalls John le Carré in an introduction to his classic spy novel, now reissued by Penguin Books along with a selection of his other works, he was banging his head against the wall. For a long time, he tried to make the story of a quest to ferret out a double agent in the British secret service succeed without flashbacks. After months of frustration, Le Carré took the manuscript into his garden and burned it. Such is the diligence of the master craftsman. Then he went back to work with a new take. The version of the book that he completed and published in 1974 — now regarded as perhaps the...