Since the heyday of Ian Fleming’s fantasy superspy James Bond, the novels of John le Carré have held up to readers across the world a sombre, fascinating picture of decline, deception and ethical ambiguity. In this study, originally published in 1986, the first to include an interpretation of A Perfect Spy, Eric Homberger argues that within the tradition of the spy thriller of John Buchan and ‘Sapper’ a ‘space’ was created by Somerset Maugham, Eric Ambler and Graham Greene for serious writing. From The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1963) to The Little Drummer Girl (1983) and A Perfect Spy (1986), le Carré has used that space to make a searching investigation of the nature of post-Imperial Britain. In the process he has become the peer of Conrad and Greene in the recognition that the spy novel is a literary form capable of the highest artistic seriousness.
General Editors’ Preface. Acknowledgements. A Note on the Texts. Introduction. 1. Spies and Spy Stories 2. Closed Communities 3. The Reasonable Man at War 4. Families. Bibliography.
Routledge Library Editions: Modern Fiction (26 volume set) contains titles originally published between 1977 and 1997. It includes titles on the roles of women in literature, fantasy as a genre, a source guide to science fiction and many titles by renowned academics looking at specific novelists, the progression of their work and how it has been influential within modern fiction. Covering writers such as Iris Murdoch, John le Carré, Doris Lessing, Kurt Vonnegut and others, this collection will be of particular interest to students of literature and literary criticism.