John le Carré’s cameo in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (at 1:15:55, approx; via deareje). I love John le Carré’s books more than almost any other author’s – he’s in my top three writers of great, great reads.
I didn’t spot this cameo in the film tonight (at Reserva Cultural, Avenida Paulista, São Paulo), but I saw him – ‘Christmas party guest’ – in the credits. And here he was, on the right, at the spies’ Christmas party. A good film, if not brilliant – it was a little hard to follow the plot at times. They’re such rich, complicated stories he tells. But the acting and the atmosphere were impeccable, and the score was fantastic.
If you’ve never read a le Carré book, please do. He’s out there on his own, using espionage as the foundation for stories about complex, unusual characters grappling with huge questions. A bit like Graham Greene in that sense – another of my all-time favourite writers. The ones that stand out in my mind, of le Carré’s, are The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, and also the later book, maybe for a later reader of le Carré, The Night Porter. And – maybe the first book I read of his, just incredible story-telling – The Little Drummer Girl.