Le Carre is the best spy novelist ever and truly a modern master of literature. Tinker Tailor takes the reader on a journey through the murky labyrinths of british intelligence as the antihero Smiley, a plump, confused, betrayed, but deceptively steely and intelligent spy, ferrets out a mole burrowed into the highest levels of British Intelligence by his Soviet nemesis, Karla. The themes of betrayal, downfall, and the inescapable immorality of spying permeate this finely written book, while the challenge of discovering, with Smiley, who the mole is, captures the reader from the start. Le Carre's character developement is superior to almost any writer, living or dead, and the complexity of the mole, Smiley, Connie Sachs, and a host of other characters adds another superior facet. Finally, Le Carre's use of wonderfully quaint terminology, with "moles", "legmen", "burrowers", "the circus", and others making frequent appearances, spices up the book. The best spy book I have ever read, and I have read every book by Forsyth, Higgings, Clancy, and Craig, and almost every Ludlum. This may be a great spy book, but it is also an outstanding work of literature, like its two successors, and is a classic in every respect. Everyone should read it who has a mind and appreciation for a nobly done turn of phrase. However, this book isn't for the James Bond Boom Boom kiss the girl and fly off sort- requires thought!