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John le Carré left behind a novel, ‘Silverview.’ Does it live up to the spy master’s reputation?


It’s fitting that “Silverview” should arrive the same month as the latest James Bond 007 movie, “No Time to Die.” In Bond films audiences get a cartoon depiction of spycraft, with triumphs that are plain to see. A le Carré book, in contrast, is so rich — beyond the intricate, perfectly crafted story lines and brisk writing — because his spies, while enmeshed in or at least at the edge of grand moments of world affairs, are engaged in a more nuanced calling, with outcomes that may not even be clear to themselves. They are often beleaguered victims of office politics — one misstep away from being put out to pasture. They tend to be cuckolds, loners, misfits and other non-Bondian sorts — wary of each other almost as much as they are of the Crown’s enemies.

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