I felt quite behind on movie watching at the Academy Awards, but I have managed to go to the movies a couple of times since my daughter Mélanie was born (Mélanie cooperated by sleeping in my lap). One of the movies we saw was Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. I loved it, despite having vivid memories of the miniseries with Alec Guinness. In fact, watching the movie I was amazed at how well I remembered the story. Names of characters, plot twists, and even fragments of dialogue came back to me.
I was fourteen when I saw the original Tinker, Tailor (which led me to the book), and I was fascinated. In fact, watching the movie I realized that this story began my fascination with spies whether it's Le Carré's murky world of moral ambiguity, James Bond adventures, or Lauren's flower spies (just finished and loved The Garden Intrigue). Spies play roles (in The Garden Intrigue Lauren's spies are actually putting on a masque). Only spies roles don't end when the curtain comes down. And those roles inevitably involve telling lies - to the enemy, sometimes to their own people. Watching Tinker, Tailor, I also realized how often the political betrayal in spy stories is juxtaposed to romantic betrayal. The new Tinker, Tailor movie emphasizes this beautifull. As George Smiley searches for the mole in MI6, recurring flashbacks to a Christmas party reveal more personal betrayals. Len Deighton's Bernard Samson books also juxtapose betrayal of one's country with betrayal of one's spouse. The Bernard Samon books were one of my inspirations for my Malcolm & Suzanne/Charles & Mélanie books. But watching Tinker, Tailor I realized the inspiration went back to my fourteen-year-old self, drinking in a story that fascinated me even though parts of it seemed too adult to quite understand.
Do you like spy stories? What do you think the allure is? What are some of your favorites?