Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

I read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy last year. It was published in 1974, and there have been at least two films based on it. I watched the 2011 film “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy“, the one with Gary Oldman, a few years ago. Both versions tell essentially the same story, but the two are very different.

John le CarrĂ©’s novel is structured around a mystery, but the mystery is really a simple one, and its purpose seems mainly to provide a framework with which to examine the emotional impact to everyone involved of an act of disloyalty and treason. Tomas Alfredson’s film is much more a spy thriller, with the array of human emotions serving only to raise the tension of the mystery.