IN FROM THE COLD WAR

JOHN LE CARRE'S IRRESISTIBLE NEW NOVEL DISPATCHES TWO EX-SPIES AND A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG WOMAN INTO LITERAL AND ETHICAL RUBBLE

AMID SO MUCH EVIDENCE to the contrary, one sign suggests that the U.S. is not totally dumbing down: the continuing popularity of John le Carre's novels. He has been making best-seller lists for more than 30 years-ever since The Spy Who Came in from the Cold revolutionized espionage fiction-and he has done so with none of the typical thriller trappings. Evil geniuses do not hold the world hostage in his books; violence takes place off-page; and if there is sex, it is wistful rather than graphic, tinged with the foreknowledge that pleasure seldom lasts.

What Le Carre offers readers instead of...

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