John le Carré

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Posted by pompos 04/20/2009 @ 14:09

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Four Ways Leaders Can Stay on Top of the Issues - Bloomberg
"The desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world," wrote novelist John Le Carre. Le Carre (pen name of David Cornwell) was referring to international espionage but his comment is equally valid for any senior leader....
Billionaire Indian Tycoon Stars in John le Carré Novel Come to Life - Gawker
Let's see, a technician working for one of the most powerful billionaires in India reports that somebody tried to sabotage the guy's helicopter to kill him, then the technician is mysteriously killed. Real, no movie: The billionaire is Anil Ambani....
Who needs a desk anyway? - SmartBrief
John Le Carre had spies in mind when he wrote that "A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world," but the same applies to leaders, observes John Baldoni. To master your business, he writes, you've got to study, listen, inspect and follow...
History won't allow us to let sleeping dogs lie - Times Online
Indeed, the word “mole” was coined by John le Carré, capturing the silent, apparently innocuous burrower deep in the Establishment, undermining its foundations. Yet the great postwar mole-hunt, launched after the defections of Kim Philby,...
'Dust and Shadow' by Lyndsay Faye - Los Angeles Times
As no less a novelist and creator of memorable characters than John le Carré writes in his concise (but splendid) introduction to Leslie S. Klinger's two-volume annotated collection of Holmes' stories: "Dr. Watson doesn't write to you, he talks to you,...
Books in Brief - Toronto Sun
By YVONNE CRITTENDEN By Olen Steinhauer Shades of John le Carre and Len Deighton. This new book by Olen Steinhauer ranks right up there with the masters of spy novels. It features a retired CIA agent, Milo Weaver, a former 'Tourist',...
Internationally Lauded British Novelist Releases New Thriller on ... - PR Newswire (press release)
If John le Carre took on Vatican politics, his book of suspense might aspire to be much like this one," says Ron Hansen, author of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Mariette in Ecstasy. British literary biographer, Joseph...
Was The Perfect Spy A Double Agent? - CBS News
And this story of war, deception and murder has a plot worthy of a John le Carre novel. Thirty-five years ago, the armies of Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack against the state of Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year....
Reporter Says Critics Defamed Her After Report on AIDS in Harper's - Courthouse News Service
... issue of Harper's, "Out of Control: AIDS and the Corruption of Medical Science," which alleged widespread corporate and governmental corruption during a Ugandan trial of the drug nevirapine, "with eerie echoes of John Le Carré's Constant Gardener....
Clough's War, by Don Shaw - Independent
An award-winning scriptwriter, Shaw dramatises the increasingly bitter confrontations between Clough and Sam Longson, Derby's dour chairman, very well – an account of secret meetings, complete with passwords, reads like a John le Carré novel....

John le Carré

John le Carré in Hamburg (10 November 2008)

John le Carré (pseudonym of David John Moore Cornwell) (born 19 October 1931) is an English author of espionage novels, several of which have been adapted for film and television. He worked for MI5 and MI6 in the 1950s and 1960s, before leaving the secret service to devote himself to writing after the success of The Spy Who Came In from the Cold.

Rick Pym, father of Magnus, the central character of A Perfect Spy, is also a con-man and schemer.

He began his formal schooling at St. Andrew's preparatory school near Pangbourne, Berkshire, and continued at Sherborne School but he was unhappy there with the harsh regime typical of English public schools at that time, and dropped out. He also disliked his housemaster, Thomas, who was a strong disciplinarian. From 1948–49, he studied foreign languages at the University of Berne.

In 1950 le Carré joined the British Army's Intelligence Corps in Austria, where his German proved useful in interrogating people who had fled westward across the Iron Curtain. In 1952 he returned to England to study at Lincoln College, Oxford where he carried out secret assignments for MI5, which included joining far-left groups in order to collect information about possible Soviet agents.

When his father went bankrupt in 1954, le Carré had to leave Oxford to teach at a boy's prep school. However, he was able to return to Oxford a year later, where he graduated with a First Class Honours B.A. degree in 1956. He then taught French and German at Eton College for two years before joining MI5 as a full-time official in 1958. His work in MI5 consisted of running agents, conducting interrogations, tapping phones, and performing authorized break-ins.

He started his first novel, Call For The Dead, while employed in the operational section of MI5, encouraged by Lord Clanmorris (who wrote crime novels under the pen-name of John Bingham). Lord Clanmorris was one of the two men - Vivian H. H. Green was the other - who inspired le Carré's most famous character, George Smiley. Green first met Cornwell as a schoolboy when he was the Chaplain and Assistant Master at Sherborne School (1942–1951), and then later as Rector at Lincoln's College.

In 1960, le Carré transferred to the foreign-intelligence service, MI6, working under the diplomatic cover of the Second Secretary in the British Embassy in Bonn. Then he was transferred to Hamburg as a political consul. There le Carré wrote his next 2 books: A Murder of Quality, a detective story, and The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, which became an all-time best-seller after its publication in 1963. Cornwell wrote under his pseudonym of John le Carré because it was not acceptable for members of the Foreign Office to publish under their own names. He left the service in 1964 to focus on writing full-time. John is Le Carré's second forename, whilst the words "le carré" mean "the square" in French.

His work was affected by Kim Philby, a British double agent (one of the Cambridge Five), who blew the cover of dozens of British agents to the KGB, David Cornwell among them. Years later, le Carré carefully depicted and analysed Philby's weakness and deceit in the guise of "Gerald" the mole, who is hunted by George Smiley in the central novel of le Carré's work, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Then followed the revelation that fictional spymaster George Smiley was modeled on Vivian H. H. Green.

In 1954, he married Alison Ann Veronica Sharp; they had three sons, Simon, Stephen and Timothy. They divorced in 1971. In 1972, he married Valérie Jane Eustace, a book editor with Hodder & Stoughton; this marriage produced one son, Nicholas, who writes as Nick Harkaway.

In 1964 he won the Somerset Maugham Award, an award established by Maugham to enable British authors under the age of 35 to enrich their writing by spending time abroad.

Le Carré has resided in St Buryan, Cornwall, Great Britain, for more than forty years where he owns a mile of cliff close to Land's End.

Nearly all of his novels fall in the spy-thriller genre, with a particular emphasis on the Cold War. One notable exception is The Naïve and Sentimental Lover, which has autobiographical elements based on the author's relationship with James and Susan Kennaway following the breakdown of his first marriage.

Le Carré's first two novels, Call for the Dead and A Murder of Quality, closely follow the mystery fiction approach, where the emphasis is on a complex riddle that hero George Smiley must solve. In later, longer works, such as The Honourable Schoolboy and The Night Manager, Le Carré approaches his material more as novelist and less as a mystery writer, focusing on the in-depth development of his characters.

Le Carré's work is in many ways a critical and reasoned response to the lurid sensationalism of the James Bond genre of spy writing. His heroes are three-dimensional, their engagement with the world is more realistic, and their circumstances are markedly unglamorous. There is little of the action thriller in his stories, no high-tech gadgetry and only a limited degree of violence; the drama comes primarily in the intensive mental activity of his protagonists. In some novels, such as A Small Town in Germany, almost the entire story unfolds in the form of dialogue between the major characters. Le Carré is widely hailed as writing some of the most literary and philosophically significant genre fiction of the 20th century.

His works also differ from the Bond books in that they are morally complex; there are constant reminders of the fallibility of western espionage systems and western countries in general, often with the implication that the Soviet bloc and the NATO bloc are essentially two sides of the same coin. The simplicity of the good-versus-SMERSH or SPECTRE world of Ian Fleming has no place in Le Carré's work, where the spies seem to serve espionage more than any ideology. Le Carré is more interested in the uncertainty inherent in spycraft—the most unimpeachable information from the enemy might always prove to be bait or a trap, a logic that tends to render the information obtained far less useful. In short, his books leave behind an unmistakable air of scepticism.

A Perfect Spy, Le Carré's most autobiographical novel, deals with the author's peculiar relationship with his father. Lynndianne Beene, the author of a biography of le Carré, describes Richard Cornwell as "an epic con man of little education, immense charm, extravagant tastes, but no social values". Beene quotes le Carré's reflection on the novel that "writing A Perfect Spy is probably what a very wise shrink would have advised".

Le Carre is also the author of The Unbearable Peace, a lengthy non-fiction account of Jean-Louis Jeanmaire.

In 1965, Martin Ritt directed the first film adaptation of a John le Carré novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, featuring Richard Burton as "Alec Leamas", the novel's protagonist. In 1966, Sidney Lumet directed The Deadly Affair, a film of the novel Call for the Dead (George Smiley was renamed Charles Dobbs, played by James Mason). In 1969, Frank Pierson directed the film of The Looking Glass War.

In 1979, the BBC adapted the first novel in the Quest for Karla trilogy, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, for television. Alec Guinness led an all-star cast as "George Smiley", and in 1981 Guinness reprised the role in the BBC's adaptation of Smiley's People, the trilogy's last novel. The trilogy's middle novel, The Honourable Schoolboy, a story about Jerry Westerby (Joss Ackland in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), was not adapted as the BBC thought a production in South East Asia would be prohibitively expensive.

In 1984, Diane Keaton was The Little Drummer Girl. In 1987, A Perfect Spy was adapted for television starring Peter Egan and Ray McAnally. In 1990, Sean Connery was "Barley Blair" in Fred Schepisi's film of The Russia House. In 2001, another former cinema James Bond Pierce Brosnan was the spy in The Tailor of Panama.

In 1991, A Murder of Quality was adapted by Gavin Millar for television, starring Denholm Elliott as Smiley. Joss Ackland appeared as yet another friend of Smiley's, this time named Terence Fielding.

Tom Baker played "Barley" Blair in a BBC radio adaptation of The Russia House first broadcast in 1994.

In 2005, the film of The Constant Gardener was released, based on the novel of the same name set in slums in Kibera and Loiyangalani, Kenya. The poverty so affected the film crew that they set up the Constant Gardener Trust to provide basic education to those villages. John le Carré is a patron of the charity.

He has turned down a number of awards, including a knighthood. He is the author of a testimonial in The Future of the NHS (2006) (ISBN 1858113695) edited by Dr. Michelle Tempest.

Le Carré has had a long-running feud with the author Salman Rushdie, arguing that the publication of Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses, as an affront to Muslim sensibilities, predictably put Rushdie and other people connected with the publication in danger. Rushdie in turn accused le Carré of misunderstanding his work and siding with those who imposed a fatwa on him, forcing him into hiding.

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Spy fiction

The genre of spy fiction—sometimes called political thriller or spy thriller or sometimes shortened simply to spy-fi—arose before World War I at about the same time that the first modern intelligence agencies were formed. The Dreyfus Affair contributed to public interest in the subject. For a whole decade, an affair involving the operations of spies and counter-spies held center stage in the politics of a major European country, and was widely and continually reported all over the world. The details of German Intelligence having an agent in the French Army's General Staff and getting through him important military secrets, and of French counter-intelligence riposting by getting a charwoman to go through the wastebaskets of the German Embassy in Paris, were the stuff of daily news - and natually inspired fictional tales involving similar themes.

Seldom has this literary field met with critical acclaim, although insightful, literate, and politically important works have been published in it. At the same time, it has enjoyed great popular success.

Readership waned only in the lull following the end of the Cold War (the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989). The 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States reignited interest and have reversed that trend. Some pundits are referring to the current era as the Decade of the Spy and pointing to the renaissance in spy fiction and film as two of the indicators of this.

Early spy novels include James Fenimore Cooper's The Spy (1821) and The Bravo (1831); Rudyard Kipling's Kim (1901), which was based on The Great Game (espionage and politics) between Europe and Asia and centered in Afghanistan; and Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel (1905), recounting the undercover exploits of an English aristocrat's attempts to rescue French aristocrats during the French Revolution, while Robert Erskine Childers's novel The Riddle of the Sands (1903) defined the spy novel for the pre–First World War era.

While Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes is mainly remembered as a protagonist of detective fiction, several of the stories are actually early examples of the spy genre. In "The Naval Treaty", "The Second Stain" and "The Bruce-Partington Plans", Holmes protects vital British secrets from foreign spies, while in "His Last Bow" he is himself a double agent feeding false information to the Germans on the eve of World War I.

Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent (1907) was a more serious look at espionage and its consequences, both for individuals and society. It includes a close study of a small group of revolutionaries and their terrorist plot to blow up the Greenwich Observatory. The result is failure and a series of personal tragedies.

The most widely read spy-fiction writer was William Le Queux, whose ordinary prose has since relegated his works to used-book stores, but who was Britain's highest-selling author during the pre–World War I years; the second greatest selling spy-fiction writer was E. Phillips Oppenheim. Together they wrote hundreds of spy novels, between 1900 and 1914, but the formulaic stories have been judged as of little literary merit.

During the First World War, the pre-eminent author was John Buchan, a skilled propagandist; his novels were well-written portrayals of the war as the conflict between civilization and barbarism. His best-known works are the Richard Hannay novels The Thirty-Nine Steps (the title of which, but not the plot, was used for an Alfred Hitchcock film), Greenmantle and other sequels; Buchan's novels are still in print.

In France, in 1917, Gaston Leroux penned one of the earliest French spy thrillers with Rouletabille chez Krupp starring his fictional detective Joseph Rouletabille.

The inter-war period's pulp spy fiction mostly concerned battling Bolsheviks.

The strength and versatility of the literary form became evident in the period between the two world wars, and flowered during World War II. For the first time, there appeared novels written by retired intelligence officers such as W. Somerset Maugham, who accurately portrayed spying in the First World War in Ashenden. Compton Mackenzie, another former British intelligence agent, wrote the first successful spy satire: Eric Ambler wrote of ordinary people caught up in espionage in Epitaph for a Spy (1938), The Mask of Dimitrios (U.S. title: A Coffin for Dimitrios) (1939), and Journey into Fear (1940). Ambler was notable (and shocking to some) for introducing the left-wing perspective to a genre previously featuring right-wing, Establishment attitudes; several of Ambler's early novels featured Soviet agents as positive, heroic characters (though never as a main protagonist).

In 1939, Glasgow-born author Helen MacInnes's first espionage novel, Above Suspicion, was published in Britain (1941 in the U.S.A.), beginning a 45-year, highly successful career in which critics praised her for her literate, fast-paced, intricately plotted suspense novels set against contemporary history. Above Suspicion was made into a popular movie. Some of her other famous titles include Assignment in Britanny (1942), Decision at Delphi (1961), and Ride a Pale Horse (1984).

In 1940, British writer Manning Coles brought out Drink to Yesterday, the first of his acclaimed Thomas Elphinstone Hambledon novels. It was a grim story set in World War I, while his next books, which occurred in Nazi Germany or in World War II England, had a lighter tone despite the graveness of the events depicted. After the war, Hambledon's books grew formulaic, and critical interest waned.

The Cold War that followed hard upon World War II was a great impetus to the genre. In the early 1950s, authors such as Desmond Cory introduced fictional "licensed to kill" agents, while Graham Greene drew on his real-life experience with British Intelligence to create a number of left-wing, anti-imperialist spy novels, including The Quiet American (1955), set in southeast Asia, A Burnt-out Case (1961), about the Belgian Congo, The Comedians (1966), set in Haiti, The Honorary Consul (1973), in the Argentine town of Corrientes, near the Paraguay border, and The Human Factor (1978), about spies in London. His most popular novel was Our Man in Havana (1959), a seriocomedy about British intelligence bumbling in pre-Castro Cuba.

An early literary phenomenon of the Cold War was Ian Fleming's counter-intelligence agent, James Bond–007, who became and remains the most famous fictional spy. Yet despite Fleming's enormous commercial success, other authors quickly developed heroes with anti-Bond traits. Notable examples are John le Carré and Len Deighton, who modeled their novels on those 1930s authors who were dubious about the morality of espionage. For example, in contrast to Bond, Le Carré's George Smiley, is a middle-aged intelligence officer whose wife has had several public love affairs. Adam Diment's Philip McAlpine was a foppish, long-haired, pot-smoking counterpoint to Bond. Frederick Forsyth (The Day of the Jackal) and Ken Follett (Eye of the Needle) approached the subject journalistically, and were praised for their dramatic use of historic events. "Adam Hall", one of the pseudonyms of Trevor Dudley-Smith, created a popular series about British spy Quiller, beginning with The Berlin Memorandum (U.S. title: The Quiller Memorandum), which has a different tack; it is both literary and focused upon tradecraft. Also notable are the novels of Joseph Hone, with the hero Marlow, beginning with The Private Sector. William Garner had two series characters: Michael Jagger, a swaggering spy in the style of Bond; and John Morpugo, a more realistic member of counter-intelligence.

During this era, American authors for the first time rose to sufficient prominence to break British dominance of the genre. Edward S. Aarons published his "Assignment" series starting in 1955. In 1960 Donald Hamilton published Death of a Citizen and The Wrecking Crew, the debut novels in his long-running series featuring the grim counterspy/assassin Matt Helm. The books inspired a series of comic, popular movies starring Dean Martin as Matt Helm. Robert Ludlum's first book, The Scarlatti Inheritance (1971), sold modestly in hardcover, but was a bestseller in paperback, launching Ludlum's career. Generally considered the inventor of the modern spy thriller, Ludlum has been criticized, praised, and widely imitated. The Hunt for Red October (1984), the first novel of Tom Clancy, was a major publishing sensation and also made into a film. The Welsh writer Craig Thomas is generally credited with creating the techno-thriller genre with the publication of Firefox in 1977; however, it was Clancy who took this to new heights.

Outside USA and UK, Julian Semenov was one of the most influential spy fiction writers of the Socialist bloc. His novels covered a wide range of Soviet Russian intelligence history, from the Russian Civil war to espionage in World War II and during the Cold War. TV Series "Seventeen Moments of Spring" and "TASS is Authorised to Announce..." were filmed after his books.

The 1960s saw an abundance of spy films, many based on works of literature. They covered a wide range, from the fantastical James Bond superspy films to the grainy, monochrome realism of The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (based on the Le Carré novel of that title), to the cool commercialism of The Quiller Memorandum (screenplay for the film first released in the UK as The Berlin Memorandum is by Harold Pinter, adapted from "Adam Hall"'s eponymous novel).

Spies also were depicted on television, including James Bond in 1954 in an episode of Climax! based on Fleming's Casino Royale. Several television series — including The Man from U.N.C.L.E, Danger Man, and I Spy — aired during the 1960s; spies were parodied in Get Smart. Then, in the late 1970s and into the 1980s, The Sandbaggers presented a gritty, bureaucratic view of espionage operations to television.

In the 1970s and 1980s a former CIA employee, Charles McCarry, wrote a half-dozen, highly regarded novels such as The Tears of Autumn that were notable for mastery of espionage tradecraft and their literary quality. Tom Clancy also joined the genre, beginning a series of novels starring CIA analyst Jack Ryan. Though the novels are usually described as technothrillers, they included various elements of spy fiction, particularly early novels The Hunt for Red October and The Cardinal of the Kremlin.

1980s television featured MacGyver and Airwolf, two shows that were also rooted in Cold War espionage but were reflective of the era's post-Watergate, post-Vietnam War era distrust of the government. Thus the heroes in both shows mostly worked independently (MacGyver for a non-profit think tank and Airwolf's Hawke with a pair of close friends), and the intelligence agencies featured (the DXS in MacGyver, the FIRM in Airwolf) could serve as antagonists as well as allies for the heroes.

As the Cold War closed, literary novelist Norman Mailer's abiding preoccupation with U.S. espionage inspired him to write Harlot's Ghost, a sprawling 1,300-page work published in 1991, the year that the Soviet Union dissolved.

With the fall of the Iron Curtain, the once-Communist East reeled, desperately in need of financial aid from the West as it struggled to adopt democracy. The Soviet Union was gone, and Russia was not easily believable as the arch enemy in contemporary spy tales. Adding to the problem, the very existence of the CIA was in question—the U.S. Congress seriously discussed disbanding it. Interest in espionage fiction plummeted. Deciding the game was over, The New York Times abandoned its long-running column that reviewed spy thrillers.

Still, publishers continued to bring out the new work of those authors who had been highly popular during the Cold War, hoping that most of their readership would remain loyal. That proved to be true. Besides the Cold War writers mentioned earlier, those who published successfully during this low point included Nelson DeMille, W.E.B. Griffin, and David Morrell.

At the same time, editors were naturally wary of gambling on brand-new authors. Only a handful of novelists ultimately were deemed to have written work strong or original enough to be published in hardcover. Among those in the United States were Joseph Finder, Moscow Club (1995), Gayle Lynds, Masquerade, (1996), and Daniel Silva, The Unlikely Spy (1996) and, in the United Kingdom, Charles Cumming, A Spy By Nature (2001), and Henry Porter, Remembrance Day (2000). They were rarities, whose best-selling espionage stories about the new post-Cold War world helped to keep the form alive.

Finally, the political tide turned again. The tragic events of 9/11 and the aftermath of continued terrorist attacks reawakened readers' hunger for information about the world at large. Fiction has always been a favored lens through which readers not only entertained but educated themselves. Quickly a demand for spy thrillers arose, a demand that has only grown, reflecting the widespread attention paid by the public to real-life intelligence matters not only in their own countries but internationally.

Le Carre and Forsyth returned to the field with new books, as did Robert Littell and Charles McCarry. Editors actively sought out espionage novels and continue to do so. Today a host of new writers across Europe and the United States publish in the field. In the United States, the New York Times bestseller list is often dominated by thrillers.

Between 1998 and 2005, the number of manuscript pages submitted to the CIA for pre-publication review doubled. While spy novels tend to pure escapism, the novels that were a part of this surge represent an emerging sub-genre of more realistic spy fiction, written by insiders, which, while it may be short on "boom and bang" thrills, does help to understand the people who made a profession of intelligence work. Typical of this sub-genre of American insider spy fiction are books like: The Dream Merchant of Lisbon (2004) and No Game For Amateurs (2009) by Gene Coyle, Edge of Allegiance by Thomas F. Murphy (2005), A Train to Potevka by Mike Ramsdell (2005), Voices Under Berlin by T.H.E. Hill (2008). British insider spy fiction from this period is represented by Dame Stella Rimington, former Director General of MI5 (1992 - 1996), who is the author of At Risk (2004), Secret Asset (2006), Illegal Action (2007) and Dead Line (2008); and by Alan Stripp, former British cyptographer, who is the author of The Code Snatch (2001).

In 2004, the first international organization for professional thriller authors was formed—International Thriller Writers—"ITW". ITW held the first international conference to celebrate thrillers—ThrillerFest—in June 2006. The next is scheduled for July 2007. Also the first spy theme park—Spyland—will be open in the Zaragoza province of Spain. Construction of this part of Gran Scala leisure complex is scheduled to start in late 2008, and developers hope the project will be complete in 2010.

Spy thrillers and similar works that are aimed at a younger demographic have emerged as well, introducing the world of espionage to audiences of an increasingly younger age. These range from farcial teenage spy comedies such as the film Agent Cody Banks to the fairly serious series of Alex Rider novels written by Anthony Horowitz and chick lit novels such as I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You. Ben Allsop, one of the youngest authors in England, also writes spy fiction, including titles such as "Sharp" and "The Perfect Kill." Most recently, the "CHERUB" series has joined the list of spy fiction entitling to a school type place where orphans are sent to and trained to infiltrate adult organisations written by Robert Muchamore.

Recently, there have been several successful TV espionage series. Some, such as La Femme Nikita (1997–2001), Alias (2001–2006), 24 (2001- ), and Spooks (in the UK; re-titled MI-5 in the USA and Canada; 2002- ), have cult followings of millions of fans worldwide in both first-runs and re-runs and have become perhaps even cultural icons.

But most notably, there have been a recent surge of independent and Hollywood-produced spy movies shown in movie theaters and distributed on DVD which have generated steady streams of both popular interest and financial profits for those involved in their production.

The most popular, and profitable, of these have been the Jason Bourne films and Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible films, as well as the recent James Bond revival in Casino Royale. But most interestingly, the once strictly-popcorn spy genre has begun to achieve a semblance of critical acclaim, with Steven Spielberg's Munich leading the pack, nominated for five Academy Awards and two Golden Globes in 2005. In addition, Syriana, featuring George Clooney and The Constant Gardener (based on Le Carre's 2001 novel of the same title), also garnered numerous awards including Best Supporting Actor for George Clooney, Best Supporting Actress for Rachel Weisz and a BAFTA for Ralph Fiennes.

Spy fiction has also taken off in a brand-new direction with the arrival of digital gaming. Players can become a spy and infiltrate enemy territory without being detected. The Metal Gear (most specifically the third installment Metal Gear Solid) series pioneered the concept of infiltration and secrecy in computer gaming (as opposed to the standard first-person shooter genre), followed by games like Syphon Filter and Splinter Cell. These games feature complex conspiracy/espionage storylines and cinematic presentation that rival most espionage-based motion pictures. Some games such as "No One Lives Forever" and its sequel "No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s way" combines the very serious story type mentioned above with much humor and over-the-top 1960s retro design. Evil Genius (game), set in the same age and design as the NOLF series gives the player an opportunity to become the evil villain and differs from other spy games as it is a real time strategy game.

At fan gatherings, writers' conferences, publishers' meetings, and in the Intelligence Community itself—analysts, spymasters, and covert operators read the genre for entertainment and to pick up ideas—memories of the field's near death after the Cold War are painfully fresh. But since terrorism and world unrest are not expected to end soon, the need for intelligence gathering, counterespionage, and counter-terrorism are not expected to end soon either.

Spy-fi is a subgenre that combines spy fiction with science fiction elements, namely technology and ideas used for extortion, plots for world domination or destruction, weapons in science fiction, gadgets and fast vehicles that can travel on land, fly, or sail on or under the sea. Spy-fi tends to gravitate towards the fantastical and escapist, emphasizing derring-do, adventure and glamour.

Spy comedy is a subgenre that combines spy fiction with primarily comedic elements. It usually consists of a parody or send-up of typical, cliché or camp elements within spy fiction, and has mostly been seen as a primarily film-oriented subgenre.

Spy horror is a subgenre that combines spy fiction with elements of horror fiction.

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Charlotte Cornwell

Charlotte Cornwell (born 26 April 1949) is an actress and the half-sister of spy novelist John le Carré (David Cornwell). She describes him as "the best brother a girl could have". She has a daughter, Nancy Cranham, from a former relationship with actor Kenneth Cranham.

Cornwell's 30-year career began when she trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She made her professional debut with three seasons at the Bristol Old Vic Company, playing a broad range of roles from Kate Hotspur in Shakespeare's Henry IV to Becky in Sam Shepherd's Tooth of Crime. She spent three years as a leading member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and has worked as a leading actress with the Royal National Theatre since 1984. She has worked extensively both in the West End and on the Fringe, and has appeared in the US in several productions, including Richard III and An Enemy of the People opposite Sir Ian McKellen, Athol Fugard's The Road to Mecca and most recently Terence McNally's Master Class.

She has appeared in films such as The Krays, The Russia House, White Hunter Black Heart, The Saint, Ghosts of Mars (voiceover). Cornwell has also worked extensively on television including appearances in Rock Follies, Shoestring, The Men's Room, The House of Eliott, A Touch of Frost, Silent Witness, CI5: The New Professionals and The West Wing, among others.

She currently teaches at the University of Southern California.

John le Carré has said in an interview with Melvyn Bragg (reprinted in Bold, Alan: The Quest for John le Carré, 1988) that the main female character in his novel, The Little Drummer Girl - an English actress called "Charlie" - is based on his sister, Charlotte.

In 1985 Cornwell sued the Sunday People TV critic Nina Myskow for libel. The critic wrote that "She can't sing, her bum is too big, and she has the sort of stage presence that blocks lavatories." Cornwell was eventually awarded £11,000 for the bum part of the remark by the court after two appeals. The remarks about her singing and stage presence were adjudged to be "fair comment".

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Bill Haydon

Bill Haydon is a fictional character created by John le Carré. He was played in the television version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by Ian Richardson.

Bill Haydon is recruited into the Circus (John le Carré's lightly fictionalised version of MI6/SIS) in 1938 while a brilliant student at Oxford University. He is an aesthete, academically brilliant, charming, and, it appears, smitten with fellow student Jim Prideaux, an acclaimed athlete. Haydon introduces Prideaux to the Circus "talent spotters" and the two rise through the Circus through World War II, with Haydon ascending to become one of the senior officers in London and Prideaux a resourceful field agent.

It is never made clear whether a physical relationship developed with Prideaux, although Haydon's bisexuality is referred to at several points in the novel.

As it turns out, Haydon is a double agent working for Moscow Centre. As he rises within the Circus, Haydon (code-named "Gerald") introduces a new (and ultimately bogus) Russian intelligence source called "Merlin", the product of the source being termed "Witchcraft". Percy Alleline is keen to use this source as a bargaining chip with the CIA.

Control, the anonymous chief of the Circus, comes to suspect that there is a mole deep in the organisation. After much thought, he eliminates all but Alleline, Roy Bland, George Smiley, Haydon and Toby Esterhase from his suspicions.

Control then sends Prideaux to Czechoslovakia in order to obtain the mole's identity by anti-Soviet, Czech General Stevcek, but Operation Testify proves a failure with Prideaux betrayed and captured. After months of beatings and torture, he is eventually returned to Britain but his career in Intelligence is over and he is bitter after his experience in the East.

Control is forced out of power and Alleline becomes Chief while Haydon assumes control of London Station, which he manoeuvres into being placed in control of all foreign stations - effectively giving Haydon unfettered access to intelligence and details of operations. Because of this the Circus' intelligence sources dwindle to almost nothing other than the "Witchcraft".

At about this time, Haydon cuckolds George Smiley, indulging in an affair with his wife Lady Ann on the orders of his Russian controller Karla in order to discredit any suspiscions Smiley may have or develop.

Smiley's investigations eventually unmask Haydon as a mole. Under interrogation, he reveals that he is a full Colonel in Soviet intelligence. Plans are set in motion to exchange Haydon for Western agents held in the Eastern bloc. Before this can happen, though, he is killed in revenge by his former friend Jim Prideaux.

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Peter Guillam

Peter Guillam is a fictional character in John le Carré's series of espionage novels. He first appears in Call for the Dead at which time he is working for the Ministry of Defence.

In the novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in which he is a principal character, Guillam is head of "Scalphunters", the violent division of 'The Circus' (MI6). He took over the division after the failure of 'Operation Testify' led the former head Jim Prideaux to leave the Circus. In the aftermath of Testify's failure, the division's importance was downgraded, and being in charge of it was considered a menial position. It was looked down upon even by Peter's friend George Smiley, who jokingly describes the division's operations as "cosh and carry".

Nevertheless Peter is the key in finding the mole, or traitor, within the Circus. When one of his agents (Ricki Tarr) resurfaces after disappearing, claiming to have information about the mole, Guillam alerts Oliver Lacon, the Civil Service overseer of the Intelligence Service. During Smiley's subsequent investigations, Peter covertly provides helpers, and himself steals information from within the Circus's registry.

In the novel, Peter drives an old Porsche, which turned into a blue Morgan in the TV adaptation. He also dates a music student, although the relationship revolves around casual sex. He lost a network in Former French North Africa which has left him mentally scarred, and makes his desire to find the mole personal because all of his agents were hanged. On cornering the mole, he nearly kills him, but calms down with Smiley's help (in the TV adaptation; in the novel Guillam considers attacking Gerald but in the end does nothing).

Peter is half-French, from a family that has been involved with the Circus for generations, and worked with Smiley in "Satellites IV" in the early 1960s, in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. His chronology has been reinvented by Le Carré: in Call for the Dead he is a near-contemporary of Smiley's, trained by him at the end of the Second World War, but in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy he is much younger than Smiley, probably around 40 at a point where Smiley is around 60. Guillam's age has to be changed for plot reasons — he is used in this novel as Smiley's trusted assistant, and cannot be senior enough in the Circus to be one of the senior men suspected of being the mole.

By the time of the events in Smiley's People (the third book in the "Karla Trilogy,") Guillam is married to a young Frenchwoman called Marie-Clare and is head of Circus operations in Paris, though this too is considered to be a demotion.

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Moscow Centre

Moscow Centre is nick-name used by John le Carré for the Moscow central headquarters of the KGB, especially those departments concerned with foreign espionage and counterintelligence. It arises from use by Soviet officers themselves, and le Carré probably just utilised the nickname to gain greater credibility for his books.

The part of Moscow Centre most often referred to in le Carré's novels is the fictional Thirteenth Directorate headed by Karla, the code name for a case officer who has risen and fallen from political favour several times and was at one point 'blown' by the British in the 1950s. Karla and George Smiley meet while Karla is in prison in Delhi at this time, with Smiley trying to persuade Karla to defect during an interrogation in which Karla gave away nothing. Karla refused these advances and eventually returned to favour in the USSR, masterminding the Witchcraft/Source Merlin operations supporting the mole Gerald in the Circus. Karla possesses a cigarette lighter given to Smiley by his wife Lady Ann; he took this during Smiley's interrogation.

In Smiley's People, a murder in London sets in motion a chain of events that lead to the defection of Karla; it is implied that without him, Moscow Centre will be considerably weakened.

Karla was played in the TV adaptation of the novels by Patrick Stewart.

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Source : Wikipedia