"The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life" by John le Carre.
Viking via AP
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Of stories to dine out on, David Cornwell (aka John le Carre) has an abundance.The name "John le Carre" attracts the audience, but it's David Cornwell confiding in us here, as if over dinner, then chatting long into the evening over snifters of brandy, or, as he unspools memories of Russia, glasses of vodka.He is nearing his 85th birthday, so he reflects on his brief stint as a British spy during the Cold War and long career as a revered espionage novelist who does his own fieldwork. Fans of Le Carre's fiction will use this as a code book where they will match up characters from "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," "The Little Drummer Girl" and other titles, to the real people who inspired them.The title "The Pigeon Tunnel" comes from a much earlier memory.In these pages, Cornwell becomes one of his most fascinating characters – the son who learns to dissemble at his father's knee, joins the British intelligence service and rounds out his life creating false worlds as a novelist.
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