I picked up a library copy of John le CarrÃ©’s The Looking Glass War because all my own books were in moving boxes, and to begin re-habituating myself to intensive reading in the lead-up to my comprehensive exam in August.
The novel is what you would expect from le CarrÃ©: not sensationalized, conveying a sense of awareness about realistic tradecraft. The characters aren’t much differentiated, but the writing is very good and the book seems like a nice counterweight to the sensationalism of the general espionage genre. For instance, there are a number of detailed passages about the inconveniences of operating a WWII-era radio using Morse code. The bureaucratic turf war that forms the primary motivation for the action in the novel seems depressingly realistic.
To sum up: it’s a reasonably interesting quick read which provides the sense of a brush with realism that distinguishes le CarrÃ© from other writers in the genre.