John le Carré: The Honourable Schoolboy (Paperback, 2011, Penguin Books) 3 stars

A wild complex ride... so much going on I can't remember what the hell happened... for 600 pgs

2 stars

I'm surprised I didn't like this book as much as "Tinker, Tailor...". I think it was because it was so easy for me to get lost in the events. I joked that some books can be complex, but you don't need to make a spreadsheet or flowchart regarding who, what, where, and when...but I got to feeling it would've been easier if I did make one this time around.

The overall story, that I could see, was interesting in a lot of respects. I found the travels and trips of our heroes worth a read. The action jumps all over the map, and is definitely worthy for a contemporary and historical slant on things. The Vietnam War is nearly over as events unfold, and following Jerry Westerby's adventures, along with the re-built Circus, has its moments. LeCarre is excellent at putting us in the war zones.

Beyond that, I had a very hard time piecing together what the hell was going on. I have a feeling I'd have to read it 2 or 3 times to really get it all in. It's a much more sprawling book than its predecessor, and the information revealed was in such small drips and drabs that I could barely remember what the heck they were looking for. I still don't think I understood the ending much if at all.

I may have to read this book a few more times to really get and appreciate it. I hate to say that I'm not sure I want to put in the effort, though...perhaps "Smiley's People" will shine some light on events as I read it next.