George Smiley has become chief of the battered British Secret Service. The betrayals of a Soviet double agent have riddled the spy network, and Smiley wants revenge. He chooses his weapon: Jerry Westerby, "The Honourable Schoolboy", a passionate lover, and a seasoned, reckless secret agent. Westerby is pointed east, to Hong Kong. So begins the terrifying game.
This is an engaging and involving spy story that begins where Tinker Tailor ends. The characterizations are brilliant and the plot intricate and involved. However the plot doesn't capture the reader in the same way as Tinker Tailor or The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and the ending was somewhat predictably disappointing. Michael Jayston once again is absolutely superb reading this story and I can't even imagine reading Le Carre without hearing his voice. Still a good buy for those Le Carre fans, but those wanting to start off on the spy game i would definitely recommend The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and then Tinker Tailor first.
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I fiund it's complicated twists and turns quite hypnotic. Indeed, I had to listen to some parts a couple of times before I got the drift. However, the story telling is so good, this was no hardship ...
A great story! A slow starter I feel, but it grows on you all the way through!
What made the experience of listening to The Honourable Schoolboy the most enjoyable?
Michael Jayston usual excellent performance.
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
I really don't think the plot or the story was as strong as tinker tailor. It is an important in between book in the Karla Triology but I feel the plot got lost somewhere in the middle.
The was a lot of extra in the middle but just didn't seem to gel together like other Le Carre books.
Have you listened to any of Michael Jayston’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Michael Jayston always gives a top class performance, this book was no different.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
No, Unlike the previous book it just didnt have the same pull.
Any additional comments?
I liked the book but it felt like some vital ingredient was missing. Without ruining the plot for anybody the ending was a complete anti climax.
Would you listen to The Honourable Schoolboy again? Why?
I read the book years ago and found this recording gripping
Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?
Deepest English reserve mixed with Asian intrigue. A complex plot that will always stand another listen
What about Michael Jayston’s performance did you like?
Well told - handles the complexity well and brings the drama to life.
Any additional comments?
Listened to in order - Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy - Honourable Schoolboy - Smilies People. I have always been a fan of the story and the characters. Very English in context with the diminishing place of that country in world affairs whilst its legacy echo is still heard far and wide. A brilliant portrait of context in a world of changing priorities but with real characters and a stunning plot.
I've probably read this novel in print -- oh, I don't know, maybe 20 times. It remains my favourite LeCarre. There are just these little, subtle touches, like referring to the "traditional fake Rosewood veneer" of the CIA ("cousins") offices that are at once sophisticated, witty and exact. Michael Jayston -- who is British -- makes an OK fist of the first part, except that he "does" voices, and his efforts for women make them sound vague and bit daffy, especially Phoebe -- Craw's "little ship". But in the second part of the recording there is just a superb rendition of the scene between Westerby and Charlie Marshal which makes you fortive Mr Jayston the flaws in the rest of his reading.
Great fun overlaid with the musk of the Orient with a damp Emgland as a delightful counterpoint. Almost Boy's Own but Smiley brings it together in a way that takes the smile off your face.