Le Carre's voice - patrician, cold, brilliant and amused - was perfect for the wilderness-of-mirrors undertow of the Cold War, and George Smiley is the all-time harassed bureaucrat of spy fiction.
Someone comes every morning at nine o'clock to see if I am still alive. I do get lonely, yes, but I have the children who come and see me. I see all my children every week, and there are the grandchildren, too.
If I think about the writers I love or might be influenced by, I can't write at all, so I pretend there aren't any.
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