The Pigeon Tunnel

Stories from My Life

Paperback, 320 pages

Published Sept. 5, 2017 by Penguin Books.


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4 stars (1 review)

3 editions

A Memoir of Quality

4 stars

A fascinating look at the life of John Le Carré (né David Cornwell) as the author weaves the (mostly) true history of his life as a writer with the fictional characters inspired by his real life encounters and acquaintances. Looming throughout, and dealt with directly in the defining chapter of the book, is the spectre of Ronnie, Cornwell/Le Carré's grifter of a father. Another weighty thread linking a number of these brief sketches together is the presence of Kim Philby. These two outsized deceivers are wonderfully linked in Le Carré's "A Perfect Spy" which feels even deeper and personal having seen glimpses of the rage and anger the author felt towards these two men. The short anecdotes that make up most of the book's chapters are riddled with surprising (and often dismaying) characters from the Cold War era as well as the chaotic muddle of Eastern Europe following the fall …