If you can't tell by now, I'm slightly obsessed with le Carré's writing style. Even in its translations it's simple, to the point, and almost wholly without the unnecessary embellishments that plague so many other works. Maybe that's why the first chapter, the short description of George Smiley, was added--what do I know, I'm only guessing but it feels like an after thought more than a part of the story--to the book. Without it, you'd have to read the last page to get a real feel of him.As always, there's action, but it's not the blazing guns and explosions kind. It's the near invisible reactions, the subtle kind of psychology we all use in our day to day lives but only few manage to do it consciously. There are few familiar characters either from subsequent books I've already read or the archetypes others are based on. This could be only my imagination, but I'd like someone else's opinion on the possible Dieter-Karla resemblance. I'm particularly grateful that this is the only le Carré book where I've had to read a summary of the events taken place and that the method of memorandums has been dropped from his storytelling tool box. As I said it's not without its faults, but seeing as this le Carré's first published book, I'm being more forgiving. And I enjoyed this more than the other le Carré books I've given three stars to.