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Spy Author John Le Carré No Fan of James Bond: I 'Dislike' Ian Fleming's 'Neo-Fascistic' 00
New York Daily News ^ | Monday, August 23rd 2010 | MICHAEL SHERIDAN

Posted on 08/23/2010 5:03:05 PM PDT by nickcarraway

It's still spy author vs. spy.

Famed espionage writer John Le Carré remains no fan of James Bond, the martini-loving super spy created by Ian Fleming.

"I dislike Bond. I'm not sure that Bond is a spy," the "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" author said in 1966, during a BBC interview that will be re-broadcast next week.

Today, the 78-year-old Le Carré told the Radio Times that while he may have been harsh 40 years ago, he's still not sure Bond is much of a spy.

"At the root of Bond there was something neo-fascistic and totally materialist," said Le Carré, who once worked with the British Foreign Service. "You felt he would have gone through the same antics for any country really, if the girls had been so pretty and the Martinis so dry."

Le Carré - whose real name is David Cornwell - described 007 as more of an "international gangster" who sported a "license to kill," and had no real loyalty to England.

"I think that it's a great mistake if one's talking about espionage literature to include Bond in this category at all," he said.

Le Carré's own spy character, George Smiley, appears in several of the author's works and stands in stark contrast to the Fleming creation. The author admits that his approach to spy novels is far more realistic than the gadget-obsessed adventures of James Bond.

"I had written about the reality in 'The Spy Who Came In From The Cold,'" he told Radio Times. "The Fleming stuff was a deliberate fantasisation."


TOPICS: Books/Literature; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: davidcornwell; espionage; georgesmiley; ianfleming; jamesbond; johnlecarre; literature

1 posted on 08/23/2010 5:03:09 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Le Carre sucks and is a lib. The Spy Who Came Out of the Cold largely sucked.

The best of the bunch was Michael Caine as Harry Palmer in the Ipcress File and Funeral In Berlin.


2 posted on 08/23/2010 5:05:53 PM PDT by Frantzie (Imam Ob*m* & Democrats support the VICTORY MOSQUE & TV supports Imam)
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To: nickcarraway

Next this anti-semite will be blaming “James Bond” and his creator, Ian Fleming, as being “Zionists”. He might even be a closet “Burqua Boy”, if memory serves me correctly.

Le Carre’ is also anti-American. Check out his statements for the past 10-20 years.


3 posted on 08/23/2010 5:07:04 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: nickcarraway
You don't want to know what John Grisham really thinks about that awful Sherlock Holmes either.
4 posted on 08/23/2010 5:09:10 PM PDT by x
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To: nickcarraway

Sounds jealous. Maybe he should see a therapist about that.


5 posted on 08/23/2010 5:09:53 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (Hail To The Fail-In-Chief)
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To: nickcarraway

Le Carre and the absence of a sense of humor. Coming next - doubts about Indiana Jones as an archaeologist.


6 posted on 08/23/2010 5:11:10 PM PDT by alecqss
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To: nickcarraway

Many years ago I tried valiantly but just could never finish a Le Carre “thriller”. According to his reasoning Mata Hari was not a spy, but Edith Clavell was. Guess what John they both were.


7 posted on 08/23/2010 5:13:44 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: Frantzie

I read a few of his novels years ago. Boy, did I struggle with them. I’ve never returned since. From what I’ve heard of his political beliefs, I never will return to his books.


8 posted on 08/23/2010 5:16:13 PM PDT by bcsco ("Obama is the navel of his own universe.")
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To: nickcarraway

Hey John, How many people even know who George Smiley is?


9 posted on 08/23/2010 5:17:24 PM PDT by mylife (Opinions $1 Halfbaked 50c)
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To: Frantzie
Le Carre sucks [is a fantastic author] and is a lib.

Fixed it for you.

10 posted on 08/23/2010 5:18:46 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: nkycincinnatikid
Pretty sure Le Carre is a commie. I tried three times to read his book Russia House and all three times couldn't make it past 50 pages it sucked that bad. I think I can safely say that no other book that I attempted to read was so horrible that I had to keep quitting it.

The only other book that came close to turning me off as much was Dutch the official biography of Ronald Reagan, although for very different reasons. In that book the nitwit author inserted his own character in the story of Reagan's life and seemed to give more attention to the fictitious character than to the true exploits of Reagan himself. In a biography? I don't think so!

11 posted on 08/23/2010 5:22:46 PM PDT by marlon
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To: nickcarraway
Le Carré is a stuck up, Bush-hating, anti-American POS. I have very little time for his idiotic nonsense.
12 posted on 08/23/2010 5:22:46 PM PDT by SmokingJoe
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To: nkycincinnatikid
Edith Cavell was a patriot and a spy. She knew she was risking her life, and she did it deliberately, because she believed it to be the right thing to do.

Mata Hari, was an adventuress, for lack of a better word. She may well have been a spy, though there is some doubt. If she did do it, it was not from any sense of conviction, but for money or she was using or being used by her lovers.

13 posted on 08/23/2010 5:24:11 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Frantzie

I wonder what he thinks of Eric Ambler.


14 posted on 08/23/2010 5:25:10 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

That would make sense. Lc’s books are tedious and pretty boring. Not to mention the Hero ALLWAYS dies. In the end.


15 posted on 08/23/2010 5:26:46 PM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: nickcarraway
"You felt he would have gone through the same antics for any country really, if the girls had been so pretty and the Martinis so dry."

I fail to see the problem here, especially if Britain pays the tab. :)

16 posted on 08/23/2010 5:30:12 PM PDT by Brett66 (Where government advances, and it advances relentlessly , freedom is imperiled -Janice Rogers Brown)
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To: nickcarraway

At the root of Bond there was something neo-fascistic and totally materialist,” said Le Carré, who once worked with the British Foreign Service. “You felt he would have gone through the same antics for any country really, if the girls had been so pretty and the Martinis so dry.”

Although he’s a work of fiction I strongly disagree....Bond enjoyed the finer things in life and women but wasn’t completely about the money...


17 posted on 08/23/2010 5:32:36 PM PDT by jakerobins
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To: nickcarraway
I saw Funeral in Berlin when it came out in the 60's. It sucked.

Like others here, I struggled with one of his "esteemed novels". It sucked.

"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" in spite of Alec Guinness playing George Smiley - Sucked.

So, David Cornwall, do you notice some kind of pattern here?

What is with you Brits who claim, through some name changing magic, to be connected to the French? You and that other socialist, anti-semetic hump Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno.

John, your just jealous that only a few die-hard leftists will remember you and your work, if only vaguely, while Fleming and Bond will still be renowned far into the future.

18 posted on 08/23/2010 5:36:04 PM PDT by muleskinner
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To: nickcarraway

You may agree with Le Carre that Mata Hari was materialist, etc and therefor not a spy but the French killed her just the same.


19 posted on 08/23/2010 5:42:33 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: nkycincinnatikid

I’m just saying Edith Clavell was a patriot and knew what she was doing. Do you think Mata Hari was a German patriot?


20 posted on 08/23/2010 5:54:40 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nkycincinnatikid

I’m just saying Edith Clavell was a patriot and knew what she was doing. Do you think Mata Hari was a German patriot?


21 posted on 08/23/2010 5:54:50 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nkycincinnatikid

I’m just saying Edith Cavell was a patriot and knew what she was doing. Do you think Mata Hari was a German patriot?


22 posted on 08/23/2010 5:54:52 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Frantzie

Le Carre, one can assume, was a closet Trotskyite. He hated the Stalinists, but loved the elements of social coercian found in the Soviet system.


23 posted on 08/23/2010 5:56:01 PM PDT by Melchior
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To: nickcarraway

My knowledge is very limited. I’ve never heard of him or his spy character.


24 posted on 08/23/2010 6:04:59 PM PDT by paudio (She wanted to be known as another Jackie O. Instead, people see her another Marie Antoinette)
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To: nickcarraway

Mata Hari was probably just a beautiful Dutch girl in love with a German. Edith Clavell was British spy abusing the cover of the Red Cross. Mata Hari became a pergorative, while Clavell was lauded as a martyr. They were definitly both executed for spying.


25 posted on 08/23/2010 6:06:54 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: nkycincinnatikid

Well, there is a chance Mata Hari was set up by the Germans. The message the French intercepted used a code the Germans already knew the French cracked. She may not have been a spy at all. Was she in love? Who knows, but she sounded like an adventuress. It’s true, the Brits at the time tried to portray Cavell as someone who was innocent, but I am not sure the real story is any less dramatic. Cavell did what she thought was her religious and patriotic duty. She knew she could eventually be executed for it. (By the way, the French executed several German nurses for the same thing. The Germans just didn’t want to publicize it.) I doubt Mata Hari knew her life might be at risk, whether she was spying or not.


26 posted on 08/23/2010 6:14:06 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Obviously Clavell would have felt alright with the 19 plane hijackers on Sept 11, 2001.


27 posted on 08/23/2010 6:21:54 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: nkycincinnatikid

Do you really believe that? Do you believe the same thing about our boys (and girls) in the OSS, etc?


28 posted on 08/23/2010 6:26:35 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” is a wonderful novel if you’re interested in the Great Game as the Brits called it, the West vs. the Soviets, from the end of WWII to the 1970’s. Lots of fascinating detail.

The BBC adaptation with Alec Guinness is available on DVD, and it’s one of the best TV productions EVER. It’s a multi-part mini-series; save it for a weekend for when you’re down with the flu or something and watch it straight through.


29 posted on 08/23/2010 6:26:48 PM PDT by Blue Ink
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To: Frantzie
Ipcress File was by my preferred spy author, Len Deighton... or is that what you were saying?
30 posted on 08/23/2010 6:34:47 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: nickcarraway

You said paraphrased “she did what was her religious and patriotic duty knowing she could die” She abused a sacred trust among civilized nations at the behest of her “government/religion”. Yes, I believe that.


31 posted on 08/23/2010 6:39:57 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: nickcarraway
"The Fleming stuff was a deliberate fantasisation."

I wonder if that had anything to do with Fleming's wild success in fiction books and Hollywood films? Duh.

32 posted on 08/23/2010 6:45:39 PM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
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To: Melchior

I read fairly recently that Fleming was inspired to create the fictional James Bond in response to the treason by the Cambridge spies Burgess and Maclean and eventually Philby later on. The first novel Casino Royale has the Russian Reds as the enemy. The movies have long forgotten that the communists were the first enemy Bond faced. Commie sympathizers like Le Carre probably never did. The fascist tag is a default position by socialists to those who oppose them.


33 posted on 08/23/2010 6:55:17 PM PDT by xp38
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To: 1rudeboy
Le Carre sucks [is a fantastic author] and is a lib.

When he poisons his books with anti-corporate leftist politics, he sucks. When he restrains himself, he can be very good. So "The Constant Gardener" sucked, but I enjoyed "The Night Manager."

34 posted on 08/23/2010 7:18:33 PM PDT by TChad
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To: nickcarraway

Sour grapes, apparently his stuff wasn’t as popular as Flemming’s so he doesn’t like Bond books.


35 posted on 08/23/2010 7:40:13 PM PDT by calex59
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To: nkycincinnatikid

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edith_Cavell


36 posted on 08/23/2010 8:13:49 PM PDT by packrat35 (I got your tag line..)
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To: nickcarraway

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mata_Hari


37 posted on 08/23/2010 8:24:32 PM PDT by packrat35 (I got your tag line..)
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To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper

I read one of his novels a year or two ago and that was my conclusion too—definitely anti-American.


38 posted on 08/23/2010 9:26:19 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Blue Ink; Frantzie; nickcarraway; mylife

>>> Le Carre sucks and is a lib. The Spy Who Came Out of the Cold largely sucked.

Anti-American British lib yes, and it’s true this overshadows his later work as it got stuck in that mindset. But his earlier novels, particularly as they related to George Smiley, were wonderful literature. Not everybody’s cup of tea with their unheroic cynicism, but that’s not inappropriate for the subject matter.

>>> Hey John, How many people even know who George Smiley is?

People who still appreciate interesting characters in well written books ? Fewer each year I admit.

>>> “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” is a wonderful novel if you’re interested in the Great Game as the Brits called it,

Absolutely, the production was very good as was Alec, but Alec Guiness wasn’t a good choice for Smiley if you wanted the character as the author envisioned him.

As written the character is a lot more like a devious version of Mr Granger, the elderly short chubby clerk from “Are You Being Served”. James Mason was wrong for the character as well but was closer to the mark in that earlier film that was the prequel to “Spy Who Came in From the Cold”. The Smiley character was renamed for that film but it was he.


39 posted on 08/23/2010 9:47:02 PM PDT by tlb
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To: tlb

So Le Carre’s point is that spying is not glamorous.

Its a tedious slog


40 posted on 08/23/2010 9:50:07 PM PDT by mylife (Opinions $1 Halfbaked 50c)
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To: tlb

Granger would be an excellent smiley!


41 posted on 08/23/2010 9:53:20 PM PDT by mylife (Opinions $1 Halfbaked 50c)
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To: tlb
"Bond was really quite the fool"


42 posted on 08/23/2010 10:01:57 PM PDT by mylife (Opinions $1 Halfbaked 50c)
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To: Frantzie
The best of the bunch was Michael Caine as Harry Palmer in the Ipcress File and Funeral In Berlin.

Those were based on novels by Len Deighton. I liked Le Carre's early stuff, but the last ten years he's revealed himself as a fanatic ultra leftie.

43 posted on 08/24/2010 1:49:38 AM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: nickcarraway
James Bond was thought to be based in part on Dusko Popov, although I believe in Popov's memoir he makes light of this or denies it. They do have certain things in common.

I still read Le Carre. Don't like his politics.

I just finished McEwan's The Innocents, based on a true story of espionage in Berlin in the 1950s--excellent. Good portraits of American vs. British spies. Seems very true to life and historically accurate.

44 posted on 08/24/2010 3:00:20 AM PDT by firebrand
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To: muleskinner

Fleming and Bond will still be renowned far into the future....Fleming was the first author that got me to actually read. He also got me in lots of trouble with the nuns who wanted me to study in study hall. I told them I was studying....England, the Caribbean, Russia, etc.


45 posted on 08/24/2010 3:09:13 AM PDT by Safetgiver (I'd rather die under a free American sky than live under a Socialist regime.)
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To: nickcarraway
"Le Carré's own spy character, George Smiley"

This sounds like professional jealousy to me. Everyone has heard of Bond, James Bond. How many people have heard of George Smiley? Not many...

With all that being said, I do think that the James Bond movie series should come to an end. It's nothing like Sean Connery and Roger Moore. It made a slight comeback with Pearce Brosnan who I thought was pretty good.
46 posted on 08/24/2010 4:39:06 AM PDT by Old Teufel Hunden
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