RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 36761571 LA English T1 Understanding John Le Carré A1 Cobbs, John L., PB University of South Carolina Press PP Columbia, S.C. YR 1998 SN 1570031681 9781570031687 AB Understanding John le Carre provides an introduction to a writer who is arguably twentieth-century England's most successful serious novelist and unquestionably the foremost living figure in English literature of espionage and detection. John L. Cobbs examines le Carre's life and work to identify the roots of his commercial and critical achievements. Cobbs establishes that le Carre's writing transcends the genre of espionage fiction, to which it is so often relegated, and that le Carre, like most of the great English novelists, is preeminently a social commentator who writes novels of manners. In a biographical sketch of the writer, Cobbs describes le Carre's relationship with his father, his often overlooked academic success, his choice of a pseudonym, and his reputation as one who once worked in British intelligence, perhaps as a spy. In a critical overview of his literary career, Cobbs examines le Carre's primary themes, including the importance of the Cold War, the pull of conflicting loyalties, the corruption of bureaucracy, the tension between the individual and the state, personal betrayal rationalized by misguided idealism, and the pathos of vulnerable humanity in the grip of amoral and impersonal political and social institutions.