So. Yes, Smiley's People is altogether grubbier and lesser than Tinker, Tailor. But why? It's the story of Smiley getting Karla. Why doesn't it matter?

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The stakes. The stakes. It feels personal, small, irrelevant. It's not a mole in the center of all British intelligence.

And I feel let down by the thematic disconnection. Karla is not, I think, undone in the end by his fanaticism, as Smiley suggests is his weakness in Tinker, Tailor.

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