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?


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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