The general public may recognize the name Ian Fleming better than John Le Carre. That's their loss. Le Carre is the true master of the spy novel because it focuses on the most important part of espionage...the psychology. This book looks at the psychology of the narrator and what led him into the espionage business, and how it affected the rest of his life. A great novel. Le Carre's best? I don't think so, but still very strong. It is definitely worth reading for the autobiographical elements that Le Carre injected into this book. Maybe he sees this as a "what-might-have-been" for him had his cover not been blown when he was in the business.