The spy master’s style

John le Carré’s fiction could be simultaneously old-fashioned and thoroughly modern, but what made it Le Carré-esque? The sudden and unexpected death of John Le Carré last month inevitably prompts an evaluation of the both the work and the man. There are more than two dozen novels, the most recent of which, Agent Running in […]

Covid kicked us all off the featherbed of civilisation

2020 catapulted the world into ‘interesting times’ and we’ve been through the five stages of grief — but in reverse, says William Boyd May you live in interesting times,” so the disarming old Chinese curse goes. Of course “interesting” in this sense is a loaded word full of threatening, unsettling nuances like anarchic, turbulent, disastrous, […]

A conversation with William Boyd

Refulgent mid-February sunshine makes the bar at the Chelsea Arts Club glow. Nine months on, that now seems another era, when William Boyd – in a smart jacket offset by an open shirt collar – was sitting, a glass of red wine to hand, soon after completing his sixteenth novel, Trio. That winter’s day, we were […]

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