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I'm through the 2nd of these, but not the third. I liked the 2nd one a lot because those are my years too.


I've very much enjoyed your questions in this piece--your wonderings, in fact. I have long contemplated embarking on this trilogy, and I have no doubt the effort would be worth it, yet I still hesitate to begin. I think it may be because I haven't heard comments from readers who have completed the journey.

However, in your astute comments, and in asking the questions you have, I feel more likely to plunge in than otherwise.


I liked the second book even more than the first as well and am curious to find out where Smiley takes the Langdons next. The family tree, I see, has grown immensely so there will be a lot of orienting myself, I think.


I think you will be happily surprised by the books and find that they are good and thought-provoking. I like the way in which she is telling the story. I thought it might feel somewhat disjointed or that I never quite got a feel for the characters, but despite the broad overview in which she seems to tell the story, some characters you really feel as though you know intimately. I have been thinking about the book a lot even after turning those last pages, which for me is a sure sign that she did something right and that makes this novel shine above so many others! You'll have to let me know what you think if you decide to give the stories a go. I am looking forward to seeing how Smiley takes the Langdons well into the 21st century!


This sounds rather good. I think I know what you mean about the historical versus realistic. I just read an interwsting article that explained that most writers of historical fiction only use the history as a vehicle to illustrate contemporary problems or as escapism, while this sounds much closer to depicting the way it really was. Does that make sense?


I don't think I've read a family saga like this that takes place over various books. Enjoyed hearing about your reading of these and might have to consider giving them a go!


sounds like a good continuation! I will be curious how the third book ends too. I bet Smiley didn't imagine our president elect.


That article sounds interesting--I do think the Smiley novel (all three books actually) is much less a traditional historical fiction novel and more a story simply set across the span of the last century--so those events don't necessarily stand out but they are the world the characters inhabit. I think I understand what you mean and you're right in how those details work in the Smiley novel. she is a good writer and I am glad I have finally read her!!


Each book covers about 30 years or so. I like the idea a lot and it works in the way she is telling the story. I think you would like them!


It was sort of weird reading about the Kennedy election just as our own election was happening--and the elder Langdons were balking at a Catholic president! And then the whole Reagan era didn't sit well with the younger generation. None of us imagined quite what is happening I think! I am very curious what those last chapters/years will be like--I hope to get the last book read this year still--or get very close anyway.

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