December 30, 1990
The Secret Pilgrim. John le Carre. Knopf.335 pages. $21.95. John le Carre's new "novel" isn't, as it turns out, a novel at all; rather, it's a collection of essays on the meaning of treason and the role of covert agencies in overt societies, as disguised in a collection of quasi-short stories. The book itself, therefore, is its own subject: deception.On the one hand, this is somewhat discouraging. Does it mean, and one hopes it doesn't, that Mr. le Carre no longer has the energy for a major effort?