Twenty-five years have passed, and we thought we’d seen the last of him.
But George Smiley is coming back.
The famous fictional spy — creation of John Le Carre and the cornerstone of his most popular novels, including “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” — will return on Sept. 5.
Viking, which will publish “A Legacy of Spies,” told the Associated Press that the book will be narrated by the character Peter Guillam, Smiley’s retired ally. No word on whether Smiley is still alive or appears only in flashback.
“His Cold War past has come back to claim him,” said the Viking announcement. “Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself, are to be scrutinized under disturbing criteria by a generation with no memory of the Cold War and no patience with its justifications.”
Le Carre, 85, last wrote about Smiley in the 1991 novel, “The Secret Pilgrim.” The character was last played by Gary Oldman in the 2011 film “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”