What can I say about this book? When I first picked it up, I had no expectations at all. I'd heard the title, of course, heard people rave about it. But I have been cautious about finding out too much regarding the books on my list. I want to go in with no preconceived notions. I'm glad I did that with this book.
First, I'll say that it was a much easier read than anticipated. The story itself was easy to follow, and had a flow and rhythm of words that had me into the scenes almost immediately. It was very easy to picture myself in Alec Leamas' place. I could understand getting burned out by the spy game. His personality, the things he'd seen, the things he felt, made it even easier to understand how he ended up embroiled in the main plot of the book.
I can't say too much without giving a lot away. It's one of those books. So much happens on every page that even a hint can ruin the plot. I enjoyed the main character, very much liked the secondary ones, and found myself flying through the pages.
And then I got to the end. I'll admit that I'd figured out the big twist well before it was revealed. But that was okay with me. It was still fun to see everything play out. However, the last few pages had me fighting not to close the book forever. I have very few personal pet peeves, but the author played right into them. By the time I was through with the last chapter, I couldn't decide if I was angry, upset, or just plain disappointed. This, of course, is a personal opinion. You might love the ending. I, however, did not.
Would I recommend this book? It would depend on the person. It was well written, extremely well paced, very interesting, nicely drawn, and in most parts intriguing. But the ending just really did not work for me. I would say it was one of those books you should read once in your life. It's up to you if you'd like to read it again.