A collection of short stories set in the Smiley universe. In this case we are following one Ned through a series of recollections of his life in the service. Many of the short stories check in with characters from previous books, and we get to see them from different angles both in their more famous moments and and in some previously unseen episodes. The short stories touch on many of the usual Le Carre concerns (how the spook industry grinds up its agents and damages societies, the psychological costs paid by its agent runners in their various acute and chronic deceptions, how the nature of the work attracts/promotes the criminal and sociopathic mind set, the question of whether the work is of any use at all in most cases, etc.) As usual though each story is its own individual and unique thing, and the dialog and psychological modeling are wonderfully detailed and fascinating. There is also some one semi-new theme (a Lord Jim like episode of a single terrible mistake/failing), and a shout out to Musil.