Friday 6 January 2012

Competition: Win a Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Movie Tie-in Book, T-Shirt, and More!


As promised on Tuesday and Thursday, to round off the first working week of the new year I've something rather special for you this fine Friday – something I've never attempted on Existential Ennui before: a competition! Yes, to mark the general release in the US today of Tomas Alfredson's magnificent Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy movie – adapted from John le Carré's 1974 spy novel classic – I'm offering two America-based readers the chance to win a bunch of tie-in swag, courtesy of the film's US distributor, Focus Features!

Now, I must stress that the competition is only open to US addressees – apologies to British readers of Existential Ennui (and to those elsewhere in the world), but I'm afraid it's out of my hands. (Perhaps I can rustle something up for Brits to mark the DVD release of Tinker Tailor... hint hint, Studiocanal...) However, two lucky American readers are in with a chance of winning the following incredible items: 

• A Movie Tie-in Book!

• A T-Shirt!

• A Voice Recorder Pen!

• A Post-it Note Cube!

That's a Movie Tie-in Book, a T-Shirt, a Voice Recorder Pen and a Post-it Note Cube each (prize value an unbelievable $43) for two US-based readers! Tremendously exciting stuff!

I'll explain how to enter in a moment, but before that, if you're not au fait with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy the film, or indeed Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy the novel, both star John le Carré's iconic spymaster George Smiley – played by Gary Oldman in the movie – who's brought out of retirement to hunt down a mole, or enemy agent, at the heart of British Intelligence (colloquially known as "The Circus"). It's a beautifully elegiac tale of betrayal on both a geopolitical and human scale, and Alfredson's film is an excellent adaptation of the source novel and an extraordinary piece of cinema in its own right. You can read my review of the movie – which hit British cinemas back in September 2011 – here, and my review of le Carré's original masterwork – and its BBC TV adaptation – here . And here is Mr. le Carré himself, shedding a little light on the creation of George Smiley, with additional insight from Gary Oldman and others:

Splendid. So then: to business. And to be in with a chance of winning the book, the T-shirt, etc., answer the following question:

John le Carré's novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is the first instalment in what's known as the Karla Trilogy, or Quest for Karla; name the second and third novels in the trilogy.

If you're a fan of le Carré or a regular reader of Existential Ennui, answering that shouldn't present too much of a problem, but if you're struggling for the answer, you could always enter "Karla Trilogy" in the search box at the top of EE's right-hand sidebar. But don't let on that I told you that. (Moscow rules, dear boy.)

Answers should be emailed to me at:

using the subject line "Tinker Tailor". Don't forget to include your full name and address, and which T-shirt size you'd prefer, and once again, let me just state for the record that the competition is only open to "the Cousins" – i.e. American addressees – so entries from elsewhere in the world will be automatically discounted. The competition closes on Thursday 12 January at midnight EST, with all entries going into a hat (or similar receptacle), from which will be chosen at random two winners. And I'll be announcing those two winners on Existential Ennui a week today, so at least for two people, Friday the 13th will be quite lucky. Best of British to all of you, though.

Next week, it's back to my series of posts on spy fiction series, with a British espionage series featuring a state executioner... and I'll also have that promised review of Donald E. Westlake's debut crime novel The Mercenaries...


  1. My pleasure, Kelly (and thanks to Focus Features for providing the prizes). Good luck!