What to do with expiring airline miles? Last year, I made the mistake of using them for a slew of magazine subscriptions. Now the mailbox groans with Time and The Economist, Sports Illustrated and ESPN Magazine, Inc. and Fast Company. Issues of Vogue and Glamour stack up unread until they line the bottom of the recycle bin. And then there are the life style rags, People and Us Weekly. A favorite game of mine is to go through Peeps and Us looking at all the celebrity pictures and wondering if I can name or recognize any of the celebrities. Christy Turlington-nope. Kardashians? I can't tell a Kim from a Khloe from a Rob--or from a Robert, for that matter. Gabrielle Union would draw a total blank, if not for the fact that she is soon to be a Chicagoan, battling it out with Kristen Cavallari for #1 jock wife. In general, if the magazine stars aren't Queens or Princes on Game of Thrones, I don't know 'em.
So imagine my surprise the other day to see a cover shot of Taylor Swift and her new boyfriend Tom Hiddleston. His name was only vaguely familiar, but there could be no doubt about the picture. Taylor's new squeeze and future song fodder was Jonathan Pine! Who, you ask? I may not know my starlets, but I know my John Le Carré, and TH was definitely the star of the recent BBC production of Le Carré's 1993 novel, the post-Cold War thriller The Night Manager.
Johnny L and I go way back. It took me a few novels to adapt to his pace, to understand that the point of many of his works was that not much happens. Once I figured it out, I could easily become immersed. Tinkler, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was my escape from text books during my first year in medical school. On our honeymoon in Acapulco,The Honourable School Boy entertained me while Barb was enthralled by Australia and the The Thorn Birds. (Explanation-Barb got very, very sunburned under the broiling Mexican sun leaving us lots of reading time in our air-conditioned hotel room.) I have now read Le Carré's entire canon, and enjoyed movie and TV versions of most of the novels. My one misstep was dragging friends to the film adaptation of Tinker, Tailor. I found it fascinating, our friends did not.
BBC's The Night Manager was a recent six-parter broadcast on AMC. It tracked away from the plot of the novel, but heroic Hiddleston was there to thwart an arms deal, and successfully bed the beautiful young American heroine to boot -- foreshadowing Taylor? His nemesis was the delightfully nasty Hugh Laurie, freed from his phony American accent. Between Manager and Veep, Laurie has been a hoot this year, but Hiddleston ensured a less than pleasant end for him in this one.
So Tom/Jon, I am rooting for you. And being a John Le Carré nerd has made me hip. Who knew?
You never know what you will find here. To subscribe, type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. It is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.