The Pigeon Tunnel

  • by John le Carré
  • Narrated by John le Carré
  • 11 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

'Out of the secret world I once knew, I have tried to make a theatre for the larger worlds we inhabit. First comes the imagining, then the search for reality. Then back to the imagining, and to the desk where I'm sitting now.'
The Pigeon Tunnel, John le Carré's memoir and his first work of nonfiction, is a thrilling journey into the worlds of his 'secret sharers' - the men and women who inspired some of his most enthralling novels - and a testament to the author's extraordinary engagement with the last half century.
The listener is swept along not just by the chilling winds of the Cold War or by the author's frightening journeys into places of terrible violence but, most importantly, by the author's inimitable voice.
In this astonishing work, we see our world, both public and private, through the eyes of one of this country's greatest writers.

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Audible Editor Reviews

"No other writer has charted - pitilessly for politicians but thrillingly for readers - the public and secret histories of his times." (Guardian)
"John le Carré is as recognizable a writer as Dickens or Austen." (Financial Times)
"When I was under house arrest I was helped by the books of John le Carré...they were a journey into the wider world.... These were the journeys that made me feel that I was not really cut off from the rest of humankind." (Aung San Suu Kyi)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Best audiobook of the Year

Would you listen to The Pigeon Tunnel again? Why?

Fantastic story, beautifully read by the author himself. Very entertaining and I laughed out loud in many places.


What did you like best about this story?

The honesty of David Cornwall, his insight into both himself, his family and his colleagues and acquaintances. His descriptions of his larger-than-life father are hilarious.


What about John le Carré’s performance did you like?

His voice is strong, Can imitate voices authenically and beautifully


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

An Author Reminisces


Any additional comments?

Loved it, loved it, loved it.

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- Nola Bernstein

Thank you John le Carre

Having read and enjoyed so many of le Carre's books, hearing this, in his own voice, was a grand treat.
The book is delivered in segments not strictly chronological, peppered with personal anecdotes and descriptions, observations of events and places. This is not a fireside chat and in it's own way does shed light albeit a passing ray of light, on some very influential people and major world events of the time. In its own way this book traces the background of le Carre's books and what has influenced the focus of his writing.
The wonderful description of his mission to Paris as his father's envoy at age 16 is just one glimpse into 'another world'.
It is the kind of book I could dip into again and again. However the advantage of hearing the author reading it to me as an audio book far outways the convenience of bookmarks in a hard copy.
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- Sandy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-08-2016
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd