Regular price: $16.41

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $16.41

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

An unabridged reading by Michael Jayston of John le Carré’s first novel, which introduced his most famous character, George Smiley.
Smiley is one of the most brilliantly realised characters in British fiction. Bespectacled, tubby, eternally middle-aged, and deceptively ordinary, he has a mind like a steel trap and is said to possess ‘the cunning of Satan and the conscience of a virgin’.
This novel, set in London in the late 1950s, finds Smiley engaged in the humdrum job of security vetting. But when a Foreign Office civil servant commits suicide after an apparently unproblematic interview, Smiley is baffled. Refusing to believe that Fennan shot himself soon after making a cup of cocoa and asking the exchange to telephone him in the morning, Smiley decides to investigate – only to uncover a murderous conspiracy with its roots in his own secret wartime past.
©1962 David Cornwell (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Stephen on 05-14-12

Well read, good book

Great book and well read. Michael Jayston is a great reader and lends himself to the characters.
Book is interesting and often times dramatic.

Read More Hide me
See all Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By eatough1999 on 01-27-15

A refreshing change

First venture into the world of George Smiley, good to start at the very inception of his character.

The 4 * is because despite the narrator being amiable there was at times difficulty in distinguishing which character was speaking. You have to really 'listen' intently to the narrative to follow the plot. Perhaps because of the style of narration I found myself rewinding the story quite a bit on numerous occasions. This said, I did enjoy the story and am happily listening to the next installment read by the same chap. I've tuned into him now!

George Smiley - not quite sure what to make of him yet, he reminds me a bit of C J Sansoms Shardlake character; beguiling but with an underlying intrigue, I like him, I hope that he develops as a character throughout the books, that we get to know more about him.

The length of the story is just right, I generally enjoy 20hr plus novels but it has been quite refreshing to partake of this short book.

Recommended - yes
An easy listen - not necessarily and certainly not for when you are tired.

Read More Hide me

7 of 7 people found this review helpful


By Terence on 02-03-15

Engrossing from beginning to end

Meeting George Smiley again after a number of years is like running into a dear old friend. A friend who you take at face value with all his foibles because time has taught you he will not let you down. Le Carre draws you into the tale from the very beginning and then there's no stopping .

Read More Hide me

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Bevan Lewis on 10-22-15

Enjoyable first book in the series

John Le Carre's deftly drawn characters and well informed books on the world of espionage should need no introduction. Yet despite watching the two BBC miniseries based on the George Smiley character I hadn't read any until I listened to this, the first book in the eight featuring George. Smiley is a fascinating character, quite opaque, quiet and undemonstrative. He is the polar opposite of James Bond yet is a superb protagonist. Le Carre's first book is well plotted and paced, gently ambling towards a conclusion. I did anticipate a couple of plot points but it was still a pleasure to seem them play out.
The audio book is excellently narrated with the characters easily distinguished and full of drama.

Read More Hide me

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews
© Copyright 1997 - 2018 Audible, Inc