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Editorial Reviews

"A radio triumph...Simon Russell Beale's pitch-perfect master spy." (Financial Times)
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Publisher's Summary

The complete collection of acclaimed BBC Radio dramas based on John le Carré's best-selling novels, starring Simon Russell Beale as George Smiley. With a star cast including Kenneth Cranham, Eleanor Bron, Brian Cox, Ian MacDiarmid, Anna Chancellor, Hugh Bonneville and Lindsay Duncan, these enthralling dramatisations perfectly capture the atmosphere of le Carré's taut, thrilling spy novels. 'Call for the Dead' is the first Smiley novel, which sees him looking into an apparent suicide only to uncover a murderous conspiracy; 'A Murder of Quality' finds Smiley investigating a murder in a private school; 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' introduces Alec Leamas, a British intelligence officer whose East Berlin network is in tatters; 'The Looking Glass War' features former spy Fred Leiser, lured back from retirement to investigate a claim that Soviet missiles are being installed close to the West German border; 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' is the first book in the Karla trilogy, and sees Smiley searching for a mole who has infiltrated the Circus; 'The Honourable Schoolboy' sees Smiley determined to destroy his nemesis, Karla, and his spy networks; 'Smiley's People' finds George Smiley called out of retirement to exorcise some Cold War ghosts from his clandestine past; and 'The Secret Pilgrim' sees Smiley invited to dine with the eager new recruits at the Circus. He offers them his thoughts on espionage and, in doing so, prompts a former colleague to re-examine his own eventful secret life. Duration: 19 hours.
©2016 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2016 BBC Worldwide Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By RB Vancouver on 01-07-17

good reading but can't navigate

You get several novels dramatized over 18 hours, in two massive files. It's impossible to pick one of the novels and listen to it separately. You just have to start at the beginning with Call For the Dead and keep going. The second file starts part way through Smiley's People, so there's no point starting there. God help you if you lose your place and have to find it again in one or the other of these two huge files. That's not quite what I expected from Audible. I like to be able to navigate readily within an audiobook. Audible should've divided this up so that each dramatization is a separate audio file. The production quality is quite decent, a bit hammed up in places, but then many English people do talk that way; also, I don't know that the reader doing Smiley has quite the right accent for a man of his age and social station.

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42 of 43 people found this review helpful

By Anonymous on 10-22-16

had to come back to this

What did you love best about The Complete George Smiley Radio Dramas?

I love the repeatability of this performance. I own about 80 audio books here at audible and a lot more that I've collected over the years and I've listened to this one over and over and over again. Excellent work.

What other book might you compare The Complete George Smiley Radio Dramas to and why?

Possibly the Sherlock Holmes dramatizations but I've still listened to this one more often.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There were unexpected moments when it made me laugh. The accents are very well done and quite a few characters are real ... well characters.

Extreme reactions? I could do with a whiskey. I'm also a bit more partial to frogs.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Amazon Customer on 06-24-16

BBC radio adaptation at its best

Any additional comments?

The BBC does great radio adaptations of well known novels and this ranks alongside The Lord of the Rings, War and Peace and Asimov's Foundation Trilogy as one of the best.
A good introduction to the Smiley series for those new to Le Carre and tasty comfort food for fans like myself who know his books well.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

By clivep on 06-20-16


I stumbled across this presentation after listening to 2 Le Carre novels and must say that it was enthralling. So good was the acting that at times it stopped me from working just so that I could finish a story. I will look out for more in this format

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Christine on 11-17-16


This was, of course, brilliant because it
came from the famed BBC drama department. It was well produced and extremely well acted. However, I did find it a little confusing to follow at times and it required a lot of concentration to try and follow the story and which character was talking. I think I would have followed the stories better if I'd listened to a narration of the books rather than the interpretation of those stories through play.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By M.Chuzzlewit on 10-27-16

Compelling listening, great dramatisation.

I was really engrossed in this cold war espionage series. The writing is generally taut with some of the stories more compelling than others, but all were Top shelf in their field if a little fatalistic in tone, which may be an accurate reflection on the "craft' by a firmer operative. The only let down for me was in 'the honourable schoolboy's, in my opinion, the weakest of the Geaorge Smiley novels, where the Chinese, Vietnamese and American accents sounded jarringly inauthentic and contrived. The rest of the acting was excellent. Perhaps the BBC might have used a native-speaking actor for those parts.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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