• The Complete George Smiley Radio Dramas

  • BBC Radio 4 Full-Cast Dramatisation
  • By: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: full cast, Simon Russell Beale
  • Length: 18 hrs and 59 mins
  • Radio/TV Program
  • Release date: 06-02-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: BBC Worldwide Ltd
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.7 (386 ratings)

Regular price: $34.10

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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
3 out of 5 stars
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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54 of 55 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By D. Edgren on 06-01-17

Outstanding Radio Plays!

While the large cast of characters in John LeCarre's various George Smiley-centered novels can make getting into them a challenge, once you have done that just about all of them, even the baddies, will seem like old friends. I think for those who have not read at least Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy the eight radio plays that are presented here will seem frustrating at first, but even that will pass with time and careful listening. For those thoroughly familiar with Smiley's world, the plays are pure pleasure. You hardly notice the abridgment, and the voicing of each character is spot on. There is some additional dialogue added, mainly as exposition when it is needed, but I believe John Le Carre would wholeheartedly approve- his author's voice is in no way diminished by the additions. I think that these are essential listening, and will only add new fans to this great body of work.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By clivep on 06-20-16

brilliant

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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14 of 15 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Chill on 06-29-16

Excellent series

This collection is well presented and enjoyable to listen to. The series takes George Smiley through the latter part of his Circus career and beyond, often he is not the mainstay but remains in the background as the master puppeteer.
The condensing of the books has been done well, it is not necessary to have read the books in order to follow the plot.

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12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Christine on 11-17-16

Engaging

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

5 out of 5 stars
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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