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Nothing is as it was. Old enemies embrace. The dark staging grounds of the Cold War, whose shadows barely obscured the endless games of espionage, are flooded with light; the rules are rewritten, the stakes changed, the future unfathomable. John le Carre seized this momentous turning point in history to give us the most disturbing experience we have yet had of the frail and brutal world of spydom.
The man called Ned speaks to us. All his adult life he has been in British Intelligence - the Circus - a loyal, shrewd, wily officer of the Cold War. Now, approaching the end of his career, he revisits his own past. He invites us on a tour of his three decades in the Circus, burrowing deep into the twilight world where he ran spies - 'joes' - from Poland, Estonia, Hungary.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Leonard on 01-05-13
A Classic That Only Gets Better
For fans of LeCarre's Smiley character, The Secret Pilgrim will be a great trip down memory lane. I read all of the Smiley novels, however, I don't remember this one. So when I saw it on the Audible list I quickly downloaded it. I was not disappointed at all. The story was classic LeCarre and Jayston's narration was phenomenal - it was as though Smiley was sitting in the room with you. A great audio experience.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
By Darwin8u on 01-09-13
Finish Line & NOT Starting Point for George Smiley
A final wrap-up to le Carré's George Smiley series is a chronological narrative of short-stories framed around the memories of spy Ned, and the stories of George Smiley, given to a group of trainees selected for the Secret Service. The stories span the 40+ years of the Cold War, and capture the gradual disillusionment of Ned and the ambiguity of the sagacious/perceptive George Smiley.
While this is not the best in the George Smiley oeuvre, it is a nice victory lap. It allowed le Carré the opportunity to publish a few pieces he had worked on, but not yet turned into novels...while also revisiting the themes of morality/love/individual vs amorality/duty/institutions he constantly addressed and returned to in his Circus/Smiley novels.
23 of 25 people found this review helpful