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Publisher's Summary

A number-one New York Times best seller for 34 weeks and the book that launched John le Carré's career worldwide.
In the shadow of the newly erected Berlin Wall, Alec Leamas watches as his last agent is shot dead by East German sentries. For Leamas, the head of Berlin Station, the Cold War is over. As he faces the prospect of retirement or worse - a desk job - Control offers him a unique opportunity for revenge. Assuming the guise of an embittered and dissolute ex-agent, Leamas is set up to trap Mundt, the deputy director of the East German Intelligence Service - with himself as the bait. In the background is George Smiley, ready to make the game play out just as Control wants.
Setting a standard that has never been surpassed, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a devastating tale of duplicity and espionage.
©1963; 1991 le Carre Productions; David Cornwell (P)2012 Penguin Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Walter on 03-29-13

Great novel, but not Smiley...

I really love the novels of John le Carre, especially the Karla series. This may be le Carre's best work - better even than the Karla novels. The vertiginous manipulations, the moral ambiguities, the uncomfortable compromises made by the protagonist Alec Leamas, make this a gripping story with existential reverberations, even 50 years after it was first published.

If the ending of "Smiley's People" is a victory with chilling implications for the human soul, then the ending of this novel is a crushing defeat with hopeful inspiration for the individual. Nothing is ever as it seems in le Carre's best work, and that is doubly true here.

One note: even though it's listed as part of the Smiley series, George Smiley is barely even a minor character in this book - more of a shadowy emanation, and one which hints at another side of his identity.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Nazir on 05-01-12

Great Book

What made the experience of listening to The Spy Who Came in from the Cold the most enjoyable?

John Le Carre is my favourite author and I have read most of his books including this one and I enjoyed the audio version just as much as the written one.

The narrator was excellent and the story was engrossing right from the beginning.

Highly recommend it specially if you are a fan of Le Carre.

What other book might you compare The Spy Who Came in from the Cold to and why?

Books narrated by Will Payton

Have you listened to any of Michael Jayston’s other performances before? How does this one compare?


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

not really - I like to stretch out the good books so I enjoy it longer rather than finishing them in one sitting

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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