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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.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
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
8 of 8 people found this review helpful