The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Dramatised) : Smiley Radio Plays

  • by John le Carré
  • Narrated by Simon Russell Beale
  • Series: Smiley Radio Plays
  • 2 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Simon Russell Beale stars in this BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of John le Carré's novel, which introduced his most famous character, George Smiley. It is 1962: the height of the Cold War and only months after the building of the Berlin Wall. Alec Leamas is a hard-working, hard-drinking British intelligence officer whose East Berlin network is in tatters. His agents are either on the run or dead, victims of the ruthlessly efficient East German counter-intelligence officer Hans-Dieter Mundt. Leamas is recalled to London where, to his surprise, instead of being washed up and consigned to a desk he's offered a chance to have his revenge by becoming a pawn in a brilliantly-conceived plot to destroy Mundt. But in order to do so he has to stay out in the cold a little longer... Starring the award-winning Simon Russell Beale as Smiley, and with a distinguished cast including Brian Cox as Alec Leamas, this tense, compelling dramatisation perfectly captures the atmosphere of le Carré's taut, intricate thriller.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Brian Cox is great but...

THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD is such a great story that it's hard to make a bad version of it. This one is good, but it's just good. It's been a little while since I read the book, but it seems they throw more Smiley into the story just to have more of him. Yeah, I realize the point is to tell the whole Smiley saga, but he wasn't a huge part of this story until this telling. Mr. Russel Beale is fine as Smiley, but this story is about Alec Leamus, and Brian Cox is wonderful.
My biggest beef with this production is that it wasn't needed. The BBC did a great adaptation with Colin Blakely which was commercially available until recently. That version maintained the mystery within the story better and didn't need a summation at the end explaining exactly what happened in case we didn't get it. I know there's an opinion out there, usually among younger people, that if something is more than 10 years old it should be redone because we can do it better now. This just isn't the case- not for THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, not for TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY, and from what I've heard so far, SMILEY'S PEOPLE. Newer isn't better. Just newer.
Will this version do in a pinch? Of course, it's a fine production. And more than likely you won't be able to find the older version anyway. Too bad.
As I've said, Brian Cox is wonderful in this. If nothing else listen for him.
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Best Cold War Spy Novel Ever!

I've watched it, I've read it and I've listened to it...several times each...and now this dramatization which I really enjoyed. I think I have it figured out too, lol. Excellent!
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Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-31-2009
  • Publisher: BBC Worldwide Limited