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John le Carré - Author

About the Author

John le Carré was born in 1931 and attended the universities of Bern and Oxford. He taught at Eton and served briefly in British Intelligence during the Cold War. For the last fifty years he has lived by his pen. He divides his time between London and Cornwall. His works include The Spy Who Came in from the Cold; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Smiley's People; The Little Drummer Girl; A Perfect Spy; The Russia House; and Absolute Friends.

Author photo © White Hare Ltd

Featured books by John le Carré

A Legacy of Spies

A Legacy of Spies

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/05/2018

Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, has retired to his family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London are to be scrutinised by a generation with no memory of the Cold War. Somebody must be made to pay for innocent blood once spilt in the name of the greater good. Interweaving past with present so that each may tell its own story, John le Carre has given us a novel of superb and enduring quality.

ebook of the month
The Pigeon Tunnel Stories from My Life

The Pigeon Tunnel Stories from My Life

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/05/2017

'Out of the secret world I once knew, I have tried to make a theatre for the larger worlds we inhabit. First comes the imagining, then the search for reality. Then back to the imagining, and to the desk where I'm sitting now.' From his years serving in British Intelligence during the Cold War, to a career as a writer that took him from war-torn Cambodia to Beirut on the cusp of the 1982 Israeli invasion, to Russia before and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, John le Carre has always written from the heart of modern times. In this, his first memoir, le Carre is as funny as he is incisive - reading into the events he witnesses the same moral ambiguity with which he imbues his novels. Whether he's writing about the parrot at a Beirut hotel that could perfectly mimic machine gun fire, or visiting Rwanda's museums of the unburied dead in the aftermath of the genocide, or celebrating New Year's Eve with Yasser Arafat, or interviewing a German terrorist in her desert prison in the Negev, or watching Alec Guinness preparing for his role as George Smiley, or describing the female aid worker who inspired the main character in his The Constant Gardener, le Carre endows each happening with vividness and humour, now making us laugh out loud, now inviting us to think anew about events and people we believed we understood. Best of all, le Carre gives us a glimpse of a writer's journey over more than six decades, and his own hunt for the human spark that has given so much life and heart to his fictional characters.

ebook of the month
The Pigeon Tunnel Stories from My Life

The Pigeon Tunnel Stories from My Life

Author: John le Carré Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/09/2016

'Out of the secret world I once knew, I have tried to make a theatre for the larger worlds we inhabit. First comes the imagining, then the search for reality. Then back to the imagining, and to the desk where I'm sitting now.' From his years serving in British Intelligence during the Cold War, to a career as a writer that took him from war-torn Cambodia to Beirut on the cusp of the 1982 Israeli invasion, to Russia before and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, John le Carre has always written from the heart of modern times.

ebook of the month
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2016

The classic Cold War thriller, published as a Penguin Essential for the first time. Alec Leamas is tired. He must travel deep into the heart of Communist Germany and betray his country, a job that he will do with his usual cynical professionalism. But when George Smiley tries to help a young woman Leamas has befriended, Leamas's mission may prove to be the worst thing he could ever have done.

ebook of the month
The Night Manager

The Night Manager

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/02/2016

At the start of it all, Jonathan Pine is merely the night manager at a luxury hotel. But when a single attempt to pass on information to the British authorities - about an international businessman at the hotel with suspicious dealings - backfires terribly, and people close to Pine begin to die, he commits himself to a battle against powerful forces he cannot begin to imagine. Also in the episode that aired 13 March John le Carre himself had a cameo ... did you spot it. If not check out the video clip below.

ebook of the month
Smiley Versus Karla Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the Honourable Schoolboy, Smiley's People

Smiley Versus Karla Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the Honourable Schoolboy, Smiley's People

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/12/2011

Stalking each other through this twilight landscape are the incomparable George Smiley and his ruthless opposite number, codenamed Karla, the Soviet case officer who has been slowly masterminding the Circus's ruin. Their extraordinary duel not only raised the spy novel to new heights of realism and complexity, it also constitutes one of the major triumphs of contemporary fiction, confirming John le Carre as a profound chronicler of the post-war world and a novelist of unfailing humanity.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/06/2011

The Circus has already suffered a bad defeat, and the result was two bullets in a man's back. But a bigger threat still exists. And the legendary George Smiley is recruited to root out a high-level mole of thirty years' standing - though to find him means spying on the spies. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is brilliant and ceaselessly compelling, pitting Smiley against his Cold War rival, Karla, in one of the greatest struggles in all fiction.

ebook of the month
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/11/2009

The enduring novel by one of our greatest storytellers. George Smiley, who is a troubled man of infinite compassion, is also a single-mindedly ruthless adversary as a spy.   The scene which he enters is a Cold War landscape of moles and lamplighters, scalp-hunters and pavement artists, where men are turned, burned or bought for stock. Smiley's mission is to catch a Moscow Centre mole burrowed thirty years deep into the Circus itself.

ebook of the month

Other books by John le Carré

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Author: John le Carré Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/11/2019

George Smiley, who is a troubled man of infinite compassion, is also a single-mindedly ruthless adversary as a spy. The scene which he enters is a Cold War landscape of moles and lamplighters, scalp-hunters and pavement artists, where men are turned, burned or bought for stock. Smiley's mission is to catch a Moscow Centre mole burrowed thirty years deep into the Circus itself.

Agent Running in the Field

Agent Running in the Field

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/10/2019

Pre-order John le Carre's new novel Agent Running in the Field now, and be one of the first to read it. 'No other writer has charted - pitilessly for politicians but thrillingly for readers - the public and secret histories of his times' Guardian ________________________________ Nat, a 47 year-old veteran of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, believes his years as an agent runner are over. He is back in London with his wife, the long-suffering Prue. But with the growing threat from Moscow Centre, the office has one more job for him. Nat is to take over The Haven, a defunct substation of London General with a rag-tag band of spies. The only bright light on the team is young Florence, who has her eye on Russia Department and a Ukrainian oligarch with a finger in the Russia pie. Nat is not only a spy, he is a passionate badminton player. His regular Monday evening opponent is half his age: the introspective and solitary Ed. Ed hates Brexit, hates Trump and hates his job at some soulless media agency. And it is Ed, of all unlikely people, who will take Prue, Florence and Nat himself down the path of political anger that will ensnare them all. Agent Running in the Field is a chilling portrait of our time, now heartbreaking, now darkly humorous, told to us with unflagging tension by the greatest chronicler of our age. _______________________________ 'John le Carre is as recognisable a writer as Dickens or Austen' Financial Times 'No writer has ever been better at turning the act of two people talking politely to each other across a desk into a blood sport' Telegraph

Agent Running in the Field

Agent Running in the Field

Author: John le Carré Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/10/2019

Pre-order John le Carre's new novel Agent Running in the Field now, and be one of the first to read it. 'No other writer has charted - pitilessly for politicians but thrillingly for readers - the public and secret histories of his times' Guardian ________________________________ Nat, a 47 year-old veteran of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, believes his years as an agent runner are over. He is back in London with his wife, the long-suffering Prue. But with the growing threat from Moscow Centre, the office has one more job for him. Nat is to take over The Haven, a defunct substation of London General with a rag-tag band of spies. The only bright light on the team is young Florence, who has her eye on Russia Department and a Ukrainian oligarch with a finger in the Russia pie. Nat is not only a spy, he is a passionate badminton player. His regular Monday evening opponent is half his age: the introspective and solitary Ed. Ed hates Brexit, hates Trump and hates his job at some soulless media agency. And it is Ed, of all unlikely people, who will take Prue, Florence and Nat himself down the path of political anger that will ensnare them all. Agent Running in the Field is a chilling portrait of our time, now heartbreaking, now darkly humorous, told to us with unflagging tension by the greatest chronicler of our age. _______________________________ 'John le Carre is as recognisable a writer as Dickens or Austen' Financial Times 'No writer has ever been better at turning the act of two people talking politely to each other across a desk into a blood sport' Telegraph

Agent Running in the Field

Agent Running in the Field

Author: John le Carré Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 17/10/2019

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Agent Running in the Field written and read by John le Carre. Nat, a 47 year-old veteran of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, believes his years as an agent runner are over. He is back in London with his wife, the long-suffering Prue. But with the growing threat from Moscow Centre, the office has one more job for him. Nat is to take over The Haven, a defunct substation of London General with a rag-tag band of spies. The only bright light on the team is young Florence, who has her eye on Russia Department and a Ukrainian oligarch with a finger in the Russia pie. Nat is not only a spy, he is a passionate badminton player. His regular Monday evening opponent is half his age: the introspective and solitary Ed. Ed hates Brexit, hates Trump and hates his job at some soulless media agency. And it is Ed, of all unlikely people, who will take Prue, Florence and Nat himself down the path of political anger that will ensnare them all. Agent Running in the Field is a chilling portrait of our time, now heartbreaking, now darkly humorous, told to us with unflagging tension by the greatest chronicler of our age. ________________________________ 'No other writer has charted - pitilessly for politicians but thrillingly for readers - the public and secret histories of his times' Guardian 'John le Carre is as recognisable a writer as Dickens or Austen' Financial Times 'No writer has ever been better at turning the act of two people talking politely to each other across a desk into a blood sport' Telegraph

The Naive and Sentimental Lover

The Naive and Sentimental Lover

Author: John le Carré Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/10/2019

Aldo Cassidy is the naive and sentimental lover. A successful, judicious man, he is wrenched away from the ordered certainties of his life by a sudden encounter with Shamus, a wild, carousing artist and Helen, his nakedly alluring wife. Cassidy, plunged into a whirlpool of recklessness and spontaneity, becomes a man bewildered and agonised as he is torn between two poles of a nature more complex than he had ever imagined.

A Small Town in Germany

A Small Town in Germany

Author: John le Carré Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/09/2019

West Germany in the 1960s is a simmering cauldron of radical protests. Amid the turmoil Leo Harting, a Second Secretary in the British Embassy, has gone missing - along with more than forty Confidential embassy files. Alan Turner of the Foreign Office must travel to Bonn to recover them. As he gets closer to the truth of Harting's disappearance, he will discover that the face of Cold War Europe - and the attentions of the British Ministry itself - are far uglier that he could possibly have imagined. Le Carre's searing Cold War novel creates a world where the lines between right and wrong, good and evil, are horribly blurred.

Penguin Readers Level 6: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

Penguin Readers Level 6: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2019

Alec Leamas, a tired, worn out British spymaster, has retired. His boss, however, believes he has one last job in him and sends him to East Germany to spread false information about a powerful East German intelligence officer. Can Agent Leamas end his career of espionage and finally come in from the cold, or will the opportunity to take revenge on old enemies prove irresistible? Penguin Readers is a series of the best new fiction, essential non-fiction and popular classics written for learners of English as a foreign language. Beautifully illustrated and carefully adapted, the series introduces language learners around the world to the bestselling authors and most compelling content from Penguin Random House. The eight levels of Penguin Readers follow the Common European Framework and include language activities that help readers to develop key skills. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, a Level 6 Reader, is B1+ in the CEFR framework. The longer text is made up of sentences with up to four clauses, introducing future continuous, reported questions, third conditional, was going to and ellipsis. A small number of illustrations support the text.

The Looking Glass War

The Looking Glass War

Author: John le Carré Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/08/2019

When the Department - faded since the war and busy only with bureaucratic battles - hears rumour of a missile base near the West German border, it seems like the perfect opportunity to regain some political standing in the Intelligence market place. The Cold War is at its height and the Department is dying for a piece of the action. Swiftly becoming carried away by fear and pride, the Department and her officers send deactivated agent Fred Leiser back into East Germany, armed only with some schoolboy training and his memories of the war. In the land of eloquent silence that is Communist East Germany, Leiser's fate becomes inseparable from the Department's. 'A devastating and tragic record of human, not glamour, spies' New York Herald Tribune 'A book of rare and great power' Financial Times

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

Author: John le Carré Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/07/2019

Alec Leamas is tired. It's the 1960s, he's been out in the cold for years, spying in Berlin for his British masters, and has seen too many good agents murdered for their troubles. Now Control wants to bring him in at last - but only after one final assignment. He must travel deep into the heart of Communist Germany and betray his country, a job that he will do with his usual cynical professionalism. But when George Smiley tries to help a young woman Leamas has befriended, Leamas's mission may prove to be the worst thing he could ever have done. In le Carre's breakthrough work of 1963, the spy story is reborn as a gritty and terrible tale of men who are caught up in politics beyond their imagining.

A Murder of Quality

A Murder of Quality

Author: John le Carré Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/06/2019

John le Carre's second novel is an ingenious puzzle featuring his best-loved character George Smiley. Now available in a collector's hardback edition. Stella Rode has twice disturbed the ancient cloisters of Carne School: firstly by being the wrong sort, with her doilies and china ducks, and secondly by being murdered. George Smiley, who has his own connection with the school, is asked by an old Service friend to investigate. Smiley knows that Stella feared her husband would murder her, but as he probes further beneath Carne's respectable veneer, he uncovers far more than a simple crime of passion. In his second George Smiley novel, le Carre moves outside the world of espionage to reveal the secrets at the heart of another particularly English institution. The result is a pitch-perfect murder mystery, with Smiley as master detective. THE SECOND GEORGE SMILEY NOVEL 'Beautifully intelligent, satiric and witty' Daily Telegraph

The Little Drummer Girl Now a BBC series

The Little Drummer Girl Now a BBC series

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/10/2018

A special edition of John le Carre's thrilling novel of espionage and betrayal in the Middle East, to tie in with the new BBC series starring Alexander Skarsgard, Michael Shannon and Florence Pugh Charlie, a jobbing young English actress, is accustomed to playing different roles. But when the mysterious, battle-scarred Joseph recruits her into the Israeli secret services, she enters the dangerous 'theatre of the real'. As she acts out her part in an intricate, high-stakes plot to trap and kill a Palestinian terrorist, it threatens to consume her. Set in the tragic arena of the Middle East conflict, this compelling story of love and torn loyalties plays out against the backdrop of an unwinnable war. 'An exciting story, excitingly told' Observer 'Wonderful' The New York Times

The Little Drummer Girl Now a BBC series

The Little Drummer Girl Now a BBC series

Author: John le Carré Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/10/2018

Charlie, a brilliant and beautiful young actress, is lured into 'the theatre of the real' by an Israeli intelligence officer. Forced to play her ultimate role, she is plunged into a deceptive and delicate trap set to ensnare an elusive Palestinian terrorist. The Little Drummer Girl is a thrilling, deeply moving and courageous novel of our times.

The Constant Gardener

The Constant Gardener

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/09/2018

'The book breathes life, anger and excitement' Observer Tessa Quayle, a brilliant and beautiful young social activist, has been found brutally murdered by Lake Turkana in Nairobi. The rumours are that she was faithless, careless, but her husband Justin, a reserved, garden-loving British diplomat, refuses to believe them. As he sets out to discover what really happened to Tessa, he unearths a conspiracy more disturbing, and more deadly, than he could ever have imagined. A blistering expose of global corruption, The Constant Gardener is also the moving portrayal of a man searching for justice for the woman he has barely had time to love. 'A cracking thriller' Economist

Smiley's People

Smiley's People

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/09/2018

The concluding part of John le Carre's celebrated Karla Trilogy, Smiley's People sees the last confrontation between the indefatigable spymaster George Smiley and his great enemy, as their rivalry comes to a shattering end. A Soviet defector has been assassinated on English soil, and George Smiley is called back to the Circus to clear up - and cover up - the mess. But what he discovers sends him delving into the past, on a trail through Hamburg and Paris to Cold War Berlin - and a final showdown with his elusive nemesis, Karla. 'An enormously skilled and satisfying work' Newsweek 'We are all Smiley's people, a kind of secular god of intelligence' New Yorker THE SEVENTH GEORGE SMILEY NOVEL

Absolute Friends

Absolute Friends

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/09/2018

'One of his most enthralling creations' Daily Telegraph Broke and working as a tour guide in Germany, rootless Englishman Ted Mundy catches a glimpse of an old friend hiding in the shadows. A friend he thought was lost to him. A friend who took him from radical 1960s Berlin to life as a double agent. Now, decades later, the Cold War is over and the war on terror has begun. Sasha has another mission for them both, but this time it is impossible to tell the difference between allies - and enemies. Set in a world of lies and shifting allegiances, Absolute Friends is a savage fable of our times. 'Thoroughly gripping' Sunday Times

A Most Wanted Man

A Most Wanted Man

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/09/2018

'One of the most sophisticated fictional responses to the war on terror yet published' Guardian An illegal Muslim immigrant arrives in Hamburg with a traumatic past and the key to a fortune held in a private bank. He says his name is Issa. To the idealistic young human rights lawyer Annabel, determined to save him from deportation, he is a worthy cause. To the intelligence services of Britain, Germany and America, however, he is a potential jihadist - and a pawn between them as they seek to make a kill in the war on terror. A Most Wanted Man is a gripping and disquieting story of paranoia, disillusionment and betrayal in the moral no-man's land of the post-9/11 world. 'A first-class novel about the most pressing concerns of our time' Daily Telegraph