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

Silverview

Silverview

Author: John le Carré Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/10/2021

Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian's evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish emigre living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian's family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise. When a letter turns up at the door of a spy chief in London warning him of a dangerous leak, the investigations lead him to this quiet town by the sea . . . Silverview is the mesmerising story of an encounter between innocence and experience and between public duty and private morals. In this last complete masterwork from the greatest chronicler of our age, John le Carre asks what you owe to your country when you no longer recognise it.

Silverview

Silverview

Author: John le Carré Format: Audiobook Release Date: 14/10/2021

Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian's evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish émigré living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian's family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise. When a letter turns up at the door of a spy chief in London warning him of a dangerous leak, the investigations lead him to this quiet town by the sea . . . Silverview is the mesmerising story of an encounter between innocence and experience and between public duty and private morals. In this last complete masterwork from the greatest chronicler of our age, John le Carré asks what you owe to your country when you no longer recognise it.

Audiobooks of the Month
Agent Running in the Field

Agent Running in the Field

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/05/2020

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.

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.

eBooks 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.

eBooks of the Month
Our Kind of Traitor

Our Kind of Traitor

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/04/2016

A naive British academic encounters a Russian oligarch in the Caribbean and the spider's web of global espionage unwinds in waves around them. The ambiguities of the secret world brought up to date. Le Carre at his best. ~ Maxim Jakubowski The Lovereading view... This is Le Carre at his spellbinding best.  His characters are so richly sketched and brilliantly imagined and there is no one to beat him for the quality of his dialogue which just slips off the tongue and into one’s subconscious but in such a way that it will never be forgotten.  Le Carre has proven here that he’s not just the King of the Cold War but also of the modern, murky and sometimes rather nasty world in which we now live. Click below to view the trailer for the film adaptation of this book which opens in the UK on 13 May 2016.

eBooks of the Month
A Delicate Truth

A Delicate Truth

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/04/2014

John Le Carré redefined spy thrillers when he wrote The Spy Who Came in from the Cold in just three weeks in 1963. Since then he has grown into a true master, whose books strip open truths about how we live now alongside gripping stories. A Delicate Truth is indeed a very delicately plotted book with hints and insinuations of real events, from the death of David Kelly to recent ministerial scandals, laced into its fictionalised plot and the entire plot turns on a breathtaking trick that will have you wanting to burst into spontaneous applause it’s so brilliant.

eBooks 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 (Film tie-in edition)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Film tie-in edition)

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2011

A wonderful, classic le Carre now reissued in a stunning new package.   Click the screen below to view a trailer for the film version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy staring Gary Oldman and Colin Firth. DVD is due for release 30 Jan 2012.

eBooks of the Month
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.

eBooks of the Month
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

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

The first part of John le Carre's acclaimed Karla Trilogy, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy sees the beginning of the stealthy Cold War cat-and-mouse game between the taciturn, dogged George Smiley and his wily Soviet counterpart. A mole, implanted by Moscow Centre, has infiltrated the highest ranks of the British Intelligence Service, almost destroying it in the process. And so former spymaster George Smiley has been brought out of retirement in order to hunt down the traitor at the very heart of the Circus - even though it may be one of those closest to him. 'A stunning story' Wall Street Journal 'A great thriller, the best le Carre has written' Spectator THE FIFTH GEORGE SMILEY NOVEL

eBooks of the Month
A Most Wanted Man

A Most Wanted Man

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback 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

eBooks of the Month
The Night Manager

The Night Manager

Author: John le Carré Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/07/2020

In The Night Manager, an ex-soldier helps British Intelligence penetrate the secret world of ruthless arms dealers. 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. In a chilling tale of corrupt intelligence agencies, billion-dollar price tags and the truth of the brutal arms trade, John le Carre creates a claustrophobic world in which no one can be trusted. 'Le Carre is the equal of any novelist now writing in English' Guardian 'A marvellously observed relentless tale' Observer 'Complex and intense ... page-turning tension' San Francisco Chronicle 'When I was under house arrest I was helped by the books of John le Carre ... they were a journey into the wider world ... These were the journeys that made me feel that I was not really cut off from the rest of humankind' Aung San Suu Kyi 'One of those writers who will be read a century from now' Robert Harris

eBooks of the Month
The Constant Gardener

The Constant Gardener

Author: John le Carré Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/09/2020

'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

Other books by John le Carré

Silverview

Silverview

Author: John le Carre Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 04/11/2021

Brought to you by Penguin. In Silverview John le Carre turns his focus to the world that occupied his writing for the past sixty years - the secret world itself. Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian's evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish emigre living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian's family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise. When a letter turns up at the door of a spy chief in London warning him of a dangerous leak, the investigations lead him to this quiet town by the sea . . . Silverview is the mesmerising story of an encounter between innocence and experience and between public duty and private morals. In his inimitable voice John le Carre, the greatest chronicler of our age, seeks to answer the question of what we truly owe to the people we love. (c) The Literary Estate of David 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Absolute Friends

Absolute Friends

Author: John le Carre Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2020

'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

Our Game

Our Game

Author: John le Carre Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/07/2020

Le Carre's post-Cold War masterpiece, filled with suspense, betrayal, desire and drama The Cold War is over and retired secret servant Tim Cranmer has been put out to pasture, spending his days making wine on his Somerset estate. But then he discovers that his former double agent Larry - dreamer, dissolute, philanderer and disloyal friend - has vanished, along with Tim's mistress. As their trail takes him to the lawless wilds of Russia and the North Caucasus, he is forced to question everything he stood for. Set in a fragmented, uncertain post-Soviet world, le Carre's brutal story of falsehoods and betrayal shows men playing dangerous games beyond their control.

The Tailor of Panama

The Tailor of Panama

Author: John le Carre Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/07/2020

'A work of rare brilliance' The Times Charmer, fabulist and tailor to Panama's rich and powerful, Harry Pendel loves to tell stories. But when the British spy Andrew Osnard - a man of large appetites, for women, information and above all money - walks into his shop, Harry's fantastical inventions take on a life of their own. Soon he finds himself out of his depth in an international game he can never hope to win. Le Carre's savage satire on the espionage trade is set in a corrupt universe without heroes or honour, where the innocent are collateral damage and treachery plays out as tragic farce. 'A tour de force in which almost every convention of the classic spy novel is violated' The New York Times Book Review

Penguin Readers Level 5: The Night Manager (ELT Graded Reader)

Penguin Readers Level 5: The Night Manager (ELT Graded Reader)

Author: John le Carre Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/05/2020

Penguin Readers is an ELT graded reader series for learners of English as a foreign language. With carefully adapted text, new illustrations and language learning exercises, the print edition also includes instructions to access supporting material online. Titles include popular classics, exciting contemporary fiction, and thought-provoking non-fiction, introducing language learners to bestselling authors and compelling content. The eight levels of Penguin Readers follow the Common European Framework of Reference for language learning (CEFR). Exercises at the back of each Reader help language learners to practise grammar, vocabulary, and key exam skills. Before, during and after-reading questions test readers' story comprehension and develop vocabulary. Visit the Penguin Readers website Exclusively with the print edition, readers can unlock online resources including a digital book, audio edition, lesson plans and answer keys. Jonathan Pine is the Night Manager of a hotel in Egypt. When he is shown some secret information, he passes it to a man in the British government. But things go wrong and the woman he loves dies. Pine is very angry and agrees to work with others to catch Richard Roper - the worst man in the world .

The Smiley Collection Boxset

The Smiley Collection Boxset

Author: John le Carre Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 30/04/2020

A pursuit to solve a murder; a satire on the Etonian ruling class; an espionage thriller of plots and counter-plots; a devilish drama behind East German lines; a deadly hunt for a Soviet mole; a high-risk operation in South East Asia; a final showdown between spymasters; and a survey of the shattered moral landscape of the Cold War. Featuring the quintessentially English spymaster George Smiley, these are the eight gripping, globetrotting classics which defined John le Carre's oeuvre and earned him a reputation as one of the world's best living novelists, now in A format with a retro cover look created by the award-winning UK designer David Pearson. Including Call for the Dead, A Murder of Quality, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The Looking Glass War, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy, Smiley's People and The Secret Pilgrim.

The Russia House

The Russia House

Author: John le Carre Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/03/2020

In, John le Carre's first post-glasnost spy novel, The Russia House captures the effect of a slow and uncertain thaw on ordinary people and on the shadowy puppet-masters who command them. Barley Blair is not a Service man: he is a small-time publisher, a self-destructive soul whose only loves are whisky and jazz. But it was Barley who, one drunken night at a dacha in Peredelkino during the Moscow Book Fair, was befriended by a high-ranking Soviet scientist who could be the greatest asset to the West since perestroika began, and made a promise. Nearly a year later, his drunken promise returns to haunt him. A reluctant Barley is quickly trained by British Intelligence and sent to Moscow to liaise with a go-between, the beautiful Katya. Both are lonely and disillusioned. Each is increasingly certain that if the human race is to have any future, all must betray their countries ... 'Classic le Carre' Sunday Times

The Secret Pilgrim

The Secret Pilgrim

Author: John le Carre Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/03/2020

The eighth of John le Carre's espionage novels to feature his most enduring and well-loved character, George Smiley, The Secret Pilgrim is a gripping feat of narrative brilliance. The Cold War is over and Ned has been demoted to the training academy. He asks his old mentor, George Smiley, to address his passing-out class. There are no laundered reminiscences; Smiley speaks the truth - perhaps the last the students will ever hear. As they listen, Ned recalls his own painful triumphs and inglorious failures, in a career that took him from the Western Isles of Scotland to Hamburg and from Israel to Cambodia. He asks himself: Did it do any good? What did it do to me? And what will happen to us now? In this late Smiley novel, the great spy gives his own humane and unexpected answers. 'Consummate and enthralling' Observer

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

Author: John le Carre Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2020

THE THIRD GEORGE SMILEY NOVEL Alec Leamas is tired. It's the 1960s, he's been out in the cold for years, spying in the shadow of the Berlin Wall for his British masters. 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, it may prove the worst thing he could ever have done. Le Carre's breakthrough work of 1963 was an award-winning number one global bestseller and brought him international renown, redefining the spy story as a gritty and terrible tale of men who are caught up in politics beyond their imagining. 'The best spy story I have ever read' Graham Greene 'A masterpiece, the best espionage novel ever written' John Banville 'Superbly constructed, with an atmosphere of chilly hell' J. B. Priestley

Call for the Dead

Call for the Dead

Author: John le Carre Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2020

THE FIRST GEORGE SMILEY NOVEL After a routine security check by George Smiley, civil servant Samuel Fennan apparently kills himself. When Smiley finds Circus head Maston is trying to blame him for the death, he begins his own investigation, meeting Fennan's widow to find out what led him to such desperation. On the very day Smiley is ordered off the enquiry he receives an urgent letter from the dead man. Do the East Germans - and their agents - know more about this man's death than the Circus previously imagined? Le Carre's first book, Call for the Dead, introduced the tenacious and retiring spy George Smiley in a gripping tale of espionage and deceit. 'Intelligent, thrilling, surprising . . . makes most cloak-and-dagger stuff taste of cardboard' Sunday Telegraph 'Brilliant. Realistic. Constant suspense' Observer

A Murder of Quality

A Murder of Quality

Author: John le Carre Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2020

THE SECOND GEORGE SMILEY NOVEL Stella Rode has twice disturbed the ancient cloisters of Carne School: firstly by being the wrong sort, with her doyleys and china ducks, and secondly by being murdered. George Smiley 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 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. 'Beautifully intelligent, satiric and witty' Daily Telegraph

The Looking Glass War

The Looking Glass War

Author: John le Carre Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2020

THE FOURTH GEORGE SMILEY NOVEL When the Department - faded since the war and busy only with bureaucratic battles - hears rumours of a missile base near the West German border, it seems the perfect opportunity to regain some standing in the Intelligence world. Desperate for glory and determined to outdo their rivals at the Circus, including George Smiley, they 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 is no longer his own. Showing men carried away by fear and pride, The Looking Glass War is a powerful, moving story of human frailty. 'A devastating and tragic record of human, not glamour, spies' New York Herald Tribune 'A book of rare and great power' Financial Times

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Author: John le Carre Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2020

THE FIFTH GEORGE SMILEY NOVEL A mole, implanted by Moscow Centre, has infiltrated the highest ranks of the British Intelligence Service, almost destroying it in the process. And so former spymaster George Smiley has been brought out of retirement in order to hunt down the traitor at the very heart of the Circus - even though it may be one of those closest to him. The first part of le Carre's acclaimed Karla Trilogy, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy sees the beginning of the stealthy Cold War cat-and-mouse game between the taciturn, dogged Smiley and his wily Soviet counterpart. 'Le Carre's masterwork' William Boyd 'A great thriller, the best le Carre has written' Spectator

The Honourable Schoolboy

The Honourable Schoolboy

Author: John le Carre Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2020

THE SIXTH GEORGE SMILEY NOVEL George Smiley, now acting head of the Circus, must rebuild its shattered reputation after one of the biggest betrayals in its history. Using the talents of journalist and occasional spy Jerry Westerby, Smiley launches a risky operation uncovering a Russian money-laundering scheme in the Far East. His aim: revenge on Karla, head of Moscow Centre and the architect of all his troubles. In the second part of John le Carre's Karla Trilogy, the battle of wits between Smiley and his Soviet adversary takes on an even more dangerous dimension. 'Energy, compassion, rich and overwhelming sweep of character and action' The Times 'A remarkable sequel ... the achievement is in the characters, major and minor ... all burned on the brain of the reader' The New York Times

The Secret Pilgrim

The Secret Pilgrim

Author: John le Carre Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2020

THE EIGHTH GEORGE SMILEY NOVEL The Cold War is over and Ned has been demoted to the training academy. He asks his old mentor, George Smiley, to address his passing-out class. There are no laundered reminiscences; Smiley speaks the truth - perhaps the last the students will ever hear. As they listen, Ned recalls his own painful triumphs and inglorious failures, in a career that took him from the Western Isles of Scotland to Hamburg and from Israel to Cambodia. He asks himself: Did it do any good? What did it do to me? And what will happen to us now? In this eighth Smiley novel, the great spy gives his own humane and unexpected answers. 'Powerful ... Remarkable ... Magisterial' The New York Times

Smiley's People

Smiley's People

Author: John le Carre Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2020

THE SEVENTH GEORGE SMILEY NOVEL 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. The concluding part of le Carre's celebrated Karla Trilogy, Smiley's People sees the last confrontation between the indefatigable spymaster and his great enemy, as their rivalry comes to a shattering end. 'An enormously skilled and satisfying work' Newsweek 'We are all Smiley's people, a kind of secular god of intelligence' New Yorker