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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

A Most Wanted Man

A Most Wanted Man

Author: John le Carre Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/12/2020

A half-starved young Russian man in a long black overcoat is smuggled into Hamburg at dead of night. He has an improbable amount of cash secreted in a purse round his neck. He is a devout Muslim. Or is he? He says his name is Issa. Poignant, compassionate, peopled with characters the reader never wants to let go, A Most Wanted Man is alive with humour, yet prickles with tension until the last heart-stopping page. It is also a work of deep humanity, and uncommon relevance to our times.

The Mission Song

The Mission Song

Author: John le Carre Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/11/2020

At a top-secret meeting between Western financiers and Congolese warlords, an interpreter finds his conscience re-awakening. Bruno Salvador has worked on clandestine missions before. A highly skilled interpreter, he is no stranger to the Official Secrets Act. But this is the first time he has been asked to change his identity - and, worse still, his clothes - in service of his country. Whisked to a remote island to interpret a top-secret conference between no-name financiers and Congolese warlords, Salvo's excitement is only heightened by memories of the night before he left London, and his life-changing encounter with a beautiful nurse named Hannah. Exit suddenly, the unassuming, happily married man Salvo believed himself to be. Enter in his place, the pseudonymous Brian Sinclar: spy, lover - and perhaps, even, hero.

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

The Constant Gardener

The Constant Gardener

Author: John le Carre 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

Single & Single

Single & Single

Author: John le Carre Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/08/2020

'An adventure that takes us to the ends of the earth via the rich but often barren landscape of the human heart' The Times Why was an English lawyer shot dead in Turkey by his firm's top client? How can a down-at-heel magician in Devon explain the vast fortune that has mysteriously appeared in his daughter's trust fund? With customs officer Nat Brock on the trail, the answers point to the House of Single - once a respectable finance company, now entangled with a Russian crime syndicate. West is pitted against East, and the British establishment against a labyrinthine criminal superpower, in le Carre's searing novel of lives built upon lies. 'A masterly work, faultless fiction of the highest order' Glasgow Herald

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

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 Night Manager

The Night Manager

Author: John le Carre 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

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 / softback 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 Roger 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 / softback 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

A Murder of Quality

A Murder of Quality

Author: John Le Carre Format: Paperback / softback 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

Smiley's People

Smiley's People

Author: John Le Carre Format: Paperback / softback 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

Call for the Dead

Call for the Dead

Author: John Le Carre Format: Paperback / softback 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