LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

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

Constant Gardener

Constant Gardener

Author: John le Carré Format: eBook Release Date: 14/08/2012

Frightening, heartbreaking, and exquisitely calibrated, John le Carr's new novel opens with the gruesome murder of the young and beautiful Tessa Quayle near northern Kenya's Lake Turkana, the birthplace of mankind. Her putative African lover and traveling companion, a doctor with one of the aid agencies, has vanished from the scene of the crime. Tessa's much older husband, Justin, a career diplomat at the British High Commission in Nairobi, sets out on a personal odyssey in pursuit of the killers and their motive.A master chronicler of the deceptions and betrayals of ordinary people caught in political conflict, le Carr portrays, in The Constant Gardener, the dark side of unbridled capitalism. His eighteenth novel is also the profoundly moving story of a man whom tragedy elevates. Justin Quayle, amateur gardener and ineffectual bureaucrat, seemingly oblivious to his wife's cause, discovers his own resources and the extraordinary courage of the woman he barely had time to love. The Constant Gardener is a magnificent exploration of the new world order by one of the most compelling and elegant storytellers of our time.

Dame, Konig, As, Spion

Dame, Konig, As, Spion

Author: John le Carré Format: eBook Release Date: 10/08/2012

Alle Romane von John le Carre jetzt als E-Book! - George Smiley, Chef des britischen Geheimdienstes, soll nach einer gescheiterten Operation seinen Posten raumen. Doch da stellt sich heraus, dass einer seiner Leute ein Doppelagent ist, der insgeheim fur Moskau arbeitet. Smiley setzt sich auf seine Fahrte und gerat dabei, als Tarnung selbst zum Maulwurf geworden, mitten ins Reich des groen Gegners im kalten Krieg ... Der Weltbestseller jetzt verfilmt mit Oscarpreistrger Colin Firth.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Author: John le Carré Format: Electronic book text Release Date: 30/01/2012

This enhanced eBook edition of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy includes the international trailer for the highly acclaimed film, directed by Tomas Alfredson from Studio Canal and 'The Guide to George Smiley'. 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.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Author: John le Carré Format: Electronic book text Release Date: 30/01/2012

This enhanced eBook edition of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy includes the international trailer for the highly acclaimed film, directed by Tomas Alfredson from Studio Canal and 'The Guide to George Smiley'. 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.

Call for the Dead

Call for the Dead

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2011

The first of his peerless novels of Cold War espionage and international intrigue, Call for the Dead is also the debut of John le Carre's masterful creation George Smiley. 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 man's death, he begins his own investigation, meeting with Fennan's widow to find out what could have led him to such desperation. But on the very day that 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 George Smiley in a gripping tale of espionage and deceit. If you enjoyed Call for the Dead, you might like le Carre's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'Intelligent, thrilling, surprising ... makes most cloak-and-dagger stuff taste of cardboard' Sunday Telegraph 'Brilliant. Realistic. Constant suspense' Observer

A Small Town in Germany

A Small Town in Germany

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2011

'Brilliant, unforgettable ... a masterpiece' New Statesman 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. 'Exciting, compulsively readable and brilliantly plotted' The New York Times With an Introduction by Hari Kunzru

The Looking Glass War

The Looking Glass War

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2011

A Cold War thriller from the master of spy fiction, John le Carre's The Looking Glass War is a gripping novel of double-crosses, audacious bluffs and the ever-present threat of nuclear war, published in Penguin Modern Classics. 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. If you enjoyed The Looking Glass War, you might like le Carre's The Secret Pilgrim, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. '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: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/07/2011

The Cold War is at its most chill. Alec Leamas, a spent spymaster, leaves West Berlin for London. His informants are either exposed or dead; his operational usefulness is over. Control, however, believes Leamas has one last job in him. It is daring, highly speculative and very, very dangerous. But for Leamas, the opportunity to revenge himself on those who, one by one, took out his people, is irresistible...

Russia House

Russia House

Author: John le Carré Format: eBook Release Date: 01/07/2011

In the third year of perestroika, London publisher Barley Blair is sent a manuscript from Moscow. Exposing Russian nuclear threats as a sham, the information - if it's genuine - could shatter East-West relations. Jazz-loving, hard-drinking Blair is hardly the spymasters' idea of the perfect agent, yet they are forced to send him to Moscow to make contact. But the Cold War thaws when Barley meets Katya, the beautiful Russian intermediary who is equally sceptical of state ideology. Mere pawns in a deadly game of international espionage, they nevertheless represent the breakdown of hostilities and a future which poses a huge threat to the entrenched professionals on both sides... Both a gripping spy saga and a poignant love story, The Russia House delivers all the excitement and tension expected from the master of espionage fiction. This BBC Radio 4 adaptation was dramatised by Rene Basilico.

The Russia House

The Russia House

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/05/2011

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 ... In his first post-glasnost spy novel, le Carre captures the effect of a slow and uncertain thaw on ordinary people and on the shadowy puppet-masters who command them.

A Murder of Quality

A Murder of Quality

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/05/2011

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 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 George Smiley as master detective. THE SECOND GEORGE SMILEY NOVEL 'Beautifully intelligent, satiric and witty' Daily Telegraph

The Secret Pilgrim

The Secret Pilgrim

Author: John le Carré Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/05/2011

The eighth of John le Carre's espionage novels to feature his most enduring and well-loved character, George Smiley, and a gripping feat of narrative brilliance, The Secret Pilgrim is published in Penguin Modern Classics with an afterword by the author. 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. If you enjoyed The Secret Pilgrim, you might like le Carre's The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'Consummate and enthralling' Observer

Perfect Spy

Perfect Spy

Author: John le Carré Format: eBook Release Date: 01/04/2011

Magnus Pym, Counsellor at the British Embassy, is hosting a dinner party at his home in Vienna when he receives an unexpected telephone call that will profoundly affect his life. Once the guests have gone, Pym breaks the news to his wife, Mary: his father, Rick, is dead. In a state of shock, he says something Mary cannot understand - 'After all these years, I'm free.' Magnus flies back to England to attend the funeral - and doesn't return. As Mary and MI6 spymaster Jack Brotherhood desperately try to find out his whereabouts, it soon becomes clear that Pym has been keeping secrets from both his family and his employers, the British Intelligence Service. Hiding out in a remote cottage in Devon, where he goes by the name of Mr Canterbury, Magnus begins to write his memoirs - retracing his rise and fall and revealing how Rick led him step by step into a double life of deception, broken promises and betrayal... This recording, adapted from the John le Carre novel by Rene Basilico, was believed lost from the BBC archive, but was rediscovered after almost twenty years and restored.

Our Kind of Traitor

Our Kind of Traitor

Author: John le Carré Format: eBook Release Date: 12/10/2010

The unrivaled master of spy fiction returns with a taut and suspenseful tale of dirty money and dirtier politics. For nearly half a century, John le Carre's limitless imagination has enthralled millions of readers and moviegoers around the globe. From the cold war to the bitter fruits of colonialism to unrest in the Middle East, he has reinvented the spy novel again and again. Now, le Carre makes his Viking debut with a stunning tour-de-force that only a craftsman of his caliber could pen. As menacing and flawlessly paced as The Little Drummer Girl and as morally complex as The Constant Gardener, Our Kind of Traitor is signature le Carre. Perry and Gail are idealistic and very much in love when they splurge on a tennis vacation at a posh beach resort in Antigua. But the charm begins to pall when a big-time Russian money launderer enlists their help to defect. In exchange for amnesty, Dima is ready to rat out his vory (Russian criminal brotherhood) compatriots and expose corruption throughout the so-called legitimate financial and political worlds. Soon, the guileless couple find themselves pawns in a deadly endgame whose outcome will be determined by the victor of the British Secret Service's ruthless internecine battles.

Secret Pilgrim

Secret Pilgrim

Author: John le Carré Format: eBook Release Date: 01/07/2010

George Smiley is one of the most brilliantly realised characters in British fiction. Bespectacled, tubby, eternally middle-aged and deceptively ordinary, he has a mind like a steel trap and is said to possess 'the cunning of Satan and the conscience of a virgin'. The Berlin Wall is down, the Cold War is over, but the world's second oldest profession is very much alive. Smiley accepts an invitation to dine with the eager young men and women of the Circus' latest intake; and over coffee and brandy, by flickering firelight, he beguilingly offers them his personal thoughts on espionage past, present and future. In doing so, he prompts one of his former Circus colleagues into a searching examination of his own eventful secret life. Starring the award-winning Simon Russell Beale as Smiley, and with a distinguished cast including Patrick Malahide as Ned, this engrossing dramatisation brings le Carre's masterful novel vividly to life. 'A radio triumph... Simon Russell Beale's pitch-perfect master spy' - Financial Times.

Smiley's People

Smiley's People

Author: John le Carré Format: eBook Release Date: 01/05/2010

George Smiley is one of the most brilliantly realised characters in British fiction. Bespectacled, tubby, eternally middle-aged and deceptively ordinary, he has a mind like a steel trap and is said to possess 'the cunning of Satan and the conscience of a virgin'. When a Russian emigre is found murdered on Hampstead Heath, Smiley is called out of retirement to exorcise some Cold War ghosts from his clandestine past. What follows is Smiley the human being at his most vulnerable and Smiley the case officer at his most brilliant; and it takes to a thrilling conclusion his career-long, serpentine battle with the enigmatic and ruthless Russian spymaster Karla... Starring the award-winning Simon Russell Beale as Smiley, and with a distinguished cast including Anna Chancellor, Lindsay Duncan, Maggie Steed, Alex Jennings and Kenneth Cranham, this enthralling dramatisation captures every nuance of le Carre's complex and compelling novel - the final book in John le Carre's Karla trilogy. 'a radio triumph... Simon Russell Beale's pitch-perfect master spy' - Financial Times.