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A Legacy of Spies

by John le Carré

Action / Adventure / Spy / Espionage Thriller and Suspense

LoveReading View on A Legacy of Spies

One of Our Books of the Year 2017 |  September 2017 Book of the Month

Although unanimously heralded for featuring the return of spy master Smiley, this is more about his sidekick Peter Guillam, a sometimes melancholy tale revisiting the past and, more specifically, the operation and some of the characters detailed in the classic The Spy Who Came in from The Cold. Although Smiley is an ever present figure lurking in the shadows, as Guillam is forced to unravel complex threads of treachery, lies and deceit that have now come to roost, Smiley actually only makes a brief, if welcome, appearance at the conclusion of the tale, a meditation on the secret world and the damage done when the end always justified the means, not withstanding the human cost. Disillusioned, a bittersweet ballad about the morality of its characters and written, as ever, so beautifully and wittily, this is a perfect coda to the saga of the Circus, where so many much-loved, if dubious, characters we knew so well make fleeting passages on the scene. Le Carre at his best and you can’t get any better. Reminds us of what we lost when the series initially came to an end.  Maxim Jakubowski

Maxim Jakubowski

A Legacy of Spies Synopsis

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.

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A Legacy of Spies Press Reviews

He can communicate emotion, from sweating fear to despairing love, with terse and compassionate conviction. Above all, he can tell a tale. Formidable equipment for a rare and disturbing writer  Sunday Times

I have re-read The Spy Who Came In From The Cold over and over again since I first encountered it in my teens, just to remind myself how extraordinary a work of fiction can be -- Malcolm Gladwell

He's one of those writers who will be read a century from now -- Robert Harris

The best spy story I have ever read -- Graham Greene on The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

Perhaps the most significant novelist of the second half of the 20th century in Britain. He will have charted our decline and recorded the nature of our bureaucracies like no one else has. He's in the first rank -- Ian McEwan

A literary master for a generation -- Observer
 

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780241981610
Publication date: 02/05/2018
Publisher:
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780241308547
Publication date: 07/09/2017
Publisher: Viking an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780241308547
Publication date: 7th September 2017
Author: John le Carré
Publisher: Viking an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback
Genres: Action Adventure / Spy, Books of the Year 2017, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories:

About John le Carré

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

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