Tell Max that it concerns the Sandman....
A very junior agent answers Vladimir's call, but it could have been the Chief of the Circus himself. No one at the British Secret Service considers the old spy to be anything except a senile has-been who can't give up the game - until he's shot in the face at point-blank range. Although George Smiley (code-name: Max) is officially retired, he's summoned to identify the body now bearing Moscow Centre's bloody imprimatur. As he works to unearth his friend's fatal secrets, Smiley heads inexorably toward one final reckoning with Karla - his "dark grail".
In Smiley's People, master storyteller John le Carré brings his acclaimed Karla trilogy to its unforgettable, spellbinding conclusion.
©1980 John le Carré (P)2011 Penguin Audio
"... there are times when silence is a poem." - John Fowles, the Magus ^(;,;)^
Like with the Honourable Schoolboy, Smiley's People on its own is perhaps a 4/4.5 star novel. It is fantastic, but taken as an entire work, the Karla Trilogy is simply amazing
A near perfect ending for one of the, if not THE, best trilogies ever (LOTR perhaps). Is there a better summation for the place we find ourselves HERE and NOW in this the 21st century? Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was a fantastic spy novel that owed a lot to Graham Greene; The Honourable Schoolboy was another fantastic spy novel that owed lots to Joseph Conrad; but with Smiley's people, after reading/listening to it, you realize John le Carré owes nobody nishto now. He owns the genre.
Michael Jayston does an amazing job narrating le Carré. He belongs in the top shelf of audiobook narrators. His variation for voices is different enough to distinguished the characters, but subtle enough to not distract from the flow of the narrative or the melody of le Carré's prose.
Michael Jayston has a remarkable way with subtle changes to his voice; I have been familiar with his acting work since I lived in England in the 1960s. I watched him in the original BBC production of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, where he played Guillam. In this reading of Smiley's People, his vocal work as the excitable Pole Toby Esterhaze is memorable. He gets JUST the right amount of twisted English to reflect the man's origins even though he has lived in England for many years. And his voice for George Smiley is perfect. One can see Alec Guiness's face (the original Smiley of the BBC classic) as Jayston speaks his lines.
The VOICES which are perfect!!
Book blogger at Bookwi.se
This is the seventh book of le Carré's that I have read in the last six months or so, most on audiobook. And it is definatly in the top half. Not sure the exact position, but le Carré seems to get the right balance of telling the reading what we need to know, but keeping us just enough in the dark to keep the mystery present.
Smiley's People is better than the Honorable Schoolboy and I think a great conclusion to the Karla trilogy.
excellent and well written, i enjoyed the entire Smiley series even though technically he's not the main character in some of them and only pops up intermittently.
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smiley the character is one of the most enjoyable characters in fiction - he's a hero and so common at the same time
interrogation of gregoriev
karla in dehli jail
the reader jayston is just so good
As usual, a fantastic collection of people and stories that tie together at the end. The only issue I ever have with these as audiobooks is a lot of the foreign (especially Russian) names are hard for me to keep track of without reading them.
Suspense; drama and having lived the Cold War.
George is my fave; and not just because my name is also George ! George suffers in triumph while muddling through.
Tone, conviction and understated talent.
No, too heady for one sitting.
Wish audible would make a list of top rated reads available. THIS lives up to it's top score.
Yes, the story and the performance are both great
The ending, when Smiley met Karla.
Michael Jayston's performace is excellent. I don't think I can listen to another le Carre's novel that are not read by him!
The story is a virtual page-turner and the characters are so well developed. I'm a big fan of Le Carre and while this may not be my favorite of his, it's still really well written and performed here. Loved every minute of it.
He does an excellent job on bringing the characters to life and giving them their own personalities without sinking into making bad impressions of different characters. Really well done.
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