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Smiley's People: A George Smiley Novel | [John le Carré]

Smiley's People: A George Smiley Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (163 )
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4.7 (146 )
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4.8 (147 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 07-27-12
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 07-27-12

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "NEAR Perfect Ending for One Best Trilogies Ever"

    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.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Britton 08-02-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "extraordinary reading"
    What did you love best about Smiley's People?

    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.


    What does Michael Jayston bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The VOICES which are perfect!!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Shields 05-08-13 Member Since 2003

    Book blogger at Bookwi.se

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    "Solid Smiley, Solid le Carré"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darryl Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 04-20-13
    Darryl Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 04-20-13 Member Since 2005
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    "nice round up of the Karla set"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    murray LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 04-09-13
    murray LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 04-09-13 Member Since 2007

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "the best"
    What did you love best about Smiley's People?

    smiley the character is one of the most enjoyable characters in fiction - he's a hero and so common at the same time


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Smiley's People?

    interrogation of gregoriev


    Which character – as performed by Michael Jayston – was your favorite?

    smiley


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    karla in dehli jail


    Any additional comments?

    the reader jayston is just so good

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Lim CT, United States 04-30-13
    Andrew Lim CT, United States 04-30-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Excellent"
    What did you love best about Smiley's People?

    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.


    What about Michael Jayston’s performance did you like?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Hering Wilmington, Delaware USA 10-01-12
    L. Hering Wilmington, Delaware USA 10-01-12 Member Since 2012
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    "great spy story"
    What did you love best about Smiley's People?

    le Carre's creates another great spy thriller. This is a great story which keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. i also thought the narrator was very good.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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