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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A George Smiley Novel | [John le Carré]

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A George Smiley Novel

The man he knew as "Control" is dead, and the young Turks who forced him out now run the Circus. But George Smiley isn't quite ready for retirement-especially when a pretty, would-be defector surfaces with a shocking accusation: a Soviet mole has penetrated the highest level of British Intelligence. Relying only on his wits and a small, loyal cadre, Smiley recognizes the hand of Karla - his Moscow Centre nemesis - and sets a trap to catch the traitor.
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Publisher's Summary

The inspiration for the major motion picture Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, starring Gary Oldman and Colin Firth.

The first novel in John le Carré's celebrated Karla trilogy, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a heart-stopping tale of international intrigue.

The man he knew as "Control" is dead, and the young Turks who forced him out now run the Circus. But George Smiley isn't quite ready for retirement - especially when a pretty, would-be defector surfaces with a shocking accusation: a Soviet mole has penetrated the highest level of British Intelligence. Relying only on his wits and a small, loyal cadre, Smiley recognizes the hand of Karla - his Moscow Centre nemesis - and sets a trap to catch the traitor.

The feature film adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is directed by Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) and features a cast that includes Gary Oldman as Smiley, Academy Award-winner Colin Firth (The King's Speech), and Tom Hardy (Inception).

©2011 John le Carre (P)2011 Penguin

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (626 )
5 star
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Story
4.3 (546 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Moira Chicago, IL, United States 02-06-12
    Moira Chicago, IL, United States 02-06-12 Member Since 2014

    avalonarchives

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    18
    1
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    "5 Smileys"
    What made the experience of listening to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy the most enjoyable?

    I am giving this book 5 Smileys because it was a book I couldn't put down. I listen
    on a Sansa Clip and our golden retriever got many more minutes walking the winter
    winds along Chicago's lakefront, only because of the magic of this performance and
    the writing. A walking chess game, it perhaps isn't the book for everyone. I had read
    years ago on cassettes! an audible version of The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and although I didn't really until this book realize that Smiley had a


    What other book might you compare Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy to and why?

    Spy Who Came In From The Cold


    Have you listened to any of Michael Jayston’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I'm going to look him up.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely not.


    Any additional comments?

    Get all the Smiley books into one set.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KRB 06-17-15
    KRB 06-17-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "New media for a classic English thriller"

    le Carre's seminal work is done great justice by Michael Jayston. Few collaborations put the audiobook on the level of the hard copy. This is one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tomez Desilva Ph.d 05-10-15 Member Since 2014

    ForensicPhD

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
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    15
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    Story
    "Nothing like the movie"

    I was disappointed that storyline was nothing like the screenplay. It was a good story. But very different than the movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miles Philadelphia, PA, United States 03-26-15
    Miles Philadelphia, PA, United States 03-26-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    10
    7
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    "Fooling the reader"

    One of the most confusing, amazing plots ever amazing sense of entering a maze without any exit except the final chapters of the book. The pleasure of this book, and it is great, is in the texture of le Carrie's
    writing, but that isn't quite enough to elevate it. The reading is wonderful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna 03-22-15
    Anna 03-22-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    24
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    "One of the best audiobooks of all time"

    What can I say about John le Carré that hasn't already been said? He is infinitely subtle, elegant in his prose and his characterization, his older work is rarely dated and he remains sharp and perceptive to this day. What makes this version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy so superlative is the narration by Michael Jayston. Jayston was in the 1970s TV miniseries – he played Peter Guillam – and in my opinion you can hear it wonderfully, especially in his Smiley. This is one audiobook that I listen to over and over again, and I cannot recommend it strongly enough.

    (P.S. Did you find the movie confusing? That's okay, it was! Listen to this instead!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    notprimespringG3 02-06-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    6
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    Story
    "Exciting and humorous too"

    Brilliant writing and narration, which were both unexpectedly hilarious at times, especially in Connie's section, Bill's student days, and a few of Jim's interactions with his students.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ash Harris Atlanta, GA 01-31-15
    Ash Harris Atlanta, GA 01-31-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Fan.Tastic."

    This gives so much better perspective than the movie and fills in many large gaps along the way. Such as a great story and well read too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terrance Ferguson 12-19-14 Member Since 2014

    I enjoy spy, military, psychological, technical and fiction based in reality and science. I really value intimate, thorough writing.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't finish it."
    Would you try another book from John le Carré and/or Michael Jayston?

    Probably not.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Could not finish it.


    What three words best describe Michael Jayston’s voice?

    Applicable.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I couldnt finish the movie either.


    Any additional comments?

    I just could not follow this book at all. It was all over the place. Perhaps not seeing paragraph changes etc like you would in a book muddied it up for me. I realized i was half way through and had ABSOLUTELY no clue what was going on. I literally could not tell you anything but a few characters names. Theres just a LOT being talked about and i could not follow. Certainly not for everyone. Not a bad book at all but not for everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Winchester, TN, United States 10-03-14
    Amanda Winchester, TN, United States 10-03-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Boring!"
    What disappointed you about Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy?

    It was dull and boring. I could not get into it.


    Has Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes


    Would you be willing to try another one of Michael Jayston’s performances?

    Yes


    What character would you cut from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy?

    I have no idea. I did not get that far into the book. I hated it.


    Any additional comments?

    This just is not my type of book. If Ken Follett would have written it then I would have loved it! The idea of the book was great but the author was not. In my own opinon. I understand other people might like this type of book. I did not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim 10-01-13
    Jim 10-01-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
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    Story
    "Nicely done."
    If you could sum up Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in three words, what would they be?

    Extremely well constructed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The subtle intrigue. Nothing was over the top. It seemed that the author matched his method of story telling to the lives of the characters he described. Quiet, deliberate and with a great many of the details of the story implied but never written.


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

    George Smiley of course, but he did a brilliant job with all of them.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I wouldn't say extreme but it definitely made me look forward to the next opportunity to listen to the story.


    Any additional comments?

    The strength of Mr. Jayston's abilities will have me looking for other author's books that feature him as their narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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