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Will Cunningham

Boston MA
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  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 64
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  • A Legacy of Spies

  • A Novel
  • By: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: Tom Hollander
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,467
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,347
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,336

Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the 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, and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley, and Peter Guillam himself, are to be scrutinized by a generation with no memory of the Cold War.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • All for England

  • By Darwin8u on 09-12-17

Excellent

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-21-17

Yet another excellent novel from Le Carre. The story is about a mission preceeding the book, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. All of Smiley's people are in retirement and the Circus is trying to head-off legal action stemming from the mission, and Alex Leamas' mission in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. (I suggest watching the movie again to reaquaint with the characters and plot.) This new book takes place after the Karla Trilogies, so it should be read in order (last) to understand the subleties that are not explained in-depth or are brushed over. Le Carre presumes the audience has read all the books up to this point. I think the action is fine and suspenseful -- this is typical Le Carre -- people reading files and documents and listening to secret recordings; I see no point in complaining about this because that's how all of his novels are written (no gunfights, no car chases).Retired old Peter Guillam is the star of the novel, and Alex Leamas; we briefly catch up with Smiley towards the end. I loved all of the books in the Karla trilogy, this is a fourth installation which also brings The Spy Who Came in from the Cold into the Karla books.
Tom Hollander (starred in the mini-series The Night Manager) is outstanding; his rendition fits in beautifully with the preceeding books in the series; i suspect he listened to Michael Jayston and Le Carre himself narrate to prepare. His voice is low and steady, and it is easy to tell when the action switches from a Guillam memory or Guillam reading a top secret document file. Very well done all around - BC

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Teaser

  • By: Jennifer Forde, Sam Bungey
  • Length: 2 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

In December of 1996, French film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier left her home in Paris and traveled to her getaway cottage, outside the Irish town of Schull. She went alone, just before Christmas, without telling her family where she was going. Two days later she was found murdered at the foot of her driveway, a crime so gruesome and mysterious that it captured the attention of the entire country. Now, 20 years later there are no answers, only more questions.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • This coming or not?

  • By Ruth on 05-11-17

When?

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-25-17

Seriously did something happen post-production? Did the narrator quit? Is Gerard Doyle available? When is this being released?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly

  • Detective Sean Duffy, Book 6
  • By: Adrian McKinty
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,594
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,489
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,488

Belfast, 1988. A man is found dead, killed with a bolt from a crossbow in front of his house. This is no hunting accident. But uncovering who is responsible for the murder will take Detective Sean Duffy down his most dangerous road yet, a road that leads to a lonely clearing on a high bog where three masked gunmen will force Duffy to dig his own grave. Hunted by forces unknown, threatened by Internal Affairs, and with his relationship on the rocks, Duffy will need all his wits to get out of this investigation in one piece.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nothing better than a Duffy tale!

  • By 6catz on 03-10-17

Not the best in the series...

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-11-17

But I won't stop reading McKinty and Detective Duffy novels. This book was more about Duffy's personal life and slow to develop but it picks up halfway through to a nice finish. There's more Duffy to come, so this probably is a bridge to any forthcoming novels, and I'll buy them so, no big deal.
Gerard Doyle really gives a masterful performance, great acting not just narrating.

  • The Company

  • A Novel of the CIA
  • By: Robert Littell
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 41 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,851
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,817
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,819

"If Robert Littell didn't invent the American spy novel," says Tom Clancy, "he should have." In this spectacular Cold-War-as-Alice-in-Wonderland epic, Littell, "the American le Carre," takes us down the rabbit hole and into the labyrinthine world of espionage that has been the CIA for the last half-century. "Ostensibly a single novel, The Company can also be listened to as an anthology of cracking good spy stories," says ( Publishers Weekly).

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hang on to your Hat

  • By Cynthia on 01-17-03

I Listen Every Year to this over and over again

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-05-17

Any additional comments?

This is one of the books I listen to each year and is one of my favorites of all time. At the top of the historical fiction genre. For new fans I would have to say Do Not Start with this book if you are looking for something new. I could not get through this the fire 2-3 times I tried - it is really 3 books in one just written before the times when Trilogies were the way to go for every author. Instead I read all his other books before going back and tackling The Company (such as, The Defection of AJ Lewinter, The Once and Future Spy, and The Amateur -- I would save The Sisters until after reading The Company; The Sisters is truly one of the greats.)
Scott Brick's narration is excellent, and I can't think of a better narrator to listen to for 44 hours. The writing and narration coupled together allows the reader to get completely immersed in the story which spans 50 years.
Story begins with the Cold War of the 1950s all the way through to the collapse of the Soviet Union, with vignettes of spy exchanges in East Berlin, revolutions in Hungary and Cuba, the spies Colonel Able in Brooklyn and Kim Philby in DC, Kennedy and Nixon in the election of 1960, The Mafia, The Bay of Pigs, James Jesus Angleton, and a lifelong operation run by a man in the KGB against the United States, just to name a few.
I've found that this narrative of historical fiction has helped me relate to all the other non-fiction retellings of the history of Moscow and the US during the Cold War. This book covers so much with enough detail it is a surprising companion piece to any history texts about the entire era and the subjects mentioned above. Highly recommended. - BC

1 of 1 people found this review helpful