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Agent Running in the Field

Narrated by: John le Carré
Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (68 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Nat, a 47-year-old veteran of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, believes his years as an agent runner are over. He is back in London with his wife, the long-suffering Prue. But with the growing threat from Moscow Centre, the office has one more job for him. Nat is to take over The Haven, a defunct substation of London General with a rag-tag band of spies. The only bright light on the team is young Florence, who has her eye on Russia Department and a Ukrainian oligarch with a finger in the Russia pie. 

Nat is not only a spy, he is a passionate badminton player. His regular Monday evening opponent is half his age: the introspective and solitary Ed. Ed hates Brexit, hates Trump and hates his job at some soulless media agency. And it is Ed, of all unlikely people, who will take Prue, Florence and Nat himself down the path of political anger that will ensnare them all. 

Agent Running in the Field is a chilling portrait of our time, now heartbreaking, now darkly humorous, told to us with unflagging tension by the greatest chronicler of our age. 

©2019 John le Carré (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic Reviews

"No other writer has charted - pitilessly for politicians but thrillingly for readers - the public and secret histories of his times." (The Guardian)

"John le Carré is as recognisable a writer as Dickens or Austen." (Financial Times)

"No writer has ever been better at turning the act of two people talking politely to each other across a desk into a blood sport." (Telegraph)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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oh how I wish John le carre had read all his books

I loved it. I don't know if it is because as one ages one appreciate the beauty of a human story, as this is not early le carre, but the pleasure in the development of it is whatis exceptional

Possibly warmer and more hopeful than his early works, the joy I found strongest however, was the pleasure of hearing the master read his own work himself. I dearly wish we had had that pleasure earlier on.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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fantastic to here was a Reading

he was almost perfect. he rendered the different voices with great dexterity and excellent timing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Luxury

Le Carré never ever ever fails to deliver and never ever disappoints.

As usual an excellently written and narrated story. As topical, believable and meaningful as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold was in 1963.

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Good narration by author John Le Carre

John Le Carre's easy listening narration was well suited to the tempo of this book. His articulate, evenly toned voice provided a relaxed, laid back feel to the book while providing full and colourful descriptions of characters and scenarios. I found this book entertaining but not really brimming with the levels of mystery and suspense he has previously produced. This book went into the second tier in my library.

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10/10

In a class of its own, superb storyteller. Brilliant narration, the best I've yet heard.

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  • Ruth Harris
  • 10-17-19

Absolutely Bloody Marvellous

What a revelation it is to hear JLC read his own work.
A great p!easure, and a wonderful story.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-17-19

Dear Mr. Le Carré, Brilliant work, not so reading

Dear Mr. Le Carré, Brilliant work, not so good reading. Please bring back Michael Jayston.

27 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • D K Hierlehy
  • 10-20-19

Bad choice

Even though I quite liked the story, they shouldn't have made an octogenarian read the entire thing. John le carre is a great writer but he is not an actor and making him read it all seemed somehow cruel. He was breathy to begin with and got better as he found his stride but it still didn't make for the best listening experience.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Victoria
  • 10-21-19

brilliant writing, wrong narration.

As ever, fantastic writing, but should have Gone fro Michael Jayson as with others. JLC isn’t a narrator and it spoils it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • nehru_torpedo
  • 10-21-19

Great Book Read by Amateur

Of typical high standard literary wise, but what hubris leads JLC to believe he can match a professional’s performance when it comes to reading his own work. The designer of an F1 car doesn’t race it professionally. Disappointing.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Crawford jamieson
  • 10-26-19

Betrayal and loyalty in our time, a classic modern Le Carre novel

An elegant novel, beautifully read by the author. One or two old characters reappear later in their careers and as ever Le Carre is at his very best when describing human relationships through snippets of conversation, whether gathered over supper or in parked cars. A fundamentally humane story, dealing with the difficulties of a reasonable and decent man navigating a complicated and sometimes immoral world. It’s a pleasure to behold an author who has lost none of his very considerable powers and who become more radical and playfully disruptive in his character and story development as the years have passed. This is not one of his epic works but is beautifully formed and satisfying in every way. I enjoyed it enormously and as Connie Sachs once said of the Polyakov tapes , I shall replay it to enjoy your voice!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-27-19

Any chance of a sequel?

An intriguing and plausible plot with very sympathetic characters. I didn't want it to end!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Resonate
  • 10-21-19

Loved this book

Loved this book , loved his voice and they way he delivered his reading it. Really sorry when I came to the end . Will probably listen to straight away again. What a brilliant man and writer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-17-20

Fantastic!

Very stiff upper lip British, nostalgic.... grips you from the beginning! one of the best books yet

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  • simon
  • 01-16-20

Gripping story AND narration

A few reviewers have not liked Le Carre reading, some suggesting he is too old and not trained. I hope those guys haven't got elderly relatives because it must be torture to listen to them. Perhaps they're Russian spies trying to protect "little Putin". To my ears Le Carre has been the best author narrator, and he remains so. This is a great book and beautifully read. His voice is perfect for this story and it's a joy to hear his softly spoken anger in his rich, resonant voice. Hearing a great writer reading his own great work should be cherished.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-22-19

Good

I was initially disappointed that Tom Hollander didn’t narrate this one, but JLC did a great job.
Story lacked suspense but the characters were great. Recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kirsty
  • 10-22-19

It's a Cracking Yarn

Despite making his views known about Brexit and the current leaders of superpowers, this is a much more benign John Le Carre than in many of his other works. He seems to actually like his main characters and makes us really feel for them, and enjoy their journey as the story grows, rather than pitying them. I have read in some newspaper reviews that Ed really annoys people, but I know some Eds and he is drawn realistically but sympathetically for the most. The work feels slighter than others but despite the state of the nation, the story around the characters and where they end up was pretty positive, unlike in quite a few of his other works.

As to the reading, while being a complete fan of Michael Jayston, yes, he is younger than the author at 83 but this is the second he hasn't narrated so perhaps he is no longer available. To start with I was concerned that maybe Mr Le Carre has emphysema or similar as he did seem breathless, but either I got used to it, or it lessened. Loved the book and have listened to it three times already.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard
  • 01-04-20

Absolutely excellent.

One of the best Le Caree novels ever, and the audio performance was brilliant. Highly recommended.

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  • Earnest
  • 12-22-19

Smashing serve of great storytelling.

How mightily pleasing to listen to wonderful “old school” language but with such panache that you thrill to each scene as it is set and played out.
The gifted ways the author transmits the flavour/character/place whilst dealing with dialogue or narrative transitions is so effortless that I found myself almost actually clapping.
Yes, there was proselytizing, but hey, it’s those kind of times we are living through.
Hope life goes on in safety for all.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-03-19

Vintage Le Carre tale & narration

Familiar territory for the author and although not amongst his best perhaps, his narration brought this book alive for me in a way just not possible by reading oneself.......hugely enthralling and recommended.

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  • Peter Thomas
  • 12-02-19

wonderful, a real treat

le Carre's narration imbues a depth that an actor would find difficult. Dark, deep and full of monsters. really entertaining.

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  • Vincent
  • 11-30-19

Masterclass of a Masterpiece.

Probably his best yet and whilst he says is his last, it is beautifully set up for a sequel.

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  • Sally Pardew
  • 11-18-19

Le carre in the field.

A brilliant tale, brilliantly told. insight and balance for all of the characters is gripping and very satisfying for the audience. Great to hear the writers voice too.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-11-19

World turned upside down

Excellent plot, interesting take on contemporary geopolitical challenges. Great to hear JLC reading it. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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  • rogerdwknights
  • 11-05-19

Tour de Force - perfect

A story teller in his prime, written and narrated with perfect pitch and timing - who could want for more.