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Publisher's Summary

Julian Rhind-Tutt is Magnus Pym in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast adaptation of John le Carré’s superb spy novel.

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile

“Love is whatever you can still betray. Betrayal can only happen if you love.”

So says Magnus Pym, the spy of the title; and he has betrayed a lot in his life - countries, friends, family and lovers. When Magnus disappears after his father’s funeral, MI6 launches an urgent manhunt to prevent his defection. But Pym is on a search of his own - to unravel the mystery of what made him the perfect spy.

Was it the duplicity of his con artist father, Rick? Or his MI6 mentor and father figure Jack Brotherhood? Or was it Axel, the Czech agent he has known since his teens? All have marked him in crucial ways, and as the net closes around Magnus, he attempts finally to make sense of his life and find the source of his talent for deception....

A Perfect Spy is le Carré’s most autobiographical novel, and has been hailed as his masterpiece. This superlative radio production, starring Julian Rhind-Tutt, Bill Paterson, Michael Maloney and Anton Lesser, is a compelling exploration of identity, treachery and the complexities of the human heart.

©2017 John le Carré (P)2017 BBC AudioBooks

Critic Reviews

'The best spy novel of all time.' (Publishers Weekly)
"Taut, intricate, and urbane – this BBC/Scotland radio adaptation captures the sound and feel of the British-grey atmosphere and cold war imagery of John le Carré's 1986 masterwork. […] It's not often that a spy novel can be described as heartbreaking, but that's just how close to the bone and well told this spy story is." (AudioFile Magazine)

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  • Overall
  • POS
  • 09-19-17

Great Adaptation

Very good adaptation and each of the actors played their part very well. Enjoyed it very much.

  • Overall
  • Rufus
  • 08-29-17

An excellent follow-up (or should that be prequel) to the 'Smiley' series.

Although George Smiley isn't even mentioned in this audio book, you can somehow seem to relate this book to the Smiley ones.

With a cast such as Julian Rhind-Tut (as Magnus Pym), Bill Paterson (as Jack Brotherhood), Michael Maloney ( as Rick Magnus Pyms con artist father) and Anton Lesser (as Axel, the Czech agent Magnus has known since his teens) this has to be one for the keep shelf.

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  • Nigel
  • 08-29-17

Had to rewind - story line a bit complicated

I really enjoyed listening to John Le Carre’s George Smiley dramatisations by BBC Radio 4, all 19 hours of them. This on the other hand was Ok-ish, bearable.

If you do decide to get this I do implore you to read the Publisher’s Summary above - I didn’t - as it will help with the story. It’s a bit complicated, a bit of a jigsaw. And after listening to over an hour I rewound to the beginning once I had got a sense of who and what was going on.

There’s another older dramatised version also by the BBC, and available on Audible UK, which is 3 hours 59 minutes. Not listened to it, so unable to say whether the extra 1hour-9 minutes enhances the story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful