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Publisher's Summary

The British Embassy in Bonn is up in arms. Her Majesty's financially troubled government is seeking admission to Europe's Common Market just as anti-British factions are rising to power in Germany. Rioters are demanding reunification, and the last thing the Crown can afford is a scandal. Then Leo Harting - an embassy nobody - goes missing with a case full of confidential files. London sends Alan Turner to control the damage, but he soon realises that neither side really wants Leo found - alive.

©1968 le Carré Productions (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Exciting, compulsively readable and brilliantly plotted." ( The New York Times)
"Brilliant, unforgettable ... a masterpiece." ( New Statesman)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Steve Hocking
  • 07-18-17

Slow to start but worth sticking with

It's not the easiest of reads to start with. Multiple characters that do little but set the scene. Where the book works brilliantly is the sense of place that is evoked. It's not necessarily an exciting place at the start but it's a brilliantly drawn picture of a post war embassy for a failing nation, struggling to find its place in the world. The characters are masterfully revealed but not in a self indulged way.

This is why I stuck with it and ultimately enjoyed the book. You want to know how they get on and for their failings they are likeable. This book is never going to be his most famous work. I do thoughtbghink it would make a great It's not the easiest of reads to start with. Multiple characters that do little but set the scene. Where the book works brilliantly is the sense of place that is evoked. It's not necessarily an exciting place at the start but it's a brilliantly drawn picture of a post war embassy for a failing nation, struggling to find its place in the world. The characters are masterfully revealed but not in a self indulged way.

This is why I stuck with it and ultimately enjoyed the book. You want to know how they get on and for their failings they are likeable. This book is never going to be his most famous work. I do thought think it would make a great film

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stuart Bailey
  • 10-31-16

The master at has best

I new the story as i have listened to the BBC play, but this full adaptation and reading was just magic. Le Carre at his best, the portrayal of embassy staff was superb and the lead characters portrayal was perfect

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew C.
  • 10-02-17

The master

Another great book from the master storyteller and emotion twister. Perfect narration with 1st. class narration.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mr David Newton
  • 03-20-16

okay

john Le Carre tells a good tale, but this is not his best. The end is, as often with Le Carre, disappointing as it Peters out.
Michael Jayson reads brilliantly as ever.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Allan
  • 01-18-18

Hard to listen to

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Not really

If you’ve listened to books by John le Carré before, how does this one compare?

Badly. Others are better!

What aspect of Michael Jayston’s performance might you have changed?

He needs to help the listener hear the jumps between topics. I think it was a difficult book to narrate.

Any additional comments?

I don't think this one works well as an audio book

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Misspelt
  • 12-15-17

Great story, real tension and excellently narrated

Le Carré at his best. A gripping plot with a bombastic central character brought to life by Jayston's entransing tones.

Have a listen, you won't be disappointed.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel W. Wright
  • 07-29-18

A break from Smiley

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Michael Jayson gets the tone just right as always with his Le Carré narrations.
Turner is not an easy main character but I think that’s the point. I loved his stream of consciousness chapter in the middle, reminded me of Joyce.
Great stuff.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Simpson
  • 06-11-18

Not Le Carre's best.

Brilliantly narrated by Michael Jayston but storyline confusing. Will need reading again to understand all.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Roy
  • 04-19-18

A small town in Germany

Never read the book before so story was unknown. One of Carres early books. Brilliant story crammed with historical facts. Plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing. Prose is brilliant. Adult and laced with the occasional bit of humour.
Michael Jayson's narration was excellent. His use of so many voices and accents was masterful. Alan Turner gruff Yorkshire tones were so real. Plus Bradfields diplomatic duplicity was teaesd out towards the end. Must say that I really enjoyed it and will have to search hard to find one as good as this I think.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • MAGGS
  • 04-13-18

A small town in Germany - enjoyable listen but not great

A small town in Germany - enjoyable listen but not great
The usual sort of spy thing from this author
Liked narration and narrator