Regular price: $16.77

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Long-awaited reissue of the first part of the classic spy trilogy, Game, Set, and Match, when the Berlin Wall divided not just a city but a world. East is East and West is West - and they meet in Berlin.

He was the best source the Department ever had, but now he desperately wanted to come over the Wall. ‘Brahms Four' was certain a high-ranking mole was set to betray him. There was only one Englishman he trusted any more: someone from the old days.So they decided to put Bernard Samson back into the field after five sedentary years of flying a desk. The field is Berlin.

The game is as baffling, treacherous and lethal as ever.

©2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited (P)2010 Len Deighton

Critic Reviews

"Deighton's best novel to date - sharp, witty and sour, like Raymond Chandler adapted to British gloom and the multiple betrayals of the private spy" ( Observer)
"Sheer consistent rightness page after page after page" ( The Times)
"Virtuoso top level performance" ( Guardian)
"A masterly performance, the best thing Deighton has done since SS-GB" ( Sunday Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    105
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    98
  • 4 Stars
    34
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Milan
  • Detroit, MI, USA
  • 09-15-14

The first book in a brilliant Cold War spy series

Would you consider the audio edition of Berlin Game to be better than the print version?

Yes, given the masterful narration that captures the nuances of British class differences and the German of the Berlin characters.

Which scene was your favorite?

Bernard and Werner remembering their schoolboy days in the ruins of Berlin post WW II. And, inevitably the dramatic scene where Bernard at last confronts the traitor within his unit.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"Trust no one"

Any additional comments?

This is the opening volume of a nine book series featuring British agent Bernard Sampson, collectively the greatest set of spy novels ever written. I hope that Audible will quickly produce the next eight so that a new generation of listeners can enjoy these great books. Highly recommended.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sean
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 01-22-15

Excellent SPY Drama, perfectly read

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. And I just did.

One of the better readers and audiobooks available. Great story, compelling and believable characters and a THEME that is timeless - Individualism. Something that both political parties in the US and England have forgotten. But with the rise of Russian totalitarianism and Islamic terrorism...well...this book is a must read.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Berlin Game?

The ending. Which will we not disclose as other have done on audible. What a silly question to ask.

Any additional comments?

Like John Le Carre but more sarcastic, witty, not quite as heavy handed or brilliant but thankfully, superior in philosophical outlook as compared with Le Carre's recent ideological turn.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Spy stories for mature audiences

Where does Berlin Game rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

After reading 'Spy Line' by the same author, I wish there was an option to listen to more books written by Len Deighton. In the world of "written books", the stunning abundance and over supply, results in "mass production & mediocrity", thus making the author of these books a delightful find. Highly recommended.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Great Book - don't get hooked

Any additional comments?

This is a great production of a great spy book. I really enjoyed it having read the books many years ago.

Just don't get hooked. Due to the stupid publishing rules you can't buy the rest of the trilogy Mexico Set and London Match.

Just as stupidly you can buy one or two books from the follow up trilogies, but not the complete set. I would willingly buy them. I'm just disappointed that Audible allows only a sampling of some classic British spy novels.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Must listen for those who love Berlin and the Cold War

I have read and listen to the Game Set Match series multiple times and even when I know the plot I delight in the construction and details of the characters and story. This may be too slow for some but I find that its rich setting and characters part too quickly. Recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Deighton is the Master Spy.

My favorite book and I own all of the Bernard Samson's books. You can almost be in Berlin seeing it as it was before the wall came tumbling down.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Cold War Espionage At Its Finest

If you are a fan of the tangled web type of spy novel, you will probably greatly enjoy Berlin Game.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

A spy novel for the intelligencia.

What did you love best about Berlin Game?

It was the antithesis of James Bond type shoot-em up style spy novel. This is a more realistic version of the cold war and the men and women who risked their lives in defense of their country.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 09-17-16

Typical Soviet-era British espionage thriller

This British espionage thriller released in 1983 is typical of the novels by John le Carré and Lee Deighton. Berlin Game is the first in the Bernard Samson series written by Deighton. It is quite good, but is very dated. With so many contemporary and topical espionage thrillers being released today I see little reason to be interested in such authors as le Carré and Deighton: their novels are excellent but are not classics.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

So . . . very . . . slow

I am big fan of spy thrillers. This book? Not so much. It's tedious and dull. The entire first half seems to take place over tea. OK if you like (slow) character development I suppose but for those who want stories where, you know, stuff happens, perhaps move on. (PS. The Charm School by Nelson DeMille is the best Audible espionage thriller I've heard yet).

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 07-27-14

Now I want the rest!

Where does Berlin Game rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Given that this book is 30 years old, you are probably only reading this if you are a fan, or want to revisit the novel in audible format. Well the news is good, a it is still as good as the first time you read it.

What does James Lailey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Lailey does a great job of reading this story. For me his voice fits Samson wonderfully and he can actually read what it put in front of him and make it sound convincing. His performance in this story is up there with a Longworth or a Rintoul.

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

There are a few wonderful moments that brought a smile to my face.

Any additional comments?

The first of three of three (1) Game, Set, Match (2) Hook, Line, Sinker (3) Faith, Hope, Charity, hopefully audible will see sense and release all 9, or at the bareset minimum the first three, because although the story is compartmentalised it is best as a trilogy.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr Tristram Shandy
  • 02-13-15

The master of the spy story

Any additional comments?

I had forgotten just how good a writer Len Deighton is. In my view he is a much better read than Le Carre. The stories are compelling and utterly addictive, the characters are well drawn and sympathetic and he avoids Le Carre's distracting historical and political diversions. The books are brilliantly read by James Lailey. Once started on Berlin Game you are locked into the whole 9 volumes. I can't wait for the remaining volumes in the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • mr
  • 02-09-15

Forgotten heroes of the spy story

Would you consider the audio edition of Berlin Game to be better than the print version?

same

What did you like best about this story?

nostalgia for the cold war and Len Deighton, possibly overlooked in favour of Le Carre, but this is a terrific story from a true polymath writer

What does James Lailey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I think he sort of impersonates Michael Caine in a subtle way and it works !

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

no. I prefer my audiobooks in hourly doses of joy in my busy day

Any additional comments?

I even really enjoyed the author's note (much later) at the end.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-27-14

Brilliant

What made the experience of listening to Berlin Game the most enjoyable?

A brilliant story well read.

What did you like best about this story?

It's well written, exciting and has subtlety and humour.

Have you listened to any of James Lailey’s other performances? How does this one compare?

The reading is excellent. I have only heard James Lailey read other Len Deighton books. In the Ipcress File and Horse Under Water he uses a hint of Michael Caine which is entertaining. This one is more straightforward.

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

Yes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andy B.
  • 11-16-16

Just Brilliant

Had struggled to get started on the printed version. Audio book bought it alive and I'm now reading Mexico Set.
Brilliant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • S. Roche
  • 07-22-16

A good introduction to a Master Storyteller!

A more then plausible plot in a period I remember so well.... ... ... ..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Paul D
  • 07-09-16

Classic spy thriller

I was one of Deighton's cult following in the 80's, eagerly awaiting his next Bernard Samson novels. Experience has shown that revisiting past books can be very disappointing . Not so here. Real page turn.
Pre dating La Carre and a little more accessible I think. Good writing, interesting well constructed characters and a fine narration. Loved it and heading for Set and Match and . . . Hook, Line,Sinker and . . . . . Faith . . . .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • G. H. Lewis
  • 03-30-16

Excellent!

This was my first experience of Deighton. I will definitely be coming back for more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • 03-05-16

The great cook's standard ingredients

What did you like most about Berlin Game?

A classic 70's / 80's cold war thriller - a good balance between complexity and simplicity. I liked Bernard as a character - distinct from LDs other famous spy "Harry Palmer". Some nice satirical swipes at the Oxbridge establishment, too.

Would you be willing to try another book from Len Deighton? Why or why not?

Yes, he's an underrated author

Which scene did you most enjoy?

When the Stasi were trying to track the protagonists down - some real tension

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lou
  • 11-25-17

RIVETING!!!<br />

Loved every minute of it, a real old-school spy story! Looking forward to the next one!

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • elizabeth hickey
  • 09-30-17

A classic

I don't think I really need to say much more than this is a great spy novel by an author known for this genre. You're in good hands with this one. It's well written, well performed and an intelligent story.