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Publisher's Summary

The inspiration for the major motion picture Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, starring Gary Oldman and Colin Firth.

The first novel in John le Carré's celebrated Karla trilogy, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a heart-stopping tale of international intrigue.

The man he knew as "Control" is dead, and the young Turks who forced him out now run the Circus. But George Smiley isn't quite ready for retirement - especially when a pretty, would-be defector surfaces with a shocking accusation: a Soviet mole has penetrated the highest level of British Intelligence. Relying only on his wits and a small, loyal cadre, Smiley recognizes the hand of Karla - his Moscow Centre nemesis - and sets a trap to catch the traitor.

The feature film adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is directed by Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) and features a cast that includes Gary Oldman as Smiley, Academy Award-winner Colin Firth (The King's Speech), and Tom Hardy (Inception).

©2011 John le Carre (P)2011 Penguin

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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hard to follow characters but enthralling

I loved it. it was just hard to follow the movement of the plot between scenes.

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  • Sparkly
  • SF, CA, United States
  • 06-28-17

Can't miss this Cold War classic

This book has a sentimental significance to me as my dad (a WWII veteran) was an avid reader of LeCarre and all things Cold War. I put off listening for all these years, until having seen all of the televised adaptations and known the story in its general components. I'm glad I finally listened, though. The book delivers on its promise as the cornerstone of the genre. It's such an interesting combination of sharp and blunt - the meticulous details and razor-sharp storytelling, and the blanket of ambivalence and moral grey area that the story inhabits. So good. The narrator is spot on. An extremely satisfying read in my opinion.

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Great book, flawlessly narrated

Delightfully complicated story, and narrated to perfection. The voice of Smiley was exactly as it should be.

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Love how he does the police in voices

Excellent reading of such a well-plotted, slow-burn thriller... the clarity and dramatic quality were among the best audiobooks I've heard.

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Pay close attention and perhaps study up on your history before reading

A bit hard to follow
Narrator did a good job. Good Cold War insight. Interesting behind the scenes view of underground networks

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Classic Spy Story-- Great Literary Voice

Super character development, including use of place and description of minor gestures to convey moods. One can imagine that this may have been the reality of an unglamorous career in intelligence during the cold war.

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Finally get the entire story.

I have read many of La Carrie's books and enjoyed them but had a difficult time keeping the whole story together. With Audible and Michael Jayston's narration I really enjoyed the entire story. I'm a new fan of Audible books.

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Great Story, Great Narration

Listened to it twice, and it was just as good the second time around. Have two more books by le Carre on my wishlist. Having read about Kim Philby, I think the author did a great job of telling the near truth about that failure of the circus. Great narration.

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Classic spy novel still enthralls

Complex story interweaving human relationships and fallout from love, friendship and betrayal from the national and intensely personal levels. Michael Jayston manages the various characters' weariness, worldliness, confusion, closeness, pain and hope deftly.

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l loved it. It is an awesome series to read.

Onto the next in the Karla Trilogy book 2. The Honorable Schoolboy then Smiley's People