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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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing story, wonderfully performed

John Le Carre's amazing novel of the dogged investigative powers of George Smiley is brought to vivid life by the wonderful performance of Michael Jayston who captures the tone of British 1970s Cold War tradecraft perfectly.

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Wonderful Read

Another good story and the beginning of the focus on the fascinating George Smiley. Detailed, deliberate inside word of persistent suspicious and hyper vigilant observation. Good voices. Enjoyed Jayson very much (listed to Legacy first and Hollander is terrific; adapted to this reader).

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  • k
  • 09-17-17

Worth it

Don't do spy novels, not my thing but this is worth the maze of characters, intrigue and trade jargon. Do feel a bit tired after traversing this story though.

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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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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.