Regular price: $31.50

Free with 30-day trial
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

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

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    827
  • 4 Stars
    267
  • 3 Stars
    124
  • 2 Stars
    53
  • 1 Stars
    52

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    822
  • 4 Stars
    220
  • 3 Stars
    94
  • 2 Stars
    29
  • 1 Stars
    28

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    771
  • 4 Stars
    213
  • 3 Stars
    118
  • 2 Stars
    51
  • 1 Stars
    41
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Intellectual greatness

JlC is a master when it comes to creating the lives and intricate plots of spies. Without him, the genre would be at a huge loss. This book is one of the prime examples of gripping your brain without needing much action.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

my comments, Stephen, San Francisco, Ca.

superb words , story and reading. three times listened to gather all of the detail and enjoyment.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not a good listen, story too complicated

The ending of the previous Smiley novel, The Looking Glass War (Smiley, btw, plays a small role in that novel), really got to me. So I couldn't wait to give this a listen. Alas, I was completely lost at times. There are so many characters and the story jumps back and forth in time. Quite often, I asked myself, who's this guy? Wait, I thought he was dead? What time frame are we in now? The writing befits a spy novel -- precise, devoid of emotion -- and the narrator does a wonderful job, but this is a book to read, not to listen to. You really need to underline passages and write notes in the margins to understand what's going on.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Essad
  • Flanders, NJ, United States
  • 04-30-16

Perhaps I'm inattentive

Very did spy story, you can see why other stories would be inspired by this. I felt like I had a hard time following along and couldn't keep the characters straight. It could be me, I might not have been paying close enough attention or the story wasn't clear enough. I'm going to give the story the benefit of the doubt.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

too many names, too much jargon, not compelling

While both the narrator and the plot were good, I found that it just wasn't compelling in an audio book format.

I think my listening experience was hampered by:
- the deluge of characters at the start of the book, many of whom have a real name as well as a trade (spy) name, and are interchangeably referred to by either first name, last name or trade name
- the amount of jargon used, a lot of which I struggled to get a grip on through cues in context

All in all a frustrating listening experience.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Amazing road trip book!

What did you love best about Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy?

The narration was excellent - the actor was awesome and really managed to carry the material in the story.

What did you like best about this story?

Suspenseful and intelligent.

Which character – as performed by Michael Jayston – was your favorite?

Hard to say - the character development was so good. i had no idea who the double-agent was until the end. Beautifully resolved - a classic.

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

Yup! Drove from Washington DC to Dallas straight through on this book, a mdi kept me alive!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

stellar and riveting

Would you listen to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy again? Why?

Great performance of THE BEST ESPIONAGE THRILLER EVER WRITTEN

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jim Prideaux (sp?) A towering, self contained figure, nursing his wounds at a prep school, representative of the human casualties of the cold war

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Hard to get into @ 1st

The story line was confusing & characters also until midway in book when it all started to make sense- from then on it was a gripping story. I didn't want it to end. Much better in audio than the movie!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great read

The reading is excellent, and the story gripping. Another case of the movie simply not able to do justice to the book. Excellent read.