Your audiobook is waiting…

The Looking Glass War

Narrated by: Michael Jayston
Series: Smiley, Book 4
Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
4 out of 5 stars (453 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

It would have been an easy job for the Circus: a can of film couriered from Helsinki to London. In the past the Circus handled all things political, while the Department dealt with matters military. But the Department has been moribund since the War, its resources siphoned away. Now, one of their agents is dead, and vital evidence verifying the presence of Soviet missiles near the West German border is gone. John Avery is the Department's younger member and its last hope. Charged with handling Fred Leiser, a German-speaking Pole left over from the War, Avery must infiltrate the East and restore his masters' former glory.

Darkly compelling and brutally Machiavellian, The Looking Glass War is a stunning accomplishment by one of today's most remarkable and enduring literary writers.

©2013 John le Carre (P)2013 Penguin

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    206
  • 4 Stars
    158
  • 3 Stars
    77
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    289
  • 4 Stars
    108
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    191
  • 4 Stars
    123
  • 3 Stars
    76
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    7
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 03-29-13

With nuance le Carré dissects a dying animal.

A minor le Carré on par with 'A Murder of Quality' and 'Call for the Dead', 'the Looking Glass War' explores the pathetic ineptitude, personal and professional betrayals, and the amoral universe of a former military espionage department that has seen better days. With nuance le Carré dissects a dying animal.

At times it felt like a strange combination of Philip Roth (see 'The Dying Animal') meets Robert Littell (see 'The Sisters'). By the end the reader feels betrayed, humanity feels soiled, and nothing at all has really changed.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

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

Good but Smiley very small bit player

this is very good and again a stand alone type story though it does peripherally tie in with Smiley. I like the fact that not everything is spelled out for you, you have to think and pay attention. and the ending is a little ambiguous. there isn't a lot of shooting and blowing things up, it's more of a realistic chess game approach. hard to top In From the Cold. on to Tinker...

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

Character writing

It's sort of like Le Carré looked at Bond novels and said to himself, "I'll do the opposite of that." I approve of the results.

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

le Carre and Jayston a perfect fit

Michael Jayston pulls you into le Carre's captivating and painful description of the destruction that vain, small man leave in their wake as they try to recapture past glories.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • S. Banks
  • Port Orchard, WA United States
  • 05-22-18

Liked the previous books in the series more.

This is a slow moving story, that never really takes off. Glad to have read it, but hoping the next is a bit more like the earlier books in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • K. Cole
  • Cincinnati, Ohio, US.
  • 11-21-17

enjoyed this

I've listened to a dozen Le Carre books from audible. This one, though short, is well worth the price.

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

Prepare for Driveway Moments

My favorite Smiley novel by a nose, though Smiley hardly appears in it. Jayston's narration is perfect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

take a happy pill already!

this outdoes A Spy Who Came in from the Cold for futility and bleakness to a degree that is straining credulity, patience and interest. we get it: the UK is small potatoes and the farmers are all fighting over the last few... the reader was competent, but I really didn't see the point of this book. i enjoy books driven by character, or 'slice of life' or plot-driven, but this failed to provide any point of ingress..

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

so so for le carre

just not a complete story compared to his other works. did not buy into the plot. characters not developed. couldn't connect with any of them. they were not believable . also, qa no real sense of drama either. also, smiley seemed kind of week.

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

Another great LeCarre

I am really enjoying the smiley series which I first read 30 years ago. They do not date - though for people born since the berlin wall came down they would be an interesting artifact I think. worth the listen