Smiley

17 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 8,104 ratings

Call for the Dead Publisher's Summary

An unabridged reading by Michael Jayston of John le Carré’s first novel, which introduced his most famous character, George Smiley.

Smiley is one of the most brilliantly realised characters in British fiction. Bespectacled, tubby, eternally middle-aged, and deceptively ordinary, he has a mind like a steel trap and is said to possess ‘the cunning of Satan and the conscience of a virgin’.

This novel, set in London in the late 1950s, finds Smiley engaged in the humdrum job of security vetting. But when a Foreign Office civil servant commits suicide after an apparently unproblematic interview, Smiley is baffled. Refusing to believe that Fennan shot himself soon after making a cup of cocoa and asking the exchange to telephone him in the morning, Smiley decides to investigate – only to uncover a murderous conspiracy with its roots in his own secret wartime past.

©1962 David Cornwell (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
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  • Book 1

    • Call for the Dead

    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 4 hrs and 44 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 51
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 48
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 45

    This novel, set in London in the late 1950s, finds George Smiley engaged in the humdrum job of security vetting. But when a Foreign Office civil servant commits suicide after an apparently unproblematic interview, Smiley is baffled. Refusing to believe that Fennan shot himself soon after making a cup of cocoa and asking the exchange to telephone him in the morning, Smiley decides to investigate – only to uncover a murderous conspiracy.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Well read, good book

    • By Stephen on 05-14-12

    Regular price: $16.41

    • Call for the Dead

    • A George Smiley Novel
    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 4 hrs and 44 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,115
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,008
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 1,000

    George Smiley is no one's idea of a spy - which is perhaps why he's such a natural. But Smiley apparently made a mistake. After a routine security interview, he concluded that the affable Samuel Fennan had nothing to hide. Why, then, did the man from the Foreign Office shoot himself in the head only hours later? Or did he? The heart-stopping tale of intrigue that launched both novelist and spy, Call for the Dead is an essential introduction to le Carre's chillingly amoral universe.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Great Entry to le Carré

    • By Caroline on 08-06-13

    Regular price: $21.00

  • Book 2

    • A Murder of Quality

    • A George Smiley Novel
    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 4 hrs and 44 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 513
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 448
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 448

    Miss Ailsa Brimley is in a quandary. She's received a peculiar letter from Mrs. Stella Rode, saying that she fears her husband - an assistant master at Carne School - is trying to kill her. Reluctant to go to the police, Miss Brimley calls upon her old wartime colleague, George Smiley. Unfortunately, it's too late. Mrs. Rode has just been murdered. As Smiley takes up the investigation, he realizes that in life - as in espionage—nothing is quite what it appears.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Short break from le Carre's brilliant spy œuvre

    • By Darwin8u on 10-12-12

    Regular price: $21.00

    • A Murder of Quality

    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 4 hrs and 42 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 11
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 9
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 9

    George Smiley is one of the most brilliantly realised characters in British fiction. Bespectacled, tubby, eternally middle-aged, and deceptively ordinary, he has a mind like a steel trap and is said to possess 'the cunning of Satan and the conscience of a virgin'. Miss Ailsa Brimley is in a quandary. She's received a peculiar letter from Mrs Stella Rode, saying that she fears her husband – an assistant master at Carne School - is trying to kill her. Reluctant to go to the police, Miss Brimley calls upon her old wartime colleague, George Smiley.

    Regular price: $33.57

  • Book 3

    • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

    • A George Smiley Novel, Book 3
    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 7 hrs
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,298
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,186
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,182

    In the shadow of the newly erected Berlin Wall, Alec Leamas watches as his last agent is shot dead by East German sentries. For Leamas, the head of Berlin Station, the Cold War is over. As he faces the prospect of retirement or worse - a desk job - Control offers him a unique opportunity for revenge. Assuming the guise of an embittered and dissolute ex-agent, Leamas is set up to trap Mundt, the deputy director of the East German Intelligence Service - with himself as the bait.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great novel, but not Smiley...

    • By Walter on 03-29-13

    Regular price: $24.50

    • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 117
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 108
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 109

    Alec Leamas has ended his time in Berlin. Or his time has ended him. The last of his Eastern agents has been killed, like the others, by the Abteilung. Back at the Circus, Leamas is put on the shelf. He turns to drunkenness and dishonesty and finally disappears from view, a seemingly broken man. But unknown to anyone except George Smiley and his master, Control, Leamas has been given his toughest mission ever. He will have to be himself but more so.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Outstanding Novel, Brilliantly Read

    • By Pita on 06-15-12

    Regular price: $17.05

  • Book 4

    • The Looking Glass War

    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 339
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 310
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 311

    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.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • With nuance le Carré dissects a dying animal.

    • By Darwin8u on 03-29-13

    Regular price: $28.00

    • The Looking Glass War

    • By: John Le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 25
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 25
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 25

    Once, the distinctions were clear: the Circus handled all things political while the Department dealt with matters military. But over the years the power and influence had passed to the Circus. Now suddenly the department had a job on its hands. Uncertain evidence suggested Soviet missiles being put in place near the German border, while vital film had gone missing and a courier was dead.

    Regular price: $33.57

  • Book 5

    • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

    • A George Smiley Novel
    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,521
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,375
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,376

    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.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Le Carre remains the gold standard

    • By carl801 on 07-05-12

    Regular price: $31.50

  • Book 6

    • The Honourable Schoolboy

    • The Karla Trilogy, Book 2
    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 20 hrs and 29 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 100
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 76
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 77

    George Smiley has become chief of the battered British Secret Service. The betrayals of a Soviet double agent have riddled the spy network, and Smiley wants revenge. He chooses his weapon: Jerry Westerby, "The Honourable Schoolboy", a passionate lover, and a seasoned, reckless secret agent. Westerby is pointed east, to Hong Kong. So begins the terrifying game.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Great story, but not Le Carre's best

    • By Pita on 08-16-12

    Regular price: $33.57

    • The Honourable Schoolboy

    • A George Smiley Novel
    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 20 hrs and 27 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 611
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 559
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 556

    The mole has been eliminated, but the damage wrought has brought the British Secret Service to its knees. Given charge of the gravely compromised Circus, George Smiley embarks on a campaign to uncover what Moscow Centre most wants to hide. When the trail goes cold at a Hong Kong gold seam, Smiley dispatches Gerald Westerby to shake the money tree. A part-time operative with cover as a philandering journalist, Westerby insinuates himself into a war-torn world.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Conrad's Ghost Floats & Haunts this Sad Spy Novel

    • By Darwin8u on 07-27-12

    Regular price: $42.00

  • Book 7

    • Smiley's People

    • The Karla Trilogy, Book 3
    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 14 hrs and 23 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 115
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 101
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 99

    George Smiley was summoned from his dubious retirement by two seemingly unconnected events - an old woman in Paris is promised the return of a daughter she will never see, and a handover is to take place on a steamer in Hamburg.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Superb narration

    • By Liz on 02-13-12

    Regular price: $33.57

    • Smiley's People

    • A George Smiley Novel
    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 14 hrs and 24 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 651
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 603
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 602

    A very junior agent answers Vladimir's call, but it could have been the Chief of the Circus himself. No one at the British Secret Service considers the old spy to be anything except a senile has-been who can't give up the game - until he's shot in the face at point-blank range. Although George Smiley (code-name: Max) is officially retired, he's summoned to identify the body now bearing Moscow Centre's bloody imprimatur. As he works to unearth his friend's fatal secrets, Smiley heads inexorably toward one final reckoning.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • NEAR Perfect Ending for One Best Trilogies Ever

    • By Darwin8u on 07-27-12

    Regular price: $31.50

  • Book 8

    • The Secret Pilgrim

    • A George Smiley Novel
    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 13 hrs and 8 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 242
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 222
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 219

    Nothing is as it was. Old enemies embrace. The dark staging grounds of the Cold War, whose shadows barely obscured the endless games of espionage, are flooded with light; the rules are rewritten, the stakes changed, the future unfathomable. John le Carre seized this momentous turning point in history to give us the most disturbing experience we have yet had of the frail and brutal world of spydom. The man called Ned speaks to us. All his adult life he has been in British Intelligence - the Circus - a loyal, shrewd, wily officer of the Cold War....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A Classic That Only Gets Better

    • By Leonard on 01-05-13

    Regular price: $31.50

    • The Secret Pilgrim

    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 21
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 20
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 20

    The Berlin Wall is down, the Cold War is over, but the world's second oldest profession is very much alive. Smiley accepts an invitation to dine with the eager young men and women of the Circus' latest intake; and over coffee and brandy, by flickering firelight, he beguilingly offers them his personal thoughts on espionage past, present, and future. In doing so, he prompts one of his former Circus colleagues into a searching examination of his own eventful secret life.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Excellently read finale for Smiley

    • By Catherine on 04-02-12

    Regular price: $33.57

  • Book 9

    • A Legacy of Spies

    • A Novel
    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Tom Hollander
    • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,327
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,216
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,206

    Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley, and Peter Guillam himself, are to be scrutinized by a generation with no memory of the Cold War.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Another great LeCarre, it goes without saying, but

    • By christopher on 10-07-17

    Regular price: $28.00

    • A Legacy of Spies

    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Tom Hollander
    • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 47
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 45
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 45

    Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, is living out his old age on the family farmstead in Brittany when a letter summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself are to be scrutinised under disturbing criteria by a generation with no memory of the Cold War.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A foot note to a legacy

    • By Ajay on 10-01-17

    Regular price: $21.31