The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
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The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

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Description

From the master of spy thrillers, John le Carre's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a gripping story of love and betrayal at the height of the Cold War. This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an afterword by the author and an introduction by William Boyd, author of Any Human Heart. Alex Leamas is tired. It's the 1960s, he's been out in the cold for years, spying in the shadow of the Berlin Wall for his British masters. He has seen too many good agents murdered for their troubles. Now Control wants to bring him in at last - but only after one final assignment. He must travel deep into the heart of Communist Germany and betray his country, a job that he will do with his usual cynical professionalism. But when George Smiley tries to help a young woman Leamas has befriended, Leamas's mission may prove to be the worst thing he could ever have done. In le Carre's breakthrough work of 1963, the spy story is reborn as a gritty and terrible tale of men who are caught up in politics beyond their imagining. "A portrait of a man who has lived by lies and subterfuge for so long, he's forgotten how to tell the truth." (Time). "He can communicate emotion, from sweating fear to despairing love, with terse and compassionate conviction. Above all, he can tell a tale." (Sunday Times).

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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 22mm | 199.58g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141194529
  • 9780141194523
  • 3,661

Review quote

Superbly constructed, with an atmosphere of chilly hell -- J.B. Priestley The best spy story I have ever read -- Graham Greene The master storyteller ... has lost none of his cunning -- A. N. Wilson I have re-read The Spy Who Came In From The Cold over and over again since I first encountered it in my teens, just to remind myself how extraordinary a work of fiction can be. Malcolm Gladwell One of those very rare novels that changes the way you look at the world. Unflinching, highly sophisticated, superb. William Boyd

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About John Le Carré

John le Carre was born in 1931. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People. His recent novels include A Most Wanted Man, Our Kind of Traitor and A Delicate Truth. William Boyd was born in 1952 in Accra, Ghana and grew up there and in Nigeria. His first novel, A Good Man in Africa (1981), won the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Somerset Maugham Prize. His other novels are An Ice Cream War (1982, shortlisted for the 1982 Booker Prize and winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), Stars and Bars (1984), The New Confessions (1987), Brazzaville Beach (1990, winner of the McVitie Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize), The Blue Afternoon (1993, winner of the 1993 Sunday Express Book of the Year Award), Armadillo (1998), Any Human Heart (2002, winner of the Prix Jean Monnet) and Restless (2006, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year Award). His latest novel is Ordinary Thunderstorms (2009). Some thirteen of his screenplays have been filmed, including The Trench (1999), which he also directed, and he is also the author of four collections of short stories: On the Yankee Station (1981), The Destiny of Nathalie 'X' (1995), Fascination (2004) and The Dream Lover (2008). He is married and divides his time between London and South West France.

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Customer reviews

I concur with Graham Greene: This is the best spy story I ever read until today. The narrative is not easy or linear (remember, this is vintage Le Carré), but when the punch hits you it is in your stomach. A magnificent plot, a superb finale. Everything is grey. If you enjoyed it you can also try "A small town in Germany", less spy story, but also well gotten.show more
by JDP