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The Spy Who Came in from the Cold | [John le Carré]

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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. He will have to fight off the inevitable softening of middle age and wait a little more before he can come in from the cold. Not even Leamas can know the plan of which he is the instrument.

©1963 Victor Gollancz Ltd (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

What the Critics Say

"The best spy story I have ever read." (Graham Greene)

"Le Carré is one of the best novelists - of any kind - we have." (Vanity Fair)

"Written...with a pitiless, elegant clarity, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a first-rate thriller and more." (Time)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (125 )
5 star
 (78)
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4.6 (79 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Stephen Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom 20/11/2013
    Stephen Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom 20/11/2013 Member Since 2005

    Classics,contemporary fiction, Politics, Philosophy, Economics - a weekly eye on The New Yorker & The Guardian and dense word style/play.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    395
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    "A long time out in the cold."

    Having just got a signed 50th anniversary edition and watched Tinker Tailor on telly...it was time to settle into this one and I was very pleasantly surprised at home much I enjoyed its twists and turns and the very celebrated humdrumness of it all.

    As Jim from the Duke of Wellington up in Northumberland - a well trusted older reader who has been there before and seen it all - observed, at the end of the day it was all about money. I really enjoyed the narrative to the point where I’ll look again for the various installments of the Smiley story and look forward to getting to a point with LaCarré that everyone else in England seems to have got to many years ago.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kola London 04/10/2014
    kola London 04/10/2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    6
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    "A classic from the cold war"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely recommended - particularly for anyone who has spent time in Berlin.


    Has The Spy Who Came in from the Cold put you off other books in this genre?

    I don't know this genre well - but it wasn't what I was expecting, and the quality of the story positively surprised me.


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

    Very well read by Michael Jayston. Resists the temptation to overdo German accents for the German characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Iain Lanark, United Kingdom 24/12/2012
    Iain Lanark, United Kingdom 24/12/2012 Member Since 2010

    A post apocalyptic, zombie loving reader with a bit of spy/war thrillers thrown in for good measure.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    Overall
    "Another Gripping Spy Story"

    le Carre delivers another gripping tale of the cold war British spy network. Lots of twists and turns to keep the listener guessing until the very end. Up there with the rest of his works.



    The narrator delivers the story brilliantly, although in previous purchases where Le Carre has read them himself does take a lot of beating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Thomas uk 23/12/2012
    S. Thomas uk 23/12/2012 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
    Overall
    "The book that came in from the cd."

    This isn't my usual choice. Espionage thrillers usually leave me cold - or the thought or them does. However this was a book group choice so I chose the unabridged version and within minutes was hooked.

    I'm now embarrassed to think I ignored this for

    So long. The writing is so accessible; I was concerned that I would not be able to follow the plot but it's a much more relatable novel than I imagined. Good writing means this novel is a hit across the board and the narrator is amazing with his easy on the ear voice and the way each character is convincingly brought to life. I adored this reading!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G Pire sur SeicheFrance 24/09/2012
    G Pire sur SeicheFrance 24/09/2012 Member Since 2010

    Many hours in spring and summer spent sitting on a slow lawn mower is why I listen to stories.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "another era"

    Easy to listen to, good narration, no particular effort required to follow the story. Written during and taking place in the cold war, and it shows. It all feels a bit dated, but fun nonetheless, if you like "old-fashioned" thrillers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Flaminia Rome, Italy 03/03/2012
    Flaminia Rome, Italy 03/03/2012 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Not my genre, probably"

    I never read anything from LeCarré but the late fuss about the movie made me curious.
    I must admit I was disappointed and found it somehow shallow. But it's probably only a question of taste.
    The plot is quite intricated and the characters are somehow all alike.
    Not my favorite book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results
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  • Pita
    North Shore City, New Zealand
    15/06/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding Novel, Brilliantly Read"

    Le Carre's classic spy novel is brought to life by a wonderful reading. Jayston's British voice goes so perfectly with the novel and the character's of "the circus" are brought to life right in front of your ears!

    This novel is intricate with great depth of characters and twist and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat guessing till the end. The descriptions of the service, the agents, the "circus" and the enemy brings to life this Cold War classic. Do not go past this novel and this reading!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Carolyn
    Tharwa, Australia
    13/03/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping Cold War thriller"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold to be better than the print version?

    I first read 'The Spy Who Came in From the Cold' in print when I was 12 or 13 and it was the best seller everyone was talking about. In print I tended to rush ahead to see what happened, but the audio version slows you down to savour Le Carre's writing.


    What other book might you compare The Spy Who Came in from the Cold to and why?

    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - a complex story with double-crosses and suspense.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    An early scene, when the double agent crosses the border into West Germany on his bicycle.


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

    Oh yes - it will keep you sitting in your car listening to the recording, long after you've pulled into the driveway.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Micah
    09/08/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The opposite of a page turner"
    Any additional comments?

    The narrator was a pro but the story was soooo slllooooowww. Like a movie where you think 'it will get good soon' then realise you just wasted two hours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Teetwo
    Avignon, Vaucluse
    07/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a wow book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold to be better than the print version?

    one of the best book I read in the past years. I couldn't stop listening.


    What did you like best about this story?

    the intricate story and the connections to the "real" world.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mackenzie
    Petersham, Australia
    04/02/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A classic"

    How refreshing to go back to le Carre's early writing and listen to this. The performance is gripping -- I couldn't listen to the end knowing the outcome as it was too stressful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Pisa, Italy
    11/06/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic Le Carré"
    Where does The Spy Who Came in from the Cold rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is probably the best spy book ever written. I have read it twice before, but thoroughly enjoyed listening to Jayston's reading. He is perfect for the job.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    Mackay, Australia
    05/03/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Cold war and hot action"

    John le Carre at the height of his powers transports us back to the troubling days of the Berlin wall, mutually assured destruction and intrigue. Written at a time when Britain was still a power with influence in the world; for those who lived through those times it is a powerful evocation of the past. For readers who live in the world of glasnost and Putin there is still plenty to keep you listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-7 of 7 results

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