Smiley, wrestling with retirement and disillusionment, is summoned to a secret meeting with a member of the Cabinet Office. Evidence has emerged that the Circus has been infiltrated at the highest level by a Russian agent. 'Find the mole, George. Clean the stables. Do whatever is necessary.' Reluctantly Smiley agrees, and so embarks on a dark journey into his past a past filled with love, duplicity and betrayal.
Starring the award-winning Simon Russell Beale as Smiley, and with a star cast including Anna Chancellor, Alex Jennings, Kenneth Cranham, and Bill Paterson, this epic dramatisation brilliantly depicts the complicated moral dilemmas of those who practice post-war espionage and illuminates the murky corners of le Carré's classic spy thriller - the first in the Karla trilogy.
©1974 le Carre Productions; (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
"A great dramatisation of a classic spy tale"
What can I say -I am a great fan of Le carre especially his cold war / british secret service era books and this is the best. The dramatisation really brings out the mixture of disillusionment, bureacracy and office politics but with deadly stakes and high tension
Bought in the sale more from curiosity and completing "the set" than with high expectations but listened in one go, unable to switch off until finished.
I enjoyed reading and rereading the book, loved the BBC TV series with Alec Guiness as Smiley ,looking forward to seeing the new film and enjoyed the unabridged audiobook ( ie I know the story backwards) but still got something new from this adaptation.
The changes helped the abridged story line. Other than the Rikki Tarr voice which did not work for me I thought all the voice acting was superb and the dramatisation added excitement and atmosphere.
Does not replace the unadulterated leCarre but well worth a listen.
This has to be one of the darkest and best things I have ever listened to....loved it
"Great production by the BBC as always!"
This is a deep, complex Cold War novel with a large cast of characters - and as such it doesn't actually lend itself terribly well to audio. Reading a book I might flick back a couple of chapters to remind myself of something, but of course this is nigh-on impossible with an audiobook. The production from the BBC is of course excellent, but the material is very dense and complicated so you really do have to concentrate to keep up!
"A classic given a classic face-lift"
The Alec Guinness/BBC 'Tinker, Tailor' of the 1970s can hardly be surpassed, though this production by the BBC gets close, not by imitating but by nearly equalling the original. It has a good cast, a great Cold War atmosphe and wonderful music, and it goes along at the right pace - relentless, measured, tense, gripping. If you like John le Carre you'll enjoy this, though the unabridged production is far and away a better story. Get both.
"Complex yet coherent"
I thoroughly enjoyed this production, having missed it on the radio. Simon Russell Beale has great presence as the wise and wily George Smiley and the story economically brings in personal, social and political history and gives us a great whodunnit.
"Great dramatisation of an exciting story"
Excellent dramatisation. I found the book rather slow and confusing, but the dramatisation really brought it alive. Voice acting is very good.
This was a totally gripping drama with an excellent cast and accompanying music. As it is part of series I look forward to hearing the other plays.
It kept me glued to the story and had all the tension of the best of BBC plays. Excellent work.
Fantastic book - well read. My only problem is that a large chunk was chopped out of the story.... well worth the money and pleasure.....
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