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Summary

Kim Philby was the most notorious British defector and Soviet mole in history. Agent, double agent, traitor, and enigma, he betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War. Philby's two closest friends in the intelligence world, Nicholas Elliott of MI6 and James Jesus Angleton, the CIA intelligence chief, thought they knew Philby better than anyone, and then discovered they had not known him at all.

This is a story of intimate duplicity; of loyalty, trust and treachery, class and conscience; of an ideological battle waged by men with cut-glass accents and well-made suits in the comfortable clubs and restaurants of London and Washington; of male friendships forged, and then systematically betrayed.

©2014 Ben Macintyre (P)2014 Soundings

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Retold with Gripping Narrative

A true story, one most people are familiar with, but still the level of deceipt and national betrayal so very shocking. Brilliantly retold.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant

A superb reader. He captures exactly the feeling of the time.
Great story, of course I love spy stories especially true ones.
It was a shame to finish it.
Highly recommended.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Utterly brilliant

A fantastic retelling of the Philby story with special focus on his friendship with Elliot. The Cambridge spies narrative is pushed through fairly quickly but what follows is better still. Philby's betrayal is complete but the human element is emphasised here with the betrayal of his friends. You will certainly enjoy this if you have enjoyed the author's other works but I find it hard to think of anyone who would not love this. The

The superb narration completes a fine package. Highly recommended.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic, utterly enthralling.

Michael Tudor Barnes brought the book to life. Engaging reading, clear distinction between the book's characters and very hard to stop listening each night. MacIntyre's jounrey through the story of Philby, the infamous Cambridge 5 and the, to me at least, lesser known of Elliott, was engrossing. Enough fact to substantiate the unknown and speculation, and enough narrative to bring alive pre, peri and post cold war espionage operations.
I had little interest in cold war espionage prior to deciding upon this book, my interest was piqued very early in this book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Mesmerising

Best book I have listened too
And to think it's a true story just makes it more captivating.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Gripping!

Superbly written and read. Well worth listening to. Captured the Cold War period and the personalities beautifully

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Entertaining, informative and shocking

The real story of Kim Philby and his spying activities and the reality of how he got away with so much for so long.

A searing indictment of the British establishment told in an accessible and well researched way.

Highly recommended

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating Read

Would you listen to A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal again? Why?

Yes and I would strongly recommend it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal?

Too many really, but will single out the ease with which the Establishment threw George Blake to the wolves because he was not "One of Us".

What about Michael Tudor Barnes’s performance did you like?

Very well read. Pleasant voice to listen to and a good intelligent delivery.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Disgust at how the Establishment is prepared to protect its own. The Secret Service is just one long booze up with the 'right people' at the 'right clubs'.

Any additional comments?

An insight into how class ridden UK power base really is. For heaven sake do come from the "right school & class".

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating insight into the Philby saga.

Loved it. Fascinating story and the readers voice matched the content perfectly. Best audiobook I've listened to so far.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Compelling

I thoroughly enjoyed this,,despite being broadly familiar with the events beforehand. Macintrye has brought lots of colour to the tale.

If you really do think the good old days were better than today, this cast of heroically boozy, morally casual members of MI6 may make you think again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Everard (Desert Islander)
  • 09-03-16

Riveting!

What did you love best about A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal?

All of it. What more can one say!

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal?

The whole book!

Which character – as performed by Michael Tudor Barnes – was your favorite?

All of them!

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

Yes!

Any additional comments?

Recommend more like this, please!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful