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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

In Silverview, John le Carré turns his focus to the world that occupied his writing for the past 60 years - the secret world itself.

Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian's evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish émigré living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian's family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise.

When a letter turns up at the door of a spy chief in London warning him of a dangerous leak, the investigations lead him to this quiet town by the sea.... 

Silverview is the mesmerising story of an encounter between innocence and experience and between public duty and private morals. In his inimitable voice, John le Carré, the greatest chronicler of our age, seeks to answer the question of what we truly owe to the people we love.

©2021 John le Carré (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Silverview

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A fitting farewell

As with any of his books - a gripping story with well developed characters. Although, I felt the actual actions of Edward weren’t explained well enough (i.e. what info did he give away and to whom) and Julian’s character felt somewhat unfinished. Always enjoyable though.

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Not the grand finale that I’d hoped for

Being a lifelong fan of JLC, I was expecting him to go out on a high with this posthumous work.

The plot slithered along and the characters were unappealing and uninteresting.

Thank goodness that JLC’s literary legacy will rest on firmer foundations.

The narrator did a professional job but failed to embody any of the characters.

2 people found this helpful

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Not the finest but still Le Carre

The great Le Carre’s final book and one I was hugely looking forward to.

We join two story threads. Julian has escaped the City to run a bookshop. He is entranced by the mysterious Edward who suggests a joint venture and a number of favours. Meanwhile Dr Proctor, connected to the Service but position a little murky, is engaged in various clandestine meetings and interactions.

This isn’t one of Le Carre’s best works but it is Le Carre, so that can be forgiven. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Toby Jones. I hugely missed Le Carre’s own narration which was reading the book rather than performing (and therefore hugely interpreting each character). Overall a strong 3*.

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A classic and elegant Le Carre to the end.

A typically subtle exploration of loyalty, love and betrayal cast upon the stage of the secret world. Very well read in this Audible edition. How fitting that a career that’s cast a light upon so many shadows of the human state should conclude in Britain’s most mysterious coastal destination, Orford Ness. Mr Cornwall, we will miss you.