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The Russia House

Narrated by: Michael Jayston
Length: 13 hrs and 53 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (408 ratings)

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Summary

It is the third summer of perestroika. Niki Landau, philanderer and travelling rep, attends the first Moscow audio fair and is asked by beautiful young Katya to take a parcel back to England.

It’s addressed to Barley Blair, jazz-player and drinker, and contains information vital to the defence of the West. But times and heroes are changing. And Barley Blair is a man who makes his own rules of engagement.

©2010 David Cornwell (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

What listeners say about The Russia House

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect voice for the master's stories

John Le Carre writes quite amazing stories - about flawed innocents with pure intentions caught up in the mendacities of the real word. There is something about Michael Jayston's voice, the slightly jaded world-weariness, that makes it quite the perfect vehicle for Le Carre's writing.

22 people found this helpful

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

Well read in a strong believable voice.

The ending is different to the film adaptation, which I believe is better because your mind makes its own predictions of the outcome, which I'm finding aren't quite as nice.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Story is too slow for my liking

Pros I enjoyed Le Carré's descriptions of people and their actions ; the narrator was good, using different voices for different characters. Cons I found the story very slow - I tuned out sometimes but didn't seem to have missed anything when I started to pay attention again.

4 people found this helpful

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

Another masterpiece

The narration is outstanding. Balanced,convincing totally plausible. Really adds to the story. This is not an action packed adventure. It’s far better, it explores relevant world tensions, good v bad, stereotypes, it’s packed with suspense leaving the reader unsure whose narrative is reliable. A real feel for the vagaries of Cold War espionage in recent years. Le Carré delivers another compelling insight into the murky workings of the world.

3 people found this helpful

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

Another Le Carre cracker

I read it when it was first published, and have just listened to it. I will listen to it again, several times. As well as being a great story, it is an interesting commentary on the politics of our day.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating description of Spy life

Really well written More complex than his previous books. Thank you Mr Cornwall i really enjoyed it

8 people found this helpful

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

Slightly dull Le Carre

On balance Le Carre often places individual conflict in the centre of espionage stories and spycraft. Sometimes the dial is a little too far over towards the personal turmoil and the wider story doesn't quite grip. I think thats the case with the Russia House for me - no great hooks amongst the characters on the outside of the emotional conflict at the heart of the story. Top Marks for Michael Jayston, however, as I really enjoy his dry/wry delivery - perfect for Le Carre's anti heroes.

1 person found this helpful

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

Love and Espionage

Exquisite writing and cleverly cloaking a love story behind the smoke and mirrors of the spying game.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not the usual Le Carre standard

Most Le Carre books are riveting but sadly this one didn’t capture my attention like the others. It’s a reasonable story and don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book, but you would be better served selecting another Le Carre book.

1 person found this helpful

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

CONSUMMATE

John Le Carré at his very best. Beautifully read by Michael Jayston. Had me so entranced I missed my turning from the motorway!

1 person found this helpful