Smiley

9 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 6,241 ratings

Call for the Dead Summary

An unabridged reading by Michael Jayston of John le Carré’s first novel, which introduced his most famous character, George Smiley.

Smiley is one of the most brilliantly realised characters in British fiction. Bespectacled, tubby, eternally middle-aged, and deceptively ordinary, he has a mind like a steel trap and is said to possess ‘the cunning of Satan and the conscience of a virgin’.

This novel, set in London in the late 1950s, finds Smiley engaged in the humdrum job of security vetting. But when a Foreign Office civil servant commits suicide after an apparently unproblematic interview, Smiley is baffled. Refusing to believe that Fennan shot himself soon after making a cup of cocoa and asking the exchange to telephone him in the morning, Smiley decides to investigate – only to uncover a murderous conspiracy with its roots in his own secret wartime past.

©1962 David Cornwell (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
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  • Book 1

    • Call for the Dead

    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 4 hrs and 44 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 766
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 641
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 639

    This novel, set in London in the late 1950s, finds George Smiley engaged in the humdrum job of security vetting. But when a Foreign Office civil servant commits suicide after an apparently unproblematic interview, Smiley is baffled. Refusing to believe that Fennan shot himself soon after making a cup of cocoa and asking the exchange to telephone him in the morning, Smiley decides to investigate – only to uncover a murderous conspiracy.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • A refreshing change

    • By eatough1999 on 27-01-15

    Regular price: £12.29

  • Book 2

    • A Murder of Quality

    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 4 hrs and 42 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 545
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 503
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 500

    George Smiley is one of the most brilliantly realised characters in British fiction. Bespectacled, tubby, eternally middle-aged, and deceptively ordinary, he has a mind like a steel trap and is said to possess 'the cunning of Satan and the conscience of a virgin'. Miss Ailsa Brimley is in a quandary. She's received a peculiar letter from Mrs Stella Rode, saying that she fears her husband – an assistant master at Carne School - is trying to kill her. Reluctant to go to the police, Miss Brimley calls upon her old wartime colleague, George Smiley.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A must for any connoisseur of Le. Carre

    • By Mr. H. Watson on 15-08-16

    Regular price: £31.49

  • Book 3

    • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 925
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 821
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 822

    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.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • The book that came in from the cd.

    • By S. Thomas on 23-12-12

    Regular price: £15.99

  • Book 4

    • The Looking Glass War

    • By: John Le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 231
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 210
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 210

    Once, the distinctions were clear: the Circus handled all things political while the Department dealt with matters military. But over the years the power and influence had passed to the Circus. Now suddenly the department had a job on its hands. Uncertain evidence suggested Soviet missiles being put in place near the German border, while vital film had gone missing and a courier was dead.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Great presentation

    • By Steve Hocking on 03-01-18

    Regular price: £31.49

  • Book 5

    Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy cover art
    • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

    • The Karla Trilogy, Book 1
    • By: John le Carre
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  • Book 6

    • The Honourable Schoolboy

    • The Karla Trilogy, Book 2
    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 20 hrs and 28 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 833
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 554
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 550

    George Smiley has become chief of the battered British Secret Service. The betrayals of a Soviet double agent have riddled the spy network, and Smiley wants revenge. He chooses his weapon: Jerry Westerby, "The Honourable Schoolboy", a passionate lover, and a seasoned, reckless secret agent. Westerby is pointed east, to Hong Kong. So begins the terrifying game.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • The Honourable Shoolboy

    • By Bruce on 13-02-11

    Regular price: £31.49

  • Book 7

    • Smiley's People

    • The Karla Trilogy, Book 3
    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 14 hrs and 23 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 890
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 647
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 645

    George Smiley was summoned from his dubious retirement by two seemingly unconnected events - an old woman in Paris is promised the return of a daughter she will never see, and a handover is to take place on a steamer in Hamburg.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • An underrated writer

    • By Claudia on 24-09-12

    Regular price: £31.49

  • Book 8

    • The Secret Pilgrim

    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
    • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 185
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 159
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 161

    The Berlin Wall is down, the Cold War is over, but the world's second-oldest profession is very much alive. Smiley accepts an invitation to dine with the eager young men and women of the Circus' latest intake; and over coffee and brandy, by flickering firelight, he beguilingly offers them his personal thoughts on espionage past, present, and future. In doing so, he prompts one of his former Circus colleagues into a searching examination of his own eventful secret life.

    • 1 out of 5 stars
    • A real mishmash!

    • By J. Wakeman on 28-03-15

    Regular price: £31.49

  • Book 9

    • A Legacy of Spies

    • By: John le Carré
    • Narrated by: Tom Hollander
    • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,000
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 908
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 901

    Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, is living out his old age on the family farmstead in Brittany when a letter summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself are to be scrutinised under disturbing criteria by a generation with no memory of the Cold War.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Brilliant

    • By JOHN on 10-09-17

    Regular price: £19.99