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Download Call for the Dead: A George Smiley Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Call for the Dead: A George Smiley Novel Audiobook, by John le Carré Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 5 3.67 (24 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John le Carré Narrator: Michael Jayston Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The George Smiley Series Release Date: September 2012 ISBN: 9781101575741
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Go back to Whitehall and look for more spies on your drawing boards.”

George Smiley is no one’s idea of a spy—which is perhaps why he’s such a natural. But Smiley apparently made a mistake. After a routine security interview, he concluded that the affable Samuel Fennan had nothing to hide. Why, then, did the man from the Foreign Office shoot himself in the head only hours later? Or did he?

The heart-stopping tale of intrigue that launched both novelist and spy, Call for the Dead is an essential introduction to le Carré’s chillingly amoral universe.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A finely wrought and compelling admixture of three types of crime writing: the novel of action and excitement that we commonly call a thriller, the spy story, and the detective story.”

    P. D. James

  • A subtle and acute story of counterespionage marked by restraint, indirection, and intelligence. The New York Times Book Review
    New York Times Book Review
  • Brilliant. Realistic. Constant suspense...excellent writing. The ObserverObserver (UK)
  • Thrilling…makes most cloak-and-dagger stuff taste of cardboard. Sunday TelegraphSunday Telegraph (UK)
  • “A subtle and acute story of counter-espionage marked by restraint, indirection, and intelligence.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Brilliant. Realistic. Constant suspense…excellent writing.”

    Observer (London)

  • “Intelligent, thrilling, surprising…Makes most cloak-and-dagger stuff taste of cardboard.”

    Sunday Telegraph (London)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick Hurley | 2/20/2014

    " My first John LeCarre novel and it did not disappoint! George Smiley is a compelling protagonist and this is an extremely well-written and tight spy mystery. So glad I picked it up from the library over Thanksgiving holiday and will definitely be on the lookout for more LeCarre books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 1/31/2014

    " I never have read any of Le Carre's books, so I decided to start from the beginning. This first book of his was short and you can tell a bit that he's still working on his style, but it was entertaining. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pearce | 1/22/2014

    " John le Carre is supposed to be the second-best espionage writer around, so I thought I'd start with his first book. It's a clever and well-written murder mystery centered around cold-war spy shenanigans. I can imagine his books getting better as he goes along. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frances Sawaya | 1/18/2014

    " Though this was the first book written by le Carre it was not here that I started enjoying his works; that journey began with the quest for Karla trilogy. I liked Smiley so much that I backtracked into le Carre's books in search of the quietly lethal and dedicated Smiley. A short book but intense nonetheless and it was interesting to see how the author developed and expanded George over the decades. He always seemed to melt into the background and leave the glitz to others in order to get the job done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 1/7/2014

    " This is the first in the George Smiley series, and I really liked it. I found it smart, clever, and detailed (despite its short length). I plan to continue with the series and hope all are as engaging as this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom Foutz | 1/5/2014

    " One of the best spy novels I've ever read. If you enjoy the BBC series inspector morse, this is right up your alley. The prose is detailed, without being overwrought. He leaves out the obvious details, and allows you to fill them in yourself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 TheYetiWakes | 1/3/2014

    " As much fun as some of the more flamboyant spy novels and films go anyone that still thinks that is real world espionage should be forced to sit down and read the George Smiley novels and this is the place to start. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard v | 12/29/2013

    " Didn't see the twist coming! Very nice, quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pamela | 12/28/2013

    " Early Smiley novel. Short but good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 12/23/2013

    " Well written and entertaining but the twist isn't so twisty to a modern reader - that's the only reason for a three star review - that - and that there isn't very much of it (150 pages or so). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl | 12/16/2013

    " I enjoyed this, although it is not quite the book I expected. More a Murder mystery than espionage. A good grounding for later books and a solid plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bryon | 12/11/2013

    " Smiley shrugged. "They dreamed of peace and freedom. Now they're murderers and spies." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 12/10/2013

    " A very good first book for the non-James Bond spy George Smiley. I'm working up to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emmanuel | 10/15/2013

    " Terse and British. A simple thread woven intricately. Introduction to Smiley and his world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brent | 7/10/2013

    " My first LeCarre novel. This one is atmospheric and redolent of height of Cold War. Now I want to read more LeCarre! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sannie Hald | 5/12/2013

    " I love a good spy novel "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zinjah | 4/9/2013

    " A quick read! And a good intro to Det. Smiley. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathan | 2/2/2013

    " Pretty good book, actually. LeCarre is a decent writer, and he fills a niche between modern espionage and WW2. Think James Bond without the weapons, and Agatha Christie's Poirot with a little more firepower. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laird Bennion | 1/13/2013

    " Fine, but not a spy novel as much as a murder mystery. And Smiley's character hasn't been fully fleshed out yet so there's not as much meat on the bones of this one as any of teh later novels. Still, an admirable Freshman effort. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 12/24/2012

    " The 1st of LeCarre's Smiley books. Much more concise than the Karla series, but pretty much just as enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Richard | 12/8/2012

    " Much better than Tinker Tailor, very quick read, quick story. My rating 3.3. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caro | 11/13/2012

    " Seeing the new "Tinker, Tailor" movie led me back to the books, which I own in ancient mass market paperback editions. This is a straightforward murder mystery with bits of spying thrown in. Very atmospheric and well paced. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Garren | 11/13/2012

    " Meh. Apparently I'm too American to handle classy British spy literature without any explosions at all! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Runsilent | 11/5/2012

    " Remarkable. Le Carre's first book, and it's focused on George Smiley's core story (many later stories refer to the events in this book). Paints a picture of a man wholly unremarkable in appearance and impression, yet hugely remarkable in sense and sensibility (borrowing Austen's title). "

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About the Author

John le Carré, the pseudonym of David John Moore Cornwell, is an English author of espionage novels. After attending the universities at Berne and Oxford, he taught at Eton and spent five years in the British Foreign Service. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, his third book, secured him a worldwide reputation as one of the greatest spy novelists in history. In 2011 his novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was made into a feature film starring Gary Oldman. Le Carré has more than twenty titles to his name and lives in Cornwall, Great Britain.

About the Narrator
Michael Jayston is a highly regarded British actor, having appeared in numerous films, among them Cromwell, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Zulu Dawn, and Nicholas and Alexandra. His many television credits include The Royal, Doctors, Emmerdale, Murder in Suburbia, and Only Fools and Horses, while on stage he has been seen in Henry V and Hamlet, as well as Private Lives and The Rivals.