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Download The Secret Pilgrim: A George Smiley Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Secret Pilgrim: A George Smiley Novel Audiobook, by John le Carré Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,350 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: July 2012 ISBN: 9781101575710
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After the Berlin Wall came down and opened up new changes in eastern Europe, John le Carré’s stunning novel, The Secret Pilgrim, takes us behind the scenes into the former Cold War world.

The Cold War is over. The rules of the spying game have changed. But to train new spies for this uncertain future, one must first show them the past. Enter the man called Ned, the loyal and shrewd veteran of the Circus.

With the inspiration of his inscrutable mentor George Smiley, Ned thrills all as he recounts forty exhilarating years of Cold War espionage across Europe and the Far East. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Powerful . . . remarkable . . . a grand summation of all John le Carré’s themes. The New York Times
  • Le Carré…at the top of his form. Los Angeles Times
  • “Intriguing…Magisterial…The many ingredients are skillfully marshaled. Lucidly and elegantly controlled.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Illumines the spiritual condition of being a spy.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Powerful…Remarkable…A grand summation of all John le Carré’s themes.”

    New York Times

  • “Le Carré is writing at the top of his form.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Wonderful…laced with lethal irony or occasional hope, with characters ranging from the heroic to the most banal form of evil. If John le Carré had to chose between his own espionage experience and his gifts as a writer, one strongly suspects he would bet on the latter.”

    Boston Globe

  • “No other contemporary novelist has more durably enjoyed the twin badges of being both well-read and well-regarded…The stories Ned recalls along the way are good ones, suspenseful, telling, each one cleverly recounted.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “They keep calling him a spy novelist, but of course he is much more; he is, indeed, one of the half-dozen best novelists now working in English…Here in The Secret Pilgrim are several old friends at twilight, telling tales to tomorrow morning’s fresh class…Anybody can write a novel. Nobody can write a le Carré novel.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “Smiley is back!...Riveting…Marvelous.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Powerful…A highly absorbing tale written with le Carré’s customary blend of deft characterization, scene-setting, and dialogue, not to mention a new-found affinity for humor.”

    Newsday

  • “Thrilling.”

    Kansas City Star

  • “Memorable…Strongly romantic…One finishes the book confident that le Carré will find new spies and that they will find new arenas in which to practice their deceptions.”

    Newsweek

  • The Secret Pilgrim bridges a gap between the recent past and the unforeseeable future. No longer able, because of the innate honesty that has characterized his storytelling career, to offer a full-blown Cold War drama, le Carré pops out some discrete and satisfactory chilling ice cubes.”

    Time

  • “Scorching…Fascinating…Seductive…A dazzler.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Riveting…It’s not only one of the author’s best books, it’s one of the best books, period.”

    Cosmopolitan

  • “Near the end of his own career as a cold-war spy, the narrator invites his mentor, George Smiley, to address his students as they complete their spy training. Seeing Smiley again evokes for him a series of memories, some involving Smiley, all marvelously written vintage le Carré...Michael Jayston could not be better, giving a wry, elegant, wide-ranging performance that brings Smiley, Toby Esterhazy, and many other old friends from the Smiley novels back to vivid life.”

    AudioFile

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Max P | 2/15/2014

    " Excellent. Really shows le Carre's range, particularly at the end, when he veers away from European intrigue to write about bored clerks, Cambodian jungle nightmares, and ferreting out a Dwight Schrute-like traitor from the Foreign Office. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 umberto | 2/14/2014

    " I think this George Smiley novel is a bit disappointing since he's simply invited by Ned to share his knowledge/ideas, that is, he showed up once in a while in a class of young people hoping to be a great secret agent like him. Of course there're some exciting episodes worth reading but, I think, reading his Karla Trilogy is all right and you can say, "That's it!" In other words, you won't feel guilty or inadequate if you skip this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eddie | 2/6/2014

    " Remembrances of past spy experiences "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zane Safrit | 2/4/2014

    " I'm a big fan of LeCarre'. And this is very good. Not maybe his best. A series of really short-stories, tales, from the vantage point of 'Ned'. Pulls together some of the threads from his earlier novels, wrapped around the character George Smiley. Worth it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryan | 2/2/2014

    " The first LeCarre book I ever read; it is a compilation of short stories that is fast paced and intriguing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lazarus P Badpenny Esq | 1/31/2014

    " With the Cold War over and George Smiley providing little more than a cameo appearance, this episodic retrospective falls slightly short of being classic Le Carre but the novel's examination of the psychological effects of intrigue and deceit upon it's perpetrators is compelling nonetheless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kienie | 1/17/2014

    " I guess with John Le Carre there is no such thing as a happy ending. It's always bittersweet at best. I think that with age I will appreciate it more, but now I wish for something more definitive. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lera | 1/16/2014

    " Quite a gentle one here. Its something like a book of short stories crafted into a novel - tales looking back over a lifetime of spying. Not much glamour, quite a lot of regret. Beautifully written and put together as usual. Borrowed from the Histon Library. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andy Deemer | 1/4/2014

    " Entertaining book of short stories threaded together into a loose Smiley narrative. Fun, generally-predictable Russia House and Circus intrigue. Maybe I've been reading too much Le Carre of late... but it felt a little more forced, like an Alfred Hitchcock Presents compendium. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie Howley | 12/10/2013

    " A masterpiece by Le Carre exploring the morality/amorality of the politics of the West & of the Intelligence community. Great compassion - I think it's one of his best. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pawel Kowalczyk | 12/7/2013

    " I`m a fussy and unfortunately lazy reader so I don`t want to make unfair comments about this particular book. It just didn`t click in and I`ve already read better Le Carre`s books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Glenna | 11/27/2013

    " This is like a bunch of small Le Carre novels rolled into one. All thought provoking and interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Servini | 9/5/2013

    " A very reflective book but one which raises a lot of questions, examining the underside of intelligence work. Well worth the read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry Irving | 6/15/2013

    " Long and quite melancholy farewell to the Cold War. Le Carre is always the best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Geoff | 5/5/2013

    " A reflection on the end of the Cold War. A bit of George Smiley and a lot of one of his spies. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 12/24/2012

    " One of my very favourite books. I'll have to explain more later, but I've learned more about the nuance of the human condition from this than from nearly anywhere else. Human insight is the legacy of the spy novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike Booth | 12/17/2012

    " I have read most of his books. I love his mystery and the way that he builds it. "

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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.