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Download The Spy Who Came in From the Cold: A George Smiley Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Spy Who Came in From the Cold: A George Smiley Novel, 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 (16,507 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: January 2012 ISBN: 9781101575680
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In the shadow of the newly erected Berlin Wall, Alec Leamas watches as his last agent is shot dead by East German sentries. For Leamas, the head of Berlin Station, the Cold War is over. As he faces the prospect of retirement or worse—a desk job—Control offers him a unique opportunity for revenge. Assuming the guise of an embittered and dissolute ex-agent, Leamas is set up to trap Mundt, the deputy director of the East German Intelligence Service—with himself as the bait. In the background is George Smiley, ready to make the game play out just as Control wants.

Setting a standard that has never been surpassed, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a devastating tale of duplicity and espionage.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The best spy story I have ever read”

    Graham Greene

  • The best spy story I have ever read. Graham Greene
  • First-rate and tremendously exciting. Daphne du Maurier
  • Le Carré is one of the best novelists—of any kind—we have. Vanity Fair
  • Written…with a pitiless, elegant clarity. The Spy who Came in from the Cold is a first-rate thriller and more. Time
  • The Spy Who Came in From the Cold should establish le Carré firmly beside Ambler and Greene in the small rank of writers who can create a novel of significance, while losing none of the excitement of the tale of sheer adventure.”

    New York Times

  • “A topical and terrible story…he can communicate emotion, from sweating fear to despairing love, with terse and compassionate conviction. Above all, he can tell a tale. Formidable equipment for a rare and disturbing writer.” 

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “A superb, tough, highly sophisticated novel.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “The Cold War is long over, but le Carré’s fictional spies still retain the capacity to grab viewers and keep them engrossed in diabolical chess games.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “Jayston captures le Carré’s brilliance in this classic espionage tale which ages yet never seems to age. With steady pacing, a fine command of nuance for the characters' voices and impeccable diction, Jayston is outstanding.” 

    AudioFile

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the CWA Gold Dagger Award
  • Winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Mystery Novel
  • One of Time Magazine's Best 100 English-Language Novels from 1923–2005

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 2/15/2014

    " Brilliant novel; characters are drawn painfully and exquisitely; maybe cold war backdrop is dated - but I loved this book. A master at work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Buck Wheat | 2/11/2014

    " I think it's probably the best spy book ever written. Not glamorous, not Bond-ish, but gritty and dark. It portrays not only the isolation between the two Germanys, but the isolation between people, about loneliness and redemption. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Grillo | 2/11/2014

    " Very interesting. On the surface a masterful thriller without a single word wasted. Beyond that a much deeper and engaging essay on ideologies, modern society and war. Also a fascinating perspective on an historical moment so recent yet so far gone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Saba | 2/5/2014

    " I just wasn't expecting that something that seems so darn perfect and confidential can end this way!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Neil | 1/25/2014

    " Brilliant book, tragic story. Really well written and considerably less complex than tinker tailor soldier spy, this story follows two people who end up being the disposable pawns in the spy games of the cold war. It effectively illustrates the bleakness of life as a spy, the miserableness of the game, and the fact that ultimately you are completely expendable if your superiors feel they can get a better deal.. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jamie Trounce | 1/14/2014

    " It is ok. Too slow for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeffrey | 1/14/2014

    " One of those books that I "appreciated" more than I "liked." It's a wonderfully well written book, keeping the reader in constant suspense, and tops many critics' all-time best "spy book" lists. Part of what makes it so great - real life ex-spy Le Carre deliberately created the "anti-James Bond" with three-dimensional, unglamorous characters - was also why it didn't resonate with me because of the seeming lack of characters I could identify with. In fact - and again, this is one of the book's more brilliant twists - the closest to an empathetic character in the book is one of the "bad guys." So I give it five stars for being a brilliantly written deconstruction of the classical spy genre... and three stars for making me just feel depressed after I finished it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 1/14/2014

    " Loved it. Cold War era spy novel with a great protagonist. Will definitely read more of Le Carre "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Filomena | 12/20/2013

    " hated it. Couldn't even end it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandi | 11/24/2013

    " Classic cold war thriller published in the early sixties. Frank Muller did a great job with the characterizations and all the various accents. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will | 11/22/2013

    " Brilliant. On hold throughout as had some good twists, back and forth as to whether the Jewish character was working for Germany or UK. Sad ending, couldn't quite get title. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thomas | 11/10/2013

    " This is my current book for public transit. Graham Greene calls it "the best spy story I've ever read" -- and given that I haven't read very many spy stories, I'll probably end up saying the same thing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nneka | 11/8/2013

    " Boring I really tried "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nina | 9/28/2013

    " It was OK. I guess I've always heard that this is one of the best spy novels ever, and it just didn't live up to my expectations. It was good--but it didn't change my life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alex | 8/25/2013

    " Good look into the Cold War. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Geraldine | 4/15/2013

    " Horrible horrible ending. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sara | 3/15/2013

    " This is supposed to be one of the greatest spy novels ever written but I just could not finish it. I had a great deal of trouble keeping track of the characters as well as following the very jumpy storyline. What a disappointment after a big set-up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Naida | 3/11/2013

    " It keep me on the edge of my seat until the very end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sankari Ni Bhriain | 2/18/2013

    " I liked the twist although i couldn't care less about any of the characters apart from the main one here. His girlfriend was a bit ridiculous. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kara | 10/17/2012

    " Unfortunately this book wasn't really my style; I could tell it was well written but it didn't draw me in. Also even if the ending worked, I didn't like it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Norman | 9/26/2012

    " A very interesting look into the state of mind of the cold war and the cold warriors that fought it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fdp Erasmus | 9/18/2012

    " Claustrophobic. Good read. Nice intro to Le Carre. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martin Quadroy | 6/17/2012

    " Another ripper from the master. I almost feel I'm wasting words if I say anything else. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Evett | 3/29/2012

    " Clandestine. "

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