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A Legacy of Spies Hardcover – Import, 7 September 2017

4.3 out of 5 stars 3,544 ratings

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Vintage le Carré as he ingeniously closes the circle of his long career ... This is an immensely clever piece of novelistic engineering, of which its deviser can be justifiably proud. The ingenuity and skill with which the thing is brought off is breathtaking - really, not since The Spy Who Came in From The Cold has le Carré exercised his gift as a storyteller so powerfully and to such thrilling effect. -- John Banville ― The Guardian

This novel offers more than one pleasure. It is not merely good in itself - vintage John le Carré. It gives the reader, at long last, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that have been missing for 54 years.... A Legacy of Spies does something remarkable. Le Carré takes a le Carré classic and thickens it into something different from what it was....Like wine, le Carré's writing has got richer with age...Don't wait for the paperbackThe Times

Perhaps the most significant novelist of the second half of the 20th century in Britain. He will have charted our decline and recorded the nature of our bureaucracies like no one else has. He's in the first rank -- Ian McEwan

le Carré's masterful new novel -- Jonathan Freedland ― The Guardian

It is a splendid novel...It is riveting, bitter and will be controversial...le Carré's handling of dialogue remains perfectly fresh. Who else can tell you so much about so many people so quickly? Not a syllable is wasted -- Andrew Marr ― The Sunday Times

The English canon has rarely seen an acclaimed novelist and popular entertainer sustain such a hot streak in old age....A Legacy of Spies achieves many things. Outstandingly, it is a defiant assertion of creative vigour...Cornwell is signing off with a poignant and brilliant au revoir to le Carré, his alter ego, a writer who is with the immortalsThe Observer

A Legacy of Spies deploys a complex and ingeniously layered structure to make the past alive in the present once more ... le Carré has not lost his touch ― Evening Standard

His writing is as crisp as ever ... another tale of intrigue which will slip effortlessly into its place in the Smiley canon ― Daily Express

A tense, intricately plotted espionage thriller . . . sheer genius from le Carré ― Saga Magazine

A compelling tale of Cold War duplicity and manoeuvrings in the British secret service ... as ever much of the pleasure of reading le Carre is that you have to be on your intellectual mettle -- William Boyd ― New Statesman

Part of the pleasure of this novel is that the characters seem so much cleverer than we are ... haunting, fascinating ... it also made me want to reread the entire Smiley sequence ― Spectator

Le Carré is on absolutely cracking form. No writer has ever been better at turning the act of two people talking politely to each other across a desk into a blood sportThe Daily Telegraph

Le Carré has always known how to make his readers hang on barbed-wire tenterhooks. He drip-feeds information with such suspense-building miserliness that our befogged state matches that of the field agents - the "joes" - who glimpse one piece of the secret jigsaw at a time ― Financial Times

The old magic still holds . . . I might as well say it: to read this simmering novel is to come in from the coldNew York Times

What are we to make of Smiley? What is his game? Do we like him? Admire him? Every le Carré reader has wrestled with these questions-and A Legacy of Spies brings them to the fore more directly than any previous book ― Vanity Fair

IngeniousWashington Post

Utterly engrossing and perfectly pitched, it is a triumphDaily Mail

We are back in the more interesting territory of moral uncertainty and failure. What, Smiley asks, was he fighting for? ― TLS

The literary event of the AutumnEvening Standard

I have re-read The Spy Who Came In From The Cold over and over again since I first encountered it in my teens, just to remind myself how extraordinary a work of fiction can be -- Malcolm Gladwell

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

He's one of those writers who will be read a century from now -- Robert Harris

The best spy story I have ever read -- Graham Greene on The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

A literary master for a generation ― Observer

George Smiley is our favourite fictional spySunday Express

le Carré has made and peopled a myth. Myths do not ageFinancial Times

Deeply moving in its portrait of a man adrift in a climate he no longer understands ― Metro

[As] labyrinthine as you'd expect ... le Carré has always been a masterThe Tablet

Razor-sharp insight from the battle-weary Guillam and fascinating glimpses into the murky spycraft at the height of the Cold War only add to the joy of this sublimely accomplished thriller The People

This is a truly wonderful, morally complex, politically astute novel written with elegance and panache . . . the visceral thrill of its twists and its complexities, its edge-of-the-seat qualities Scotland on Sunday

[Le Carré's] writing has lost none of its pith or potency . . . his powers of invention have kept up with the pace of an ever-changing and complex world' ― The Scotsman

Thrilling and fascinating - a satisfying close to the saga ― The Independent

This sublime thriller ― Sunday Mirror

This really is vintage le Carré ― Mail on Sunday

It's brilliantly done and very enjoyable ― Prospect

[A] late-career triumph ― 1843 Magazine

About the Author

John le Carré was born in 1931. For six decades, he wrote novels that came to define our age. The son of a confidence trickster, he spent his childhood between boarding school and the London underworld. At sixteen he found refuge at the university of Bern, then later at Oxford. A spell of teaching at Eton led him to a short career in British Intelligence (MI5&6). He published his debut novel, Call for the Dead, in 1961 while still a secret servant. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People. At the end of the Cold War, le Carré widened his scope to explore an international landscape including the arms trade and the War on Terror. His memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel, was published in 2016 and the last George Smiley novel, A Legacy of Spies, appeared in 2017. He died on 12 December 2020.

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Product details

  • Publisher : Viking (7 September 2017)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0241308542
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0241308547
  • Item Weight : 540 g
  • Dimensions : 16.2 x 2.8 x 24 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 3,544 ratings

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
3,544 global ratings
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Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India on 20 September 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Fantastic!
By Dippy on 20 September 2017
This book embodies the art of good story telling and impeccable writing. Le Carre captures the atmosphere of his settings so beautifully, his characters are so well embodied and the pace of the narrative never flags for a moment. The struggles, joys, victories and losses are described spectacularly. It comes alive and one may be reading it but the portrayal makes the story playing out like a film. A real espionage story is what this is all about - not the glamour of Fleming or the super-humans of Ludlum - but the grit, drudgery, hard work of agents, human frailty, poky safe-houses and above all, the bureaucratic maze and political meddling.
A must for all serious readers of English fiction.
My generation will be nostalgic for the days of George Smiley and the newer generation will be stimulated, I hope, to read the old classics like [[ASIN:0141194529 The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Penguin Modern Classics)]], [[ASIN:0143119788 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A George Smiley Novel]], [[ASIN:0340993774 The Honourable Schoolboy]], [[ASIN:0340993782 Smiley's People]] etc.
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3 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 14 February 2018
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4 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 27 August 2018
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Reviewed in India on 16 November 2017
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Reviewed in India on 1 January 2021
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Reviewed in India on 18 December 2020
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Reviewed in India on 16 September 2017
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Reviewed in India on 26 December 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding the Chronology
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 October 2017
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156 people found this helpful
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Mr. William Rodwell
5.0 out of 5 stars One more for the road...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 October 2017
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23 people found this helpful
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Graham Mummery
5.0 out of 5 stars The Legacy of the Cold
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 August 2018
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11 people found this helpful
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Kat Man Do
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 September 2017
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12 people found this helpful
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mr peter j russell
3.0 out of 5 stars To tell the truth there were long stretches which were quite boring. Elegantly written
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 October 2017
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17 people found this helpful
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