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Smiley Versus Karla: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the Honourable Schoolboy, Smiley's People [Paperback]

John Le Carré
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Dec 2011

In these three masterly novels, John le Carré brings to thrilling life the shadowy battlegrounds of the Cold War - a war of ambiguous victories and hidden defeats orchestrated from the corridors of the Circus and Moscow Centre, and staffed by an army of moles and lamplighters, scalphunters and pavement artists. Stalking each other through this twilight landscape are the incomparable George Smiley and his ruthless opposite number, codenamed Karla, the Soviet case officer who has been slowly masterminding the Circus's ruin.

Their extraordinary duel not only raised the spy novel

to new heights of realism and complexity, it also constitutes one of the major triumphs of contemporary fiction, confirming John le Carré as a profound chronicler of the post-war world and a novelist of unfailing humanity.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1600 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (1 Dec 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444741446
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444741445
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 15.4 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 343,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


John le Carré is the great master of the spy story . . . The constant flow of emotion lifts him not only above all modern suspense novelists, but above most novelists now practising. (Financial Times)

'Inspired by the critical success of Tomas Alfredson's masterful Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy adaptation, this bumper volume repackages three of John Le Carre's greatest George Smiley stories. As well as the aforementioned TTSS, there's Smiley's return to an ailing Circus in The Honourable Schoolboy and his climactic Berlin showdown with the ominous Karla in Smiley's People. Thrilling from start to finish.' (Shortlist)

'A great thriller, the best le Carré has written.' (Spectator on TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY)

'John le Carré is the great master of the spy story . . . the constant flow of emotion lifts him above most novelists now practising.' (Financial Times on TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY)

'His command of detail is staggering, his straightforward, unaffected prose is superb. In short, wonderful value.' (The Sunday Times on THE HONOURABLE SCHOOLBOY)

'Energy, compassion, rich and overwhelming sweep of character and action . . . one of the finest English novels of the seventies' (The Times on THE HONOURABLE SCHOOLBOY)

It is an achievement of subtlety and power of which few novelists would be capable. Standing by itself it is the best single thing le Carré has done (Financial Times on SMILEY'S PEOPLE)

An enormously skilled and satisfying work. (Newsweek on SMILEY'S PEOPLE)

Book Description


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow at first but so is reality 15 Oct 2012
OK this is not 007!!!
I love these books and have read them several times. When reading them one has to remember that a spy is not 007 style. A spy is someone who no one remembers even if he was in a group of one person.
OK they start out really slow and it can be a pain to get through the start of these books. When that is the case just remember that the reward lies ahead. The minute description of the persons and the whole environment is the thing that makes these books captivating.
In other words this might not be the perfect book if you are the kind of person that don't have the patience to wait for the plot to evolve. On the other hand if you think that you can get through the first 50 pages then the rest will go page by page as fast as you can turn them.

This is a minute description of what counter espionage is really about:
1: Find the mole in London Circus. (Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy)
2: Follow the money and information back to the source. (The Honourable schoolboy)
3: Flush out the person (Karla or Sandman) that is behind it all. (Smiley's People)

I can't comment of the weight and size of this particular edition since my Karla versus Smiley is quite a bit older. I can only say the all three of these books are worth reading.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent books but far too heavy 12 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The three books in this omnibus edition are excellent spy novels; no one who has seen or heard an adaptation of them can be in any doubt as to their realism and characterisation. However the format of this volume leaves a lot to be desired. For some reason the print is extremely large and this makes the book very fat and hard to handle. Its weight is more than a kilogram and it can be quite uncomfortable to hold. In retrospect I would have bought the three novels separately.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Smiley Versus Karla 7 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my husband who is a John le Carre fan and he thoroughly enjoyed it but found it to use his words 'heavy going'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spy Encyclopedia 3 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is indeed a brick of a book that you wouldn't want to pack for the beach, but read at a table or using some sort of support, it's absolutely fine. If, like me, you buy second hand and don't want to risk getting the three tomes in different editions/covers, this is a good solution.
Great story too, obviously.
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