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Smiley's People: Starring Bernard Hepton as George Smiley (BBC Radio Collection) [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

John Le Carre
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Feb 2001 BBC Radio Collection
A BBC Radio dramatization starring Bernard Hepton as John le Carre's laconic spycatcher, George Smiley. The murder of an emigre Soviet general, who was also a British agent, sends Smiley burrowing back into the past on a trail that leads across Europe to the wily Karla in Moscow.

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd (5 Feb 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563410736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563410737
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,738,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John le Carré was born in 1931. His third novel, THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, secured him a wide reputation which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, THE HONOURABLE SCHOOLBOY and SMILEY'S PEOPLE. His other novels include THE CONSTANT GARDENER, A MOST WANTED MAN and OUR KIND OF TRAITOR.

Product Description

Review

'Smiley's People has all the le Carré touches` (Sunday Telegraph)

'An enormously skilled and satisfying work' (Newsweek)

'An achievement of subtlety and power of which few novelists would be capable. It is the best single thing le Carr has done' (Financial Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The enduring le Carré novel available on audio CD for the first time. Read by the author. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
For readers new to le Carre(and there can't be many)this is the third of what has become known as the "karla series".The previous two being "tinker,tailor,soldier, spy" and the herioc and romantic "honorable schoolboy"(highly reccomended too).The third sees much of the same cast collected again.You meet clever and dodgy Toby Esterhazy,the valient and niave Peter Guillam,a forgoten Russian General, an intelligence pimp,a collection of 2 dimensional whitehall twits as a foil,and as always a most humane cast of extras.The most humane being the conscience wracked George Smiley himself.As for villians you have the afformentioned whitehall boys, a convincing KGB thug and a villian of Moriaty proportion in Karla;Smileys foe for many years.The plot?Smiley is brought back once again from retirement to fight against his old enemy.A fight both personal and patriotic.It is the height of the cold war,his brief is strictly unofficial and he calls in favours and friends as his allies(thus the title).The locations?Paris,the bleakest Germany you have ever met,a sumptious Switzerland and of course grey,beaurocratic London.The drama?Betrayal.Le Carre's constant theme.Of wives,country,friendships and finally of the morality that has sustained Smiley through the long years of the cold war. Its a great read.Le Carre at his peak(though the semi autobiographical "a perfect spy" deserves a mention).If you haven't read the two others you can read this one alone. Wonder aloud afterwards how Deighton and co. can hold their head up in public.Le Carre is another world of thriller writers.I recomend you read all three but this one is one of the best you will ever read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Spycraft 7 Oct 2007
Format:Hardcover
In this John le Carre novel we have the final confrontation between George Smiley and Karla, his long time nemesis. This is my first book by the author and I did not feel like I was starting in the middle. So you do not need to read the two that precede it. This is not just a spy novel, but also a well-written book. And the author is able to allow us to have a strong sense of picturing the characters. They are well thought out and three-dimensional.

Our hero George Smiley is brought out of retirement by some antics and death of an old retired contact. And we follow Mr. Smiley as he works to solve the case or close it any way he can. Of course George Smiley does his utmost to solve it. And it is this journey he takes that leads us to his old time foe from the Soviet Union, Karla.

Smiley does not seem like a spy, but his methods, instincts and powers of observations are exceptional. But what any person attuned to his surroundings would have. It is nice to have a normal human hero. One who shoes us his range of emotions and thought process. And the realistic ending. Yes it may seem anticlimactic. But I prefer the realism of it all.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Set in the murky world of cold war spies, this brings the duel between George Smiley and 'Karla', his Russian nemesis and alter ego, to a suitably ambivalent ending.

If you've never read Le Carre before then it's worth being aware that he creates a deeply atmospheric but fundamentally bureacratic world for his spies, with none of the glamour some other books create. His stories are always intricate and detailed but there is little backstory or exposition, and hardly any explanation or introduction to the people who live in these pages. I know some people have struggled with that aspect of Le Carre's style but it is worth persevering as these are deeply emotional books, all the better for the restraint with which they are written.

As always, in this book the past interpenetrates the present in all kinds of ways, and the parallels between Smiley himself and Karla are drawn tighter than in the earlier volumes.

One of the qualities which lifts Le Carre out of the genre spy-thriller category is the tightness of his writing, the lack of self-indulgence and the deep humanity of the characters he creates, on both side of the Communist divide. In line with the murkiness of the world he depicts is a distinct lack of moral or ideological superiority on the part of the 'west', a trait of which no-one is more (self)-aware than Smiley himself.

Like another reviewer here I loved Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy but found The Honourable Schoolboy not quite as good. You could probably skip that and go straight to Smiley's People for a really taut read.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The British spy novel at it's very best. 18 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
To my mind "Smiley's people" is the quint-essentially English spy novel. It has a fascinating many-stranded story that slowly builds into something special.
The story focuses on George Smiley (The main character from "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy") as he tries to track down his old nemesis - the Russian spy-master Karla. But we meet many interesting characters, and visit many diverse locations on the way.
In this book, we are as far removed from James Bond fantasy as it's possible to get. (Think of be-spectacled men in grey suits drinking tea and pouring over dusty old Whitehall files - and you'll have more of the right idea).
Does this mean that it's dull and boring then? Far from it:-
It is a brilliantly written mixture of detective investigation, espionage, and character study which builds slowly but surely to a wonderfully understated yet perfect conclusion.
If you're a fan of the genre (or even just of a good book) - don't miss it.
Mph.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great product
Published 27 days ago by Yana Krasteva
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Probably one of the best books I have ever read.
Published 1 month ago by Byron1
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent book
Published 1 month ago by Anne & Martin Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Enjoyed it.
Published 1 month ago by Haus Frau
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent!
Published 1 month ago by simon robert ormerod
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging
Draws you in from the start, requires your full attention in the middle with a dramatic and even emotional ending.
Published 2 months ago by Bruce Forshaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Smileys People.
Good read, very enjoyable. Like his other books you have to concentrate and make sure you understand what is going on.
Published 2 months ago by James Dixey
5.0 out of 5 stars Seen it.
I've admired the BBC version and enjoyed it on screen so it was time to read the book. This is superbly crafted and written so that even I could follow the ins and outs of the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Vynor Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
Loved this book and would encourage anyone to read it. Mr Smiley is perhaps the best catcher ever.Any book by JLC is always a great read but this is one of the best.
Published 4 months ago by Pauline
5.0 out of 5 stars Consummate professional
Surely Le Carre’s magnum opus – the final book in the George Smiley/Karla chess-game trilogy begun by Tinker, Tailor…and The Honourable Schoolboy, is absolutely a master class in... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth
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