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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [Paperback]

John Le Carré
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition with Audio/Video £3.99  
Hardcover £25.00  
Paperback £5.59  
Paperback, 4 Feb 1999 --  
Audio, CD, Audiobook £11.44  
Unknown Binding, Audiobook, Abridged --  
Audio Download, Unabridged £17.25 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial

Book Description

4 Feb 1999
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" is a thriller written by le Carre.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre; 3rd Edition edition (4 Feb 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340739614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340739617
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 794,399 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


'A great thriller, the best le Carré has written.' (Spectator)

'A stunning story' (Wall Street Journal)

'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) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Book Description

'A great thriller, the best le Carré has written'

The Spectator

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
93 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Old Fashioned Spy Thriller 8 Nov 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great change in pace against normal spy books. There are no wiz bangs and gorgeous women. It just revolves around old fashioned atmosphere and storytelling.

We follow the expolits of George Smiley, one of the Cold War's heroes, as he is tasked with finding a Soviet mole imbedded within MI6. He was ousted in a shake-up following the overthrow, and demise, of the previous "Control" of MI6 - another name for James Bond's M.

He is outside the current regime that the mole is part of and his search is therefore reliant on old fashioned techniques of infiltarion and intelligence gathering.

I hadn't read this in about 20 years but was swept back into Smiley's world. Le Carre has a reputation for outstanding work and this is one of his best.

I won't give the game away as I hate plot spoilers. If you want to read an authentic Cold War spy story then this is for you.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philby 18 Sep 2009
An excellent book which transcends the spy genre and dissects brilliantly the moral condition of human beings in the iciest days of the cold war: an atmosphere of ethical and political confusion/ambivalence, petty ambition and careless treachery pervades the whole work and provides a convincing backdrop for the examination of the nature of patriotism and the defence of a limited and faulty but ultimately worthy western liberalism.

And yet it is a book in which very little happens - it feels like a collection of dusty papers, assiduously compiled reports found in a filing cabinet in the corner of a room in Whitehall two decades after the fact... The ponderously procedural and bureaucratic nature of intelligence work, and the consequent difficulty of accessing "truth" are very well manipulated by LeCarre who develops the plot as a series of episodic vignettes, hazily recollected by some unseen witness.

The characters, their conversations and innermost thoughts, the themes and the all-too real denouement are utterly convincing, precisely because Le Carre is able to portray the mundane, humdrum nature of intelligence work and, above all, the plain, bitter-sweet patriotism of his hero, George Smiley.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece 5 Aug 2005
By Donaldo
This is probably the finest of Le Carre's novels. His great creation, George Smiley, is repsonsible for finding a Soviet mole in the heirarchy of British Intelligence which has done immeasureable damage for decades. George is the most unlikely hero - ponderous, old, shy, retiring, but posessed of enormous compassion and iron will. This who-dunnit story plays against a general background of betrayal - the betrayal of the mole against the British state, the betrayal of the agents run by the mole, the betrayal of Smiley's wife's infidelity, the general betrayal of idealism in the Circus to the mundane self-serving ends of its leaders.
And then there is the setting - Britain in all its drab, mundane 1960's/70's glory. Drab colours, poor food, rain soaked days, steamed up car windows, snobbery and poverty. And the dialogue is second to none. So world weary, so wise. And the intelligence world rings true in this book too, it feels realistic, it feels about right. The moral ambiguity is embraced by Le Carre. Though there are heroes and villians in this book, the boundaries are fairly blurred.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Le Carre at his considerable best 13 Feb 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not only is this probably Le Carre's best work, but I'd rate it as one of the best novels of the 1970s. It perfectly captures the feeling of Britain's post-war decline and nostalgia for a greater time. It is a beautifully written, highly convincing story of the hunt for a high-ranking mole in the British Secret Service, with the effect of this on the memorable central characters (not least unlikely hero George Smiley) subtly portrayed. A gripping, immensely satisfying Cold-War thriller. And a great novel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tinker Tailor 4 Aug 2002
Format:Audio Cassette
To anyone who has not experienced a full dramatization, try this one. After many years of listening to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, it is the one title that I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone with a love of the English language and of drama that leaves the listner imagine the set. The problem with a television adaptation of a theme or of a film version of a book, is that we are seeing an individual's interpretation of the events described. Spoonfed!
The difference with all of these excellent dramatizations, and with Tinker Tailor in particular, is that we are allowed to invent the scenery in our minds eye, to see the expressions, or just listen to a facinating story unfolding in the hands of people who really care, and who are at the peak of their craft. My hope is that many more people will find the same pleasure we have enjoyed for the past few years, and that the financial success of this format of media entertainment will be a guarantee of more excellent porductions to come.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smiley read by John Le Carre 5 Jun 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I was hoping for the BBC Radio Drama starring Bernard Hepton as George Smiley but I think that is unlikely now they are planning a series of Smiley dramas with Simon Russell Beale. This is the book read by John Le Carre and there is a lot to be said for it, John Le Carre has a good reading voice and a real feel for his characters. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am glad to have it in my collection. I will also look out the BBC Radio Dramas. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars really enjoyed it
Loved the book was a really engaging story, very atmospheric, realistic and interesting.
Published 1 day ago by Louis
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read
I've read it before but that made no difference to my enjoyment of reading it again. Superbly written, although at times difficult to follow the plot, it is a must read for people... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Mr P G Nicholson
5.0 out of 5 stars recipient very pleased.
Bought as a gift, recipient very pleased.
Published 12 days ago by Miu miu Lin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The Classic Cold War spy novel.
Published 12 days ago by Rosie Horsfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and engrossing
A superbly produced and acted adaptation of the novel. It is initially difficult to shake-off the mental images of the original TV series but the production soon establishes its... Read more
Published 16 days ago by david donati
5.0 out of 5 stars THE superlative spy novel
This is one of the great spy novels, and is clearly modelled in no small degree on the story of Kim Philby, the 'Third Man' who not only tipped off Burgess and MacLean in 1951 and... Read more
Published 25 days ago by James Brydon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good quality item for fair price
Published 28 days ago by Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic spy, cold war intrigue at its most absorbing, subtlety is the watchword here.
Published 1 month ago by Frank J
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Quality Radio Adaptation
It is the mid 1970’s and the cold war is at its height. British Intelligence - The Circus, is struggling to shake off an atmosphere of failure and frustration. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Kenneth Beatson
5.0 out of 5 stars Tinker tailor soldier spy
Brilliant book keeps you riveted right to the end. I wish all spy novels where as well written with the detail and characters as this book is.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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