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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A BBC Full-Cast Radio Drama (George Smiley) Audio CD – Audiobook, 13 Apr 2010

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks (13 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602838623
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602838628
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 12.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 918,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy A double-agent is operating at the highest levels of British Intelligence. George Smiley is assigned the task of finding the "mole" and destroying him. Full description

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By G. Wylie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 April 2010
Format: Audio CD
Read the book, seen the film, but did't get the 'T' shirt. Got the BBC Audio Book instead. And I am delighted with it.

Le Carré is, in my opinion, way out in front when it comes to espionage thrillers, and 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' is possibly his best tale ever. I would be surprised if you haven't read it by now, but, if you are one of the few, I certainly wouldn't want to spoil it for you. Suffice it to say it revolves aroung the search for a Russian Spy who has penetrated the British Secret Service. The written word has a tremendous power to engage the imagination and Le Carré is an expert in its use. Enough said.

The BBC television series starring Alex Guiness as the seemingly unlikely hero, George Smiley, was equally brilliant in creating a stunning visual representation of Le Carré's masterpiece. I watched it fascinated when it first appeared on the small screen, and have enjoyed it many times since on DVD.

This BBC audio adaptation adds yet a further dimension to one's enjoyment of the goodly tale by titivating one's sense of sound. The BBC are experts in this field having continually improved their high standards with decades of practice in achieving technical excellence. The story lends itself to such a presentation and draws the listener in to further hone the imaginative experience in new ways.

Buy it, sit back, and enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD
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. The head of The Circus (know only as Control), desperate to discover what is going wrong, has concluded that Russia has placed a double agent (mole) at The Circus’ highest level. He has narrowed the field to five suspects:

“There are four of them and Alleline”.

Struggling with failing health, Control mounts one final mission to discover the mole’s identity. The mission fails, and his agent, Jim Prideaux, is shot and captured causing a political scandal.
Control is removed from office and George Smiley (as Control’s right-hand-man) is sacked.
Eighteen months on: Control is dead; Alleline, on the back of his new source of intelligence – Merlin, is head of The Circus; and Smiley is coming to terms with his enforced retirement.
Then, a British agent – Rikki Tarr, posted as a defector, returns to England with a tale of a Russian mole within The Circus and Smiley is called in to uncover his identity.
Smiley, with the aid of former trusted colleagues, sets about his task of researching reports and tracking down those involved, until he finally pieces together the whole picture.

This is the latest of BBC Radio’s adaptations of John Le Carre’s George Smiley stories and, as with the previous productions; it was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 before being released as a CD set.
Once again, Smiley is played by Simon Russell Beale who portrays a world-weary man, almost reluctant to return to a life he thought he had left behind.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I'm of two minds about this amazing drama 14 April 2010
By DARBY KERN - Published on
Format: Audio CD
First I have to say a couple things: I love the story of TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY. I've read the book, seen the Alec Guiness version and enjoyed the Bernard Hepton version that BBC Radio did in the late 1980s. Each has been special in it's own way while still telling the same story. The book is the high water mark of spy fiction. I believe it's Le Carre's best book, and George Smiley is his best character. When I heard that the BBC were going to dramatize all the Smiley stories I was very happy. When I heard Simon Russel-Beale as Smiley I knew they'd made an inspired choice; he really is wonderful as the "anti-Bond."

I'd listened to CALL FOR THE DEAD and THE HONORABLE SCHOOLBOY before buying TINKER, both of which were very well done. Then I listened to TINKER and found myself less impressed. I found myself missing scenes that I thought were important. I found the structure confusing, though (if memory serves) it follows the books structure more closely than other adaptations. By the end I found myself missing Bernard Hepton. Now this is strange because Mr. Russel-Beale is fantastic as Smiley. His performance is wonderful. I think what I was missing was the ensemble from the older show. The characters in the older program were more idiosyncratic, especially Charles Kay as Toby Esterhase.

Bill Haydon is hardly in the story until the final episode, and Lady Ann Smiley is only here as Smiley's imagination. In fact, all of the potential moles, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier and Poor Man, make no appearance before episode 3. They are all mentioned by Peter Guillam, who again, narrates the story, but are hardly there. I may be wrong about Tinker, but I don't think so. Most of Smiley's detective work is missing from this drama too. No Jerry Westerby at all, which is sad because Hugh Bonneville plays him wonderfully in THE HONORABLE SCHOOLBOY.

As a writer of radio drama with over 100 hours of produced work I have to say, I think that Guillam's narration is lazy writing. Much of it isn't necessary and slows the story down. TINKER is a thoughtful enough tale, it doesn't need to be slowed down further- and it certainly shouldn't be dumbed down.

In the end I'm of two minds about this adaptation. I think it's good, but it falls short of previous adaptations because of uninspired writing and confusing timelines. If my wife listened to it (she hasn't seen, heard or read TINKER) I fear she would find it confusing and lacking dynamic. The cast is strong, but never really break out. It's easy to explain this as "the characters are all gentlemen" and never raise their voices. That may be, but it also creates no sense of urgency. Oh, there's a mole in the British Secret Service? Well now, what shall we do about that?

I give this adaptation 3 and 1/2 stars. I give the Hepton dramatization 4 and 1/2 stars. Good luck finding it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Digging deep in the Isley Hotel 30 April 2012
By Don Wardell - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
George Smiley is holed up in the cheap Isley Hotel in Paddington working through the night on secret files that have to be returned every morning. He's looking for a mole in the Circus "buried very deep and very near the top". Control knew there was a traitor but died before he could be unmasked. Is it Tinker, Tailor, Richman, Beggerman? Will George nab the mole. Most of all I enjoy the pacing of this tale. It unfolds very slowly, as a true investigation would. You can't be without this text book Le Carre. Don Wardell
Great summary of this terrific book. 10 Mar. 2013
By Elizabeth Howe - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This BBC broadcast was such an intelligent telling of the Tinker, Tailor story. It assumed you had read the book or perhaps even seen the recent (Gary Oldman) movie. I had. Thus, a complete success with me--and I have relistened to it already. Thanks.
A good dramatization 19 Nov. 2014
By Joseph H. - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's a good dramatization, but the listener needs to be advised that it is just that - a BBC dramatization of the story - not a full or abridged reading of the book.
excellent production. 10 Jan. 2014
By james bronaugh - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
the production of this is marvelous. It is well made and brings the story to life. The story is clear and it is a joy to follow.
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