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John le Carré: The Biography by [Sisman, Adam]
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John le Carré: The Biography Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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Length: 673 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Ultimately it's about love ... this is a very emotional book. John le Carré had an utterly heartbreaking childhood ... This is the best biography of 2015 - a rare achievement that invites rereading (Edward Wilson Independent)

Compendious and compelling...Sisman is excellent at the nuts and bolts of writing and of being published...it must be difficult to write the life of a man who is still very much with us, and in the public eye, no matter how much liberty the biographer has been given to tell the story, warts and all. Sisman - a very fine and astute biographer - has done an excellent, not to say exemplary, job under the circumstances ... it is impossible to imagine this Life being bettered (William Boyd New Statesman)

This is the way to do it. Why this admirably balanced, patiently detailed biography of John le Carré is not on the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction shortlist beats me ... Sisman does full justice to [the] rawness at the heart of le Carré (David Sexton Evening Standard)

A perfect biography (Robert Harris on An Honourable Englishman)

A wonderfully absorbing book (Alan Bennett on An Honourable Englishman)

By miles the best biography I have read this year (Max Hastings on An Honourable Englishman)

Admirable (Financial Times)

Balanced, focused and compelling (Economist)

The spy novelist's life is explored and explained with immaculate care and attention to detail (Sunday Times)

This book is testament to Sisman's skill and perseverance . With his excellent grasp of the wider history, Sisman is good at anchoring Cornwell in this shadowy environment, as he guides his readers through the models for various characters . Sisman brings admirable clarity to what could have been a meander in a wilderness of mirrors (Andrew Lycett Spectator)

A perceptive and elegant interpreter of complex lives (Jonathan Dimbleby Radio Times)

Excellent ... Shows how memory, fact and fiction have danced in Le Carré's life ... [A] masterful biography (Catholic Morning Herald)

Absorbing new doorstopper (Western Morning News)

Sisman often came to know the reality of what happened in Cornwell's life better than Cornwell himself did (Newsweek)

Respectful though far from sycophantic - Best Books of 2015 (Gaby Wood Daily Telegraph)

This riveting, thorough biography reveals the real world of Cornwell to be every bit as fascinating as his much-loved fiction. The perfect Christmas present for the le Carré fan in your life (Sunday Times)

Cornwell has admitted that he can no longer separate many of the facts of his life from his lies and fictions. For Sisman this is like a red rag to a bull and you can feel the thrill of the chase throughout his terrific John le Carré (Independent)

However gripping John le Carré's novels . Hang onto your hats, because the author's real life story is equally thrilling. Biographer Adam Sisman peels back layers of le Carré to reveal David Cornwall ... This is a masterpiece of storytelling and factual revelations (Compass)

Fascinating (Metro)

John le Carré will not be the final word on this subject but it could hardly be bettered (Robert McCrum Observer)

Sisman pulls it off: this is a well-written and highly readable book which is neither hagiography nor hatchet job ... Within that world he [John le Carré] conveys some of the truths of human nature, endeavour and fallibility. This is a real and rare achievement and in Adam Sisman he has a biographer worthy of it (Alan Judd Times Literary Supplement)

Absorbing . An insightful and highly readable portrait of a writer and a man who has often been classified as elusive and enigmatic as his fictional heroes (Michiko Kakutani New York Times)

Perceptive, entertaining (Guardian, 'Book of the Day')

Extraordinary, absorbing . The most enthralling life of a writer I've read since I found myself riveted by Samuel Johnson's Life of Milton 40 odd years ago . [A] magnificent book about an extraordinary man . Nothing about him [John le Carré] is more shrewd and wise and self-revealing than this superb biography he has elicited from Sisman (Australian)

Excellent (Choice magazine)

A masterpiece (Irish Examiner, 'Books of the Year')

Meticulous and illuminating . Thankfully, his biography stops well short of hagiography (Tablet)

Review

'Compendious and compelling ... it is impossible to imagine this life being bettered.' (New Statesman)

'The spy novelist's life is explored and explained with immaculate care and attention to detail ... This riveting, thorough biography reveals the real world of Cornwell to be every bit as fascinating as his much-loved fiction.' (The Sunday Times)

'Ultimately it's about love ... this is a very emotional book. John le Carré had an utterly heartbreaking childhood ... This is the best biography of 2015 – a rare achievement that invites rereading.' (The Independent)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 8339 KB
  • Print Length: 673 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (19 Oct. 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B015T8Y1IY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,290 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There's nothing like a good autobiography in my opinion and I am thoroughly enjoying this one by Adam Sisman.
Though there's one thing which has shocked me, and I think this is purely accidental and I do not get the impression that the author intended for this to stick out like a sore thumb, and what I'm writing about is the role of women in the 50s and 60s, really not nice at all. Either THEY DID, if you get my meaning, and they were considered fun, or THEY DID NOT, and they were considered dull, all under the guise of intellectual and creative freedoms.

This is a great autobiography, I get the impression written with complete honesty, and puts the novels into perspective. Brilliant !
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fascinating story the majority of which I did not know.
Very readable.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent book- well researched, interesting to read and an insight into John Le Carre. Well worth reading. A must if you like Le Carre's books.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Densely written and highly enlightening biography of one of the best eritema in the English language.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Perhaps too deferential but well researched. Could have been half the length as the second half of the book is a series of précis of the different novels. Generally a good insight into a writer's life and the dedication and professionalism success demands.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Le Carre is not half as interesting as was his father. After the death of the latter, it's all a bit dull.

Bit like the real world of espionage, really.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fascinating read
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like his books, you'll enjoy the biography.
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