Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: £4.99

Save £3.00 (38%)

includes VAT*
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

The Looking Glass War (George Smiley Series Book 4) by [le Carré, John ]
Audible Narration
Playing...
Loading...
Paused
Kindle App Ad

The Looking Glass War (George Smiley Series Book 4) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

See all 50 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
£4.99
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£0.01
Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
"Please retry"
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
£4.98

Length: 340 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Audible Narration:
Audible Narration
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of £3.99 after you buy the Kindle book.
Ready
  • Similar books to The Looking Glass War (George Smiley Series Book 4)

Great Reads for 99p
Browse our selection of Kindle Books discounted to 99p each. Learn more
Get a £1 reward for movies or TV
Enjoy a £1.00 reward to spend on movies or TV on Amazon Video when you purchase any Amazon Kindle Book from the Kindle Store (excluding Kindle Unlimited, Periodicals and free Kindle Books) offered by Amazon.co.uk. A maximum of 1 reward per customer applies. UK customers only. Offer ends at 23:59 on Wednesday, September 27, 2017. Terms and conditions apply

Product description

Review

A book of rare and great power (Financial Times)

A devastating and tragic record of human, not glamour, spies (New York Herald Tribune)

A bitter, bleak, superlatively written novel (Publishers Weekly)

Book Description

'A book of rare and great power' Financial Times

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1321 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (3 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005XRA0U0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,703 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?


What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Branded these days as "The fourth George Smiley novel" but he's barely in it, to be honest, if that's not a howling spoiler! Le Carré's tone is pretty dark in this one, reminding me of Mishima in his relentless exposing of his characters' pyschopathology. In this book early 1950s seem a doggedly dismal place and the 'spies' are mostly so incompetant that the book is one step away from being a black comedy.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Amateurish British secret agents faiingl dismally. Not really about George Smiley..
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like Le Carre, this is a good read
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
'It's so easy," observes George Smiley, "to get hypnotised by technique."

The technique Smiley referring to is spy craft, but I could not help feeling that it might also be an oblique comment on the way that a reader can be hypnotised by the technique of a writer. There were several moments midway through this book when I thought seriously about putting it down and not picking it back up again, and it was only my faith in Le Carré's technique that kept me turning the pages.

This is not because it's a bad book. On the contrary, it's acutely observed, beautifully written, alternately moving and gripping. But it is deeply and pervasively bleak.

I read somewhere that the secret to creating a successful best-seller was to focus on characters who were supremely good at what they did. "The Looking Glass War" turns this premise on its head. George Smiley, Le Carré's ultimate master spy, makes only fleeting visits to these pages, and The Circus (Le Carré's term for the Secret Service) acts as a distant, if not always disinterested, by-stander. Most of the book's attention is focused on "The Department", a clandestine, and not very clearly identifed, adjunct of the British Government which enjoyed some years of glory during WWII, but clings on without any real purpose in the Cold War Europe of the 1960s.

The employees of The Department are not wicked. They believe (or try to believe) that the work they do, collating military intelligence from beyond the Iron Curtain, is important and right. But they are weak, self-serving, more concerned with office politics at home than with the mortal consequences of the work they do abroad. Worst of all they are hopelessly outclassed.
Read more ›
1 Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Compared with its predecessor 'The Spy Who Came In from the Cold', 'The Looking Glass War' (George Smiley #4) was a relative flop, especially in Britain. In John le Carré's introduction, written in 1991, he addresses this...

"After the success of 'The Spy Who Came In from the Cold' I felt I had earned the right to experiment with the more fragile possibilities of the spy story than those I had explored till now. For the truth was, that the realities of spying as I had known them on the ground had been far removed from the fiendishly clever conspiracy that had entrapped my hero and heroine in The Spy. I was eager to find a way of illustrating the muddle and futility that were so much closer to life. Indeed, I felt I had to: for while 'The Spy Who Came In from the Cold' had been heralded as the book that ripped the mask off the spy business, my private view was that it had glamourised the spy business to Kingdom Come.

So this time, I thought, I'll tell it the hard way. This time, cost what it will, I'll describe a Secret Service that is really not very good at all; that is eking out its wartime glory; that is feeding itself on Little England fantasies; is isolated, directionless, over-protected and destined ultimately to destroy itself."

With my expectations suitably managed, and having loved the previous three Smiley novels, I conclude this is another excellent John le Carré novel. As in 'The Spy Who Came In from the Cold', George Smiley only has a bit part in this book, however his perceptiveness and awareness help the reader to understand what is happening.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Audio CD
NB: As is their wont, Amazon have bundled reviews of the BBC audio book radio adaptation with the novel itself. This review is of the 2CD BBC radio adaptation.

With The Looking Glass War, John le Carre started to crystallise the theme that would dominate most of his subsequent novels - stories of doomed or compromised operations based on dubious intelligence that inevitably fail due to the human element. No matter how perfect the planning may be - and it's far from perfect in The Looking Glass War - it's a world with no place for humanity but which relies almost entirely on human beings who constantly forget that. In this case the human element is old men in a department that has outlived its time staging an operation they're no longer equipped for, not simply to recapture the glories of their wartime youth but also to convince themselves that they are still relevant in a world where every taxi fare on expenses is questioned and the `political' operations at the rival Circus get all the funding and all the Ministers' confidence.

The film version, though moderately successful on its own terms, failed by relying more on the plot mechanics than the subtext, ultimately becoming little more than another insubstantially cynical spy yarn by casting a much younger lead and trying to turn it into a star vehicle for Ryan's Daughter's Christopher Jones, in the process losing that crucial element of old men who couldn't admit they were no longer up to the job, which is a bit like casting Zac Effron as King Lear to try to pull in the kids. Shaun McKenna's generally excellent radio adaptation doesn't make the same mistake, focusing on the operation as a whole, making it clear to everyone but its characters just why it's doomed from the very start.
Read more ›
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

click to open popover