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Smiley's People by [le Carré, John]
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Smiley's People Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews

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Length: 468 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

"A delight to read, intricate, exciting, absorbing."--"Chicago Tribune"
"An enormously skilled and satisfying work."--"Newsweek"
"An achievement of subtlety and power of which few novelists would be capable."--"Financial Times"

A delight to read, intricate, exciting, absorbing. "Chicago Tribune"
An enormously skilled and satisfying work. "Newsweek"
An achievement of subtlety and power of which few novelists would be capable. "Financial Times""

Book Description

The enduring le Carré novel available on audio CD for the first time. Read by the author.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1088 KB
  • Print Length: 468 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre; New edition edition (16 Oct. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002V092EC
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,623 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Holiday plans behind the former Iron Curtain sparked my interest in spy-novels, and so I left for Leipzig with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy, and 'Smiley's people' in my luggage. The first two pleased my so immensely I couldn't wait to start reading this one, the final part in the trilogy of George Smiley's battle with the Soviet spymaster Karla. And I'm glad to say the (very) high hopes I had were not disappointed! I even think that 'Smiley's people' is - admittedly by a small margin - perhaps the best of the three in my personal opinion.

First of all, it has, just like the earlier parts in the trilogy, simply everything I've come to expect in a Le Carré novel: brimming with intrigues, ploys and counter-ploys, loads of suspense, a very tight plot that keeps you wandering what'll happen next, brilliant dialogues and characterization, ... But what makes 'Smiley's people' stand out for me is George Smiley himself and how powerfully he is portrayed by Le Carré as perhaps the very opposite of the kind of man we often think of when we think of spies. Smiley's old, slightly overweight, retired, divorced, and in doubt if all he's ever done in his Secret Service career was actually worthwhile. But when a former agent is murdered and the trail leads to Karla, Smiley cannot help but give chase once again, and devote all his experience and intelligence to this final duel. Le Carré describes Smiley's painful private life in such a powerful way that to me this novel is much more a poignant portrait of a man who happens to be a spy, rather than a spy who happens to have personal problems.

Whoever said spy-novels aren't Literature with a capital 'L'?
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