The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

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9780241962336: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

George Smiley is one of the most brilliantly realized characters in British fiction. Bespectacled, tubby, eternally middle-aged and deceptively ordinary, he has a mind like a steel trap. It is 1962--the height of the Cold War--and only months after the building of the Berlin Wall. Alec Leamas is a hard-working, hard-drinking British intelligence officer whose East Berlin network is in tatters. His agents are either on the run or dead, victims of the ruthlessly efficient East German counter-intelligence officer Hans-Dieter Mundt. Leamas is recalled to London, where instead of being consigned to a desk he's offered a chance to have his revenge by becoming a pawn in a brilliantly-conceived plot to destroy Mundt. But in order to do so he has to stay out in the cold a little longer.

Starring the award-winning Simon Russell Beale as Smiley, and with a distinguished cast including Brian Cox as Alec Leamas, this compelling dramatization perfectly captures the atmosphere of le Carré's taut thriller.

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Review:

It would be an international crime to reveal too much of the jeweled clockwork plot of Le Carré's first masterpiece, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. But we are at liberty to disclose that Graham Greene called it the "finest spy story ever written," and that the taut tale concerns Alec Leamas, a British agent in early Cold War Berlin. Leamas is responsible for keeping the double agents under his care undercover and alive, but East Germans start killing them, so he gets called back to London by Control, his spy master. Yet instead of giving Leamas the boot, Control gives him a scary assignment: play the part of a disgraced agent, a sodden failure everybody whispers about. Control sends him back out into the cold--deep into Communist territory to checkmate the bad-guy spies on the other side. The political chessboard is black and white, but in human terms the vicinity of the Berlin Wall is a moral no-man's land, a gray abyss patrolled by pawns.

Le Carré beats most spy writers for two reasons. First, he knows what he's talking about, since he raced around working for British Intelligence while the Wall went up. He's familiar with spycraft's fascinations, but also with the fact that it leaves ideals shaken and emotions stirred. Second, his literary tone has deep autobiographical roots. Spying is about betrayal, and Le Carré was abandoned by his mother and betrayed by his father, a notorious con man. (They figure heavily in his novels Single & Single and A Perfect Spy.) In a world of lies, Le Carré writes the bitter truth: it's every man for himself. And may the best mask win. --Tim Appelo

From the Inside Flap:

"Le Carre is simply the world's greatest fictional spymaster."
NEWSWEEK
For Leamas the espionage business has become an hermetic, enclosed world, detached from outside reality. He has watched his last agent being shot, crossing from East to West Berlin, and his death marks the end of the Circus' East German network. But Control is planning an operation against the head of East German Intelligence. And Leamas is to be the instrument, set in East one last time....

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. George Smiley 1.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Cold War is at its most chill. Alec Leamas, a seasoned British Intelligence officer whose entire East German network has been arrested or shot, leaves West Berlin for London, believing his career is over. But his master, Control, knows that Leamas is good for a last mission: one that will allow him to take his revenge on the ruthless East German counterintelligence chief who has killed or imprisoned his agents. And lurking discreetly in the background, George Smiley will be pulling the operational strings. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780241962336

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. George Smiley 1.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Cold War is at its most chill. Alec Leamas, a seasoned British Intelligence officer whose entire East German network has been arrested or shot, leaves West Berlin for London, believing his career is over. But his master, Control, knows that Leamas is good for a last mission: one that will allow him to take his revenge on the ruthless East German counterintelligence chief who has killed or imprisoned his agents. And lurking discreetly in the background, George Smiley will be pulling the operational strings. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780241962336

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, John Le Carre, The Cold War is at its most chill. Alec Leamas, a seasoned British Intelligence officer whose entire East German network has been arrested or shot, leaves West Berlin for London, believing his career is over. But his master, Control, knows that Leamas is good for a last mission: one that will allow him to take his revenge on the ruthless East German counterintelligence chief who has killed or imprisoned his agents. And lurking discreetly in the background, George Smiley will be pulling the operational strings. Bookseller Inventory # B9780241962336

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