Go back to Whitehall and look for more spies on your drawing boards.
George Smiley is no one's idea of a spy—which is perhaps why he's such a natural. But Smiley apparently made a mistake. After a routine security interview, he concluded that the affable Samuel Fennan had nothing to hide. Why, then, did the man from the Foreign Office shoot himself in the head only hours later? Or did he?
The heart-stopping tale of intrigue that launched both novelist and spy, Call for the Dead is an essential introduction to le Carré's chillingly amoral universe.
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"Intelligent, thrilling, surprising ... makes most cloak-and-dagger stuff taste of cardboard."-- Sunday Telegraph (London)
With the incomparable opening chapter of Call for the Dead, titled "A Brief History of George Smiley," John Le Carré introduces his legendary spy and immediately ensnares you in the shadowy world Smiley inhabits.
Pulled back from overseas duty during World War II, Smiley was redirected to face the threats of the Cold War. He had been asked to interview Samuel Fennan of the Foreign Office after an anonymous letter accused Fennan of Communist Party membership. Smiley's report cleared him of the allegations, so he was stunned to learn that Fennan had died the day after the interview, leaving a suicide note that claimed his career had been ruined. Investigating circumstances that make no sense to him, Smiley gradually uncovers a spy ring and in so doing is led into a lethal duel of wits with the best of his war-time pupils.
Call for the Dead marks the beginning of John Le Carré's brilliant literary career, just as it launches the life of one of the most memorable fictional characters of the twentieth century.
John Le Carré is the author of The Spy Who Came In from the Cold; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Smiley's People; The Tailor of Panama; The Constant Gardener; and many other best-selling titles, including this most recent novel, Absolute Friends. He lives in Cornwall, England.From the Back Cover:
Praise for Call for the Dead
"A finely wrought and compelling admixture of three types of crime writing: the novel of action and excitement that we commonly call a thriller, the spy story, and the detective story."-- P. D. James, from the Foreword
"A subtle and acute story of counter-espionage marked by restraint, indirection, and intelligence."-- The New York Times Book Review
Praise for John Le Carré
"Le Carré is more than just a great storyteller-- he captures the Zeitgeist itself."-- Tom Wolfe
"No other contemporary novelist has more durably enjoyed the twin badges of being both well-read and well-regarded."-- Scott Turow
"He is one of the half-dozen best novelists now working in English."-- Chicago Sun-Times
"Le Carré is one of the best novelists-- of any kind-- we have."-- Vanity Fair
"A brilliant linguistic artist with a keen eye for the exotic and not-so-exotic locale, a crafty, moralizer with an occasional bent for sentiment."-- The Wall Street Journal
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