Books by John le Carré

John le Carré was born in 1931. After attending the universities of Berne and Oxford, he taught at Eton and spent five years in the British Foreign Service. The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, his third book, secured him a worldwide reputation.


A DELICATE TRUTH by John le Carré
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 7, 2013

"Resolutely keeping potential action sequences just offstage, le Carré (Our Kind of Traitor, 2010, etc.) focuses instead on the moral rot and creeping terror barely concealed by the affable old-boy blather that marks the pillars of the intelligence community."
The distinguished chronicler of Cold War espionage and its costs casts his cold eye on the fog of war and its legacy when the war sets terrorists against the mercenaries and independent contractors to whom international security has been farmed out. Read full book review >
OUR KIND OF TRAITOR by John le Carré
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 12, 2010

Le Carré uses still another aspect of international relations in the new world order—the powerful, equivocal position of money launderers to the Russian mob—to put a new spin on a favorite theme: the betrayal that inevitably follows from sharply divided loyalties. Read full book review >
A MOST WANTED MAN by John le Carré
THRILLERS
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

"The story can't possibly end well, and it doesn't. But le Carré (The Mission Song, 2006, etc.), without lecturing, deftly puts human faces and human costs on the paranoid response to the threat of terrorism."
Government knaves and compromised idealists duel over the fate of an alleged terrorist in le Carré's latest examination of The Way We Spy Now. Read full book review >
THE MISSION SONG by John le Carré
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 19, 2006

"Another fine work of intrigue from a skilled interpreter of all things topical."
A half-British, half-Congolese interpreter unwittingly finds himself in the middle of a political struggle between two countries. Read full book review >
ABSOLUTE FRIENDS by John le Carré
THRILLERS
Released: Jan. 12, 2004

"Despite a piercing, compassionate portrait of a decent man struggling to keep up with a world in the throes of constant change, le Carré seems this time outpaced by his impossible subject: the layers upon layers of real-life duplicity in the world since 9/11."
The collapse of the new world order catches still another of le Carré's inoffensive spies out hopelessly past his depth. Read full book review >
THE CONSTANT GARDENER by John le Carré
THRILLERS
Released: Jan. 9, 2001

"Under all the sumptuous detail, sensitive psychology, and incisive condemnation of industrial cartels, this is still at its core the old, familiar story of a decent man driven to avenge the wife he never really knew."
In the absence of the Evil Empire, global capitalism takes it on the chin once more in this hypertrophied whodunit, the most intimate of le Carré's thrillers since the salad days of George Smiley. Read full book review >
SINGLE & SINGLE by John le Carré
THRILLERS
Released: March 2, 1999

"Deprived of the great subject of Cold War espionage he handled better than any other novelist, le Carre now argues that individual greed, not ideology, is the villain to watch out for, and individual enterprise the only possible hope."
Now that the Evil Empire has fallen, le Carre (The Tailor of Panama, 1996, etc.) continues to explore the endless opportunities for junior-grade evil when East meets West through the accommodating offices of a wealthy banking family. Read full book review >
THE TAILOR OF PANAMA by John le Carré
THRILLERS
Released: Oct. 20, 1996

"Le Carre goes back to the spy story's roots—Our Man in Havana, with a touch of Conrad's Secret Agent—to amuse frazzled millennialists with the refreshing news that we've all been here many times before."
The fate of nations hinges on an inoffensive bespoke tailor in this archly ironic parable out of Graham Greene. Read full book review >
OUR GAME by John le Carré
THRILLERS
Released: March 10, 1995

The great subject that's fascinated le Carre (The Night Manager, 1993, etc.) throughout his career — what happens to the masters of tradecraft in a world that doesn't match their trade — comes in for unsettlingly timely treatment in this latest tale of spies grown too old and knowing. Read full book review >
THE NIGHT MANAGER by John le Carré
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: July 7, 1993

"Despite the familiarity of the story's outlines, le Carre shows his customary mastery in the details—from Jonathan's self-lacerating momentum to the intricacies of interagency turf wars—and reveals once again why nobody writes espionage fiction with his kind of authority."
Le Carre returns to the same subject as his disappointingly episodic The Secret Pilgrim—the fate of espionage in the new world order—but now looks forward instead of backward, showing a not-quite innocent mangled between that new order and the old one, whose course le Carre has so peerlessly chronicled for 30 years. Read full book review >
THE SECRET PILGRIM by John le Carré
Released: Jan. 14, 1990

"Le Carre's earlier novels have made distinguished films and TV miniseries; this one, sure to attract the author's usual huge print audience, reads like a series of sketches for a weekly program—say, Spies Who Came in from the Cold."
Chippings from a master's chisel: ten short stories and an epilogue artfully disguised as a novel of post-glasnost reminiscences of espionage, all showing le Carre at his most nervously relaxed. Read full book review >
THE RUSSIA HOUSE by John le Carré
Released: June 9, 1989

"Still, Barley is a grand, Dickensian creation, the ugly Americans are a richly diverting crew, and this is witty, shapely tale-spinning from a modern master."
Does glasnost mean the Cold War is over? Read full book review >
A PERFECT SPY by John le Carré
Released: May 1, 1986

The "perfect spy" in this bitter, stately le Carré novel—more character-study than thriller—is Magnus Pym, 50-ish, a senior spymaster for Britain, based in Vienna. . .but now, suddenly, disappeared, after returning to England for the funeral of his old father, Rick. Read full book review >
THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL by John le Carré
THRILLERS
Released: March 1, 1982

"So Smiley followers may be in for a slight let-down, but they—and others—will want to read every word nonetheless."
Underneath the grand, stately textures and rich, ironic nuances (which make this new, non-Smiley le Carre novel superior reading), there's a surprisingly conventional thriller-romance here—something of a step backward, perhaps, from the originality and moral/psychological delicacy of the Smiley-Karla trilogy. Read full book review >
SMILEY'S PEOPLE by John le Carré
Released: Jan. 2, 1979

"But one warning: the Smiley books really must be read in order, not just for the sake of their secrets, but in order to feel the full swing and pull of le Carre's triumph—perhaps the greatest variety, texture, and integrity ever bestowed upon a series character."
Since writing the ultimate modern espionage fiction—The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and Tinker, Tailor. Read full book review >
THE HONOURABLE SCHOOLBOY by John le Carré
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 1, 1977

"But if Le Carre is the Henry lames of spy novelists, firing more nuances than bullets, this is his Golden Bowl—dense, hard, and gleaming on the outside, clark within, and worth possessing whatever the price."
The aftermath of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: the ascendancy of spychief George Smiley, the wholesale dismantling and piecemeal rebuilding of Britain's betrayed intelligence service, and Le Carre's longest, deepest, and quietest incisions into the gentlemen who steal secrets, hide bodies, and rarely blink. Read full book review >
TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY by John le Carré
THRILLERS
Released: June 1, 1974

"We have no other thinking man's world of intelligence."
But "What's the access?" Read full book review >
THE NAIVE AND SENTIMENTAL LOVER by John le Carré
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1971

"It leads you on even where it may never take you in."
Moving out of the suspense field while retaining some high-handed elements of surmise, almost closer to John Fowles in its dramatic largesse, this is the story of another self-styled magus and his interreaction with his opposite following an overreaching construct derived from Schiller about the naive and sentimental lovers of the title. Read full book review >
A SMALL TOWN IN GERMANY by John le Carré
THRILLERS
Released: Oct. 21, 1968

In Bonn. . .even the flies are official." Read full book review >
THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD by John le Carré
THRILLERS
Released: Jan. 10, 1963

"It is all expertly chilling and exciting."
A modern variant of The Third Man is sponsored by that book's author (Graham Greene says, "The best spy story I have ever read") and it introduces on this side of the water pseudonymous Mr. Le Carré, who is a fine contrast to flamboyant Mr. Fleming and who proves here that one can be just as unnerving by being thoroughly undemonstrative. Read full book review >
THE LOOKING GLASS WAR by John le Carré
THRILLERS

"The ambivalence of the agents about their work and its anti-ethical aspects lifts this to the thinking man's level of reflective relaxation."
... has already been casting back the image of the staggering sales racked up by The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Read full book review >