THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD by John le Carré
Kirkus Star

THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD

Featured vintage review selection (week of March 25, 2013)
Note from Kirkus' Vintage Review Editor:

Fifty years ago, we awarded John Le Carré his first Kirkus star for the 1963 classic The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. In addition, the great Graham Greene declared it "the best spy story I have ever read." Little did anyone know that Le Carré would go on to write another 20 espionage novels; more than half of them received our highest acclaim. In The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, he introduces, in a minor role, George Smiley who became his best-known character and the protagonist in several of his later books. If you are new to Le Carré, try his older books first, and you will then be primed for his 2013 thriller A Delicate Truth...which we also loved. His career has been magnificent; his novels are even better.



KIRKUS REVIEW

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. This, then, with an adamant realism, cases the check points to and past the Brandenburg Gate when Leamas, an English agent, is presumably shelved so that he may become a paid defector and thereby determine how Mundt, his corresponding opposite and the second man in the Abteilung, has managed to dispose of too many of his people. Still, the personal equation cannot be entirely reduced to numbers, or ciphers; there is Leamas' attraction to a woman - a Communist - and Fiedler, Mundt's acolyte who turns apostate, so that eventually all are the victims of a ruthless revanchist plot...A domesday book of the Cold War and the lonely anonymity of the double agent. It is all expertly chilling and exciting.
Pub Date: Jan. 10th, 1963
ISBN: 0802714544
Publisher: Coward-McCann
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1963




MORE BY JOHN LE CARRÉ

FictionA DELICATE TRUTH by John le Carré
by John le Carré
FictionOUR KIND OF TRAITOR by John le Carré
by John Le Carré
FictionA MOST WANTED MAN by John le Carré
by John Le Carré

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionMISSION TO PARIS by Alan Furst
by Alan Furst
FictionTHE MAN WHO LOVED DOGS by Leonardo Padura
by Leonardo Padura
FictionTHE SPYMASTERS by W.E.B. Griffin
by W.E.B. Griffin