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The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1963)

by John le Carré

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: George Smiley (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,672209936 (3.99)481
A veteran spy wants to "come in from the cold" to retirement. He undertakes one last assignment in which he pretends defection and provides the enemy with sufficient evidence to label their leader a double agent.
  1. 30
    Call for the Dead by John le Carré (otori)
    otori: Key character Hans-Dieter Mundt first appearance.
  2. 30
    Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: Setting the oeuvre.
  3. 10
    The Secret Pilgrim by John le Carré (Oleg.Gerassimenko)
  4. 10
    Uncommon Danger by Eric Ambler (yokai)
  5. 00
    The Deceiver by Frederick Forsyth (Artymedon)
    Artymedon: Both novels have a central participant: the Berlin Wall.

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» See also 481 mentions

English (194)  Spanish (4)  Danish (3)  Dutch (3)  Italian (2)  Hebrew (2)  French (1)  All languages (209)
Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)
Wonderfully written and incredibly grim. ( )
  wdwilson3 | Jun 7, 2022 |
Not a very exciting story. Too long threaded and way too complicated story to enjoy it... Too bad, hoped for spy thriller. ( )
  rikdegraaff | Jun 5, 2022 |
Pure LeCarre pleasure! Intricate plot, excellent historical background and so inexorably exciting to the very end! ( )
  Windyone1 | May 10, 2022 |
A brilliant spy novel. It dips into the psyche of the protagonist from time to time, and one can never be sure about whom to trust which is an inherent feature of the world of spies. Above all, the reader realizes how helpless even the best of spies can feel which contrasts very well with the resourcefulness they have to display all the time. Morality is always on the line and one starts to wonder how much of it to give up when chasing the 'greater good'.

The writing is great. The twists and turns come after the right amount of build-up and even if sometimes things get a tad slow when reaching them, the pay-offs are always huge!

It is especially interesting, of course, for those who like mystery and suspense in general. It also presented something refreshingly different from detective fiction (like Sherlock and Agatha Christie) which I usually drown myself in. A must read! ( )
  liberation999 | May 6, 2022 |
Simply the best spy fiction I have ever read. ( )
  footgun | Feb 28, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)
En este clásico, el autor recrea un mundo jamás conocido antes en la novela de suspense. Con los conocimientos acumulados durante sus años en el servicio de inteligencia británica, le Carré saca a la luz los interiores un tanto turbios del espionaje internacional de la mano de Alec Leamas, un agente británico durante los primeros años de la guerra fría en Berlín. Leamas es responsable de mantener a sus agentes dobles protegidos y con vida, pero los alemanes del Este empiezan a matarlos, por lo que su superior, Control, le pide que vuelva a Londres no para echarle del cuerpo sino para encargarle una misión un tanto complicada. Con esta novela clásica de suspense, le Carré cambió las reglas del juego. Esta es la historia de un último encargo que recae sobre un agente que desea desesperadamente retirarse de su carrera de espionaje.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
The best spy story I have ever read," says Graham Greene, and I am not too far from agreeing with him. Whether "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" is better than Eric Ambler's "Epitaph for a Spy" or Somerset Maugham's "Ashenden" or Mr. Greene's own "The Confidential Agent" is inconsequential. What matters is that it belongs on the same shelf. Here is a book a light year removed from the sometimes entertaining trivia which have (in the guise of spy novels) cluttered the publishers' lists for the past year.

» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
le Carré, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boyd, WilliamIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jayston, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muller, FrankNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salomaa, AnttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, MattCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Veraldi, AttilioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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The American handed Leamas another cup of coffee and said, "Why don't you go back and sleep? We can ring you if he shows up."
"What do you think spies are: priests, saints and martyrs? They're a squalid procession of vain fools, traitors too, yes; pansies, sadists and drunkards, people who play cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten lives."
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A veteran spy wants to "come in from the cold" to retirement. He undertakes one last assignment in which he pretends defection and provides the enemy with sufficient evidence to label their leader a double agent.

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Average: (3.99)
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1.5 8
2 55
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141194529, 0241962331


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