The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré Book Summary


From the New York Times bestselling author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Our Kind of Traitor; and The Night Manager, now a television series starring Tom Hiddleston.

The 50th-anniversary edition of the bestselling novel that launched John le Carré’s career worldwide

In the shadow of the newly erected Berlin Wall, Alec Leamas watches as his last agent is shot dead by East German sentries. For Leamas, the head of Berlin Station, the Cold War is over. As he faces the prospect of retirement or worse—a desk job—Control offers him a unique opportunity for revenge. Assuming the guise of an embittered and dissolute ex-agent, Leamas is set up to trap Mundt, the deputy director of the East German Intelligence Service—with himself as the bait. In the background is George Smiley, ready to make the game play out just as Control wants.

Setting a standard that has never been surpassed, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a devastating tale of duplicity and espionage.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold Book Details

Book Name The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
Genre Mysteries & Thrillers
Author John le Carré
Published 18 January 2012, Wednesday
Price $13.99
E-Book Size 1.71 MB

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré Book Reviews

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Perfect. Hands down the best spy novel ever.


I cried. The greatest kind of writing; full of depth and descriptive. You feel every detail of the strategic conversations between well developed characters and every minute of the wild ride of espionage until the end.


The spy that came in from the cold. Okay. Too confusing


Fantastic, well-written plot. Can't ask for much more from an espionage novel.


Time passed it by. Lots of pontificating and angst. Very right for the time it was published. Not so much now.


Outstanding. Loved it years ago. Along with Chandler. However, Donna Tartt's "The Secret History" is a must for lovers of mystery thrillers and sublime writing! I'm surprised it was not on the list. Highly recommend!!!


The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. I wasn't sure I would care for this book, as I dislike most war stories and espionage. But this one had me from "hello". Very well written, there was a time early on when I felt things were too slow, too detailed. But I still couldn't put it down. The suspense was expertly woven throughout the entire book, keeping me intrigued from start to the surprise finish. If you like spy vs spy, this one will meet your expectations.

Scott's take on things

An absorbing book. I’d read Le Carre’s three Smiley novels and loved them. I was a bit worried about reading a Le Carre book without George Smiley (he does play a minor role) but I was not disappointed. The plot was engaging, lots of twists and turns, very dark. The Leamus character is terrific (as Richard Burton is in the very good movie), full of pathos and grit. The other main characters, Liz, Fiedler, Mundt, round out this complex story of deception and betrayal.

Aaron of Krypton

Great place to start reading le Carré. This was my first John le Carré book, after seeing the movie Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy. I did some online snooping and others recommended that this book was the best place to start. The best way to approach his books is knowing that they are of the “slow burn” variety of reading: the book starts off slowly, and you need to really pay attention to seemingly small details of the story. Very nuanced and subtle meanings. But by the end of the book, it’s a roaring fire, beckoning you to keep flipping the pages. Really fantastic reading.


What's all the fuss?. Ok, let me get this straight: the reader is to believe the English and the Americans are as bad as the East Germans? LeCarre can take a flying leap as far as I'm concerned. Sorry I contributed to his retirement fund.

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5 Books like The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (John le Carré)

About Author "John le Carré"

David John Moore Cornwell (19 October 1931 – 12 December 2020), better known by his pen name John le Carré ( lə-KARR-ay), was an English author, best known for his espionage novels, many of which were successfully adapted for film or television. "A sophisticated, morally ambiguous writer", he is considered one of the greatest novelists of the postwar era. During the 1950s and 1960s, he worked for both the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). Near the end of his life, due to his strong disapproval of Brexit, he took out Irish citizenship, which was possible due to his having an Irish grandparent. Le Carré's third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963), became an international best-seller, was adapted as an award-winning film, and remains one of his best-known works. This success allowed him to leave MI6 to become a full-time author. His novels which have been adapted for film or television include The Looking Glass War (1965), Tinker Tailor Soldi....

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