The Spy Who Came In from the Cold

The Spy Who Came In from the Cold John le Carr s third novel A New York Times bestseller for weeks and the book that launched his career worldwide In the shadow of the newly erected Berlin Wall Alec Leamas watches as his last ag

  • Title: The Spy Who Came In from the Cold
  • Author: John le Carré
  • ISBN: 9780143121428
  • Page: 480
  • Format: Paperback
  • John le Carr s third novel A 1 New York Times bestseller for 34 weeks and the book that launched his 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 ofJohn le Carr s third novel A 1 New York Times bestseller for 34 weeks and the book that launched his 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.

    One thought on “The Spy Who Came In from the Cold”

    1. I am of two minds now that I have finished The Spy Who Came in From the Cold for the first time: I am irritated at myself for having postponed the pleasure of reading this magnificent book for so many years, and yet I am exhilarated and excited too, marked by this unqualified encounter with greatness.I certainly was stupid all these years, for I did not read this book—at least in part--because I considered it “just a spy novel” (albeit a superb one), and the “spy novel"—at least since [...]

    2. ”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. Do you think they sit like monks in London balancing the rights and wrongs?”Checkpoint Charlie where it all begins.John Le Carre A.K.A. David John Moore Cornwell while in college started working for MI5 and then later transferred to MI6. He worked as a consul (code for [...]

    3. This is the novel that placed John Le Carré firmly on the path of fame and fortune. It was his breakthrough novel and 50 years later he was still telling people it had nothing to do with his previous job in the Secret Service; that it was a figment of his imagination only; that had it been based on any facts whatsoever, it would never have been allowed into publication.None of that registered at the time with the media and critics. And those old rumours still hang in shabby tatters to this day. [...]

    4. A few years ago the Broadway musical “Wicked” came to Nashville and my family and I went to experience this production at the Tennessee Performing Arts Theater. I have actually seen a musical on Broadway (Rock of Ages) and I was impressed. But this was something else entirely. I was awestruck by the talent: the singing, the acting, the stage production. As you may imagine, this was not my usual forte. Oh, I can walk across a room and avoid dragging my knuckles (most days) but for the most pa [...]

    5. A profound book, that surpassed all my expectations. A hell of a ride from the first page till the last word. It's a cold and dark book which is written very intelligently. It was hailed as one of the best among the world's top classic espionage-books ever written. And, now that I see in hindsight, it has truly surpassed all the spy thrillers, in terms of quality and scope, that I've read before reading this one; and it has now climbed the ladder to reach the top - in my all time favorite list.H [...]

    6. I think if I had lived through more of the Cold War I would have enjoyed this book more. Even though it is not a very long book, I found it somewhat slow. Also, it was a fairly complicated story that had me confused and going back to figure out if I missed something. I may have given it two stars, but the ultimate point and climax of the story was interesting. I kept having to clear my mind and put myself back into the serious mentality of the Cold War. I am too used to the James Bond/Hollywood [...]

    7. Perhaps the greatest spy novel ever, Le Carré has us in the heart of the cold war with a dicey exchange of spies. It is chilling (as cold as the title) and realistic and hair-raising. A true classic!

    8. Fleming gave it a glamorous touch, Ludlum bought added thrills, but le Carré writes of espionage with a cold starkness that is far more believable and all the better for it. There are no car chases, gadgets, tuxedos, martini's, or large breasted women walking out of the ocean throwing their long locks back over their pretty faces. This is so far away from the exotic travels of 007, mainly taking in the sights of airports, road checkpoints, chilly rooms and deserted streets, le Carré shows a Eu [...]

    9. 4.5 to 5.0 stars. Okay to begin this review I want to point out that, except for a number of Tom Clancy novels, I have only read a handful of spy thrillers so what impressed me about this book may be pretty typical stuff in the better works of the genre. Also, I have not seen the movie adaptation based and knew nothing about the plot coming in (a condition I highly recommend if you have the chance). With that introduction made, I LOVED THIS BOOK. For a book published in 1963, once you get past s [...]

    10. It’s been over 20 years since the Berlin Wall fell, and as someone who grew up in the 1970s - 80s, reading about dueling Cold War spies gave me a weird nostalgic rush. “The Soviets? East Germans? Damn! We used to HATE those guys!”In this era where decades of misdeeds by intelligence agencies are common knowledge and the notion of elaborate spy games are widely used fictional plots, it’s a little hard to imagine how groundbreaking this book was back in 1963. James Bond was in full literar [...]

    11. I hate everything about spies and spying, whether it's the stupid raised-eyebrow-perfect-martini-black-tied begadgeted supermodel-is-in-the-shower my-name-is-Bollocks, James Bollocks nonsense or the miserable version : everybody can be bought there are no morals any more in this grey world and also it's always fooking raining, my feet hurt, my dog died, I never have sex and I'll meet you near Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin so you can say something incomprehensible to me and I can back to you and t [...]

    12. Le Carre’s style is quite recognizable. Economical in words, rough, laconic. Intricate plot, agents, double agents, cat-and-mouse game. Feelings of burnout, cynicism and hopelessness. Atmosphere of a constant threat and fatigue, melancholic gray London, claustrophobic East Berlin. Everything written in harsh almost impersonal prose what only deepens the feeling of coldness in human relations. The Spy Who Came In from the Coldtakes place in the time of cold war and we’re following the actions [...]

    13. What a marvelous spy thriller this is! I can see why it's considered such a classic.I'm late to the John le Carré book party, but I've been enjoying my time here so far. I loved his memoir The Pigeon Tunnel, and I thought his novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was brilliant. When his latest book, A Legacy of Spies, was released and got positive reviews, I decided to go back and catch up on the George Smiley series.Smiley plays a minor role in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, but it doesn't matte [...]

    14. In the last two years I started watching more spy movies/tv-series and also read a spy-thriller by Daniel Silva. I saw two movies based on Le Carré's books (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and A most Wanted Man) which I enjoyed. As a result, I was looking forward to reading one Le Carré book.This is a different kind of spy novel, a smart one with a brilliant plot and some exciting twists. There are no hot dudes drinking martinis with a women on each leg, shooting every terrorist in sight. Despite [...]

    15. I'd like to start by saying "woah" and various other exclamations of surprise and wonder. This was a book that completely changed the way I view spy novels. My previous prejudice stems from quite an obvious source - Ian Fleming - who never gave me anything much of what I would want to read about or what I even find remotely interesting. Big guns, fast cars, hot girls surely every teenage boy's wet dream, but not what tends to be my cup of tea.Fleming, like most writers of spy novels, caters excl [...]

    16. This is on the list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, which means we are to respect it as a Very Important Book and give it a good rating. If I'm being honest, I guess it deserves this ranking. The characters are compelling, the dialogue is good, there are no superfluous scenes, and the whole thing has a creepy and secretive atmosphere that's very compelling. But I cannot in good conscience give this more than two stars, for the simple reason that, for the majority of the book, I never [...]

    17. Okay, I'm fully ready to dive into a non-stop Le Carré bender! These are great spy novels. And these are quality books, period. The man can write. Plus, his experiences in intelligence work paid off HUGE. The intricacies of spy networks and secret government agencies are spread over these pages like caviar and go down like a perfectly aged wine. Shit damn, this is sweet stuff!Now, before you get all amped up, John le Carré does not write James Bond stuff. There are no car chases and inventive [...]

    18. Having just indulged my sweet tooth with Ian Fleming's spy candy, I sampled the more refined pleasures of John le Carré, who wrote a tense spy thriller without any gadgets or heroics or sultry seductresses. Instead, Alec Leamas is a middle-aged alcoholic on the verge of retirement from the spy game; burned out, embittered, and about to be cashiered for a string of failures while running England's spy network in Cold War Berlin. He's recruited for one final mission: to target the dangerous East [...]

    19. An incredible tale of distrust, fear, courage, integrity, and the enduring nature of human love. Truly a Masterpiece

    20. Cold War Era East v. West - What is your ideology? Your guiding philosophy? Do the ends justify the means?This is a slowly evolving spy novel that by the end will make you question everything you thought you ever knew (only slightly hyperbolic). This is a smart story, and what's more, it is entertainingly thought provoking. This starts out somewhat slowly as we get to know Alec Leamas, our protagonist, and follow along as he seemingly is going to seed, and to drink, after a career ending series [...]

    21. I have now finished my re-read, and I'm not sure if I'm happy or not that I didn't remember the ending. It's a thrilling story.The way the story is presented what is revealed, what is held back, and the sequence of revelation is so superb. Any writer can benefit by outlining the scenes.And of course there are the flawed characters, brilliant and stupid, compassionate and cold-hearted, none of them to be trusted, who populate all of le Carre's work.

    22. John le Carré is simply one of the best spy/thriller writers of all time. He ruminates on the dispensability of human life in the business of intelligence. Agents and desk analysts are cannon fodder in the sniping and political machinations of the higher ups. Real intelligence work has much less to do with honor and patriotism than practicality and appearances. The end always justifies the means and may very well have nothing to do with the national interest whatsoever. The overwhelming majorit [...]

    23. Pssst. Over here.The name's Leamus.Alec Leamus. Not the most awe inspiring name for a spy admittedly but that is why its so clever see? I'm just an average man in the street. Not pretty, flashy, muscle-bound or kitted out in designer gear either like some of my competition (Bond has always been a flash git with his radioactive rolex and his under water car thingy). You might walk by me on the street and assume that I'm someone's pissed up uncle now that, my friend, is a cunning disguise.Us spies [...]

    24. "آلک لیماس" مسئول شبکه جاسوسی دستگاه اطلاعاتی انگلستان در برلین، در دوران جنگ سرد است. جاسوس کهنه‌کاری است و عناصری در آن‌سوی دیوار برلین دارد که دسترسی به اسناد فوق‌سری دارند. در ابتدای داستان لیماس در این‌سوی دیوار به انتظار فرار یکی از اصلی‌ترین منابعش از آن‌طرف دیوار ا [...]

    25. Thrillers come in different packages. Action thrillers are usually tricked out in bright colors with fancy bows and all manner of bedazzling allure. Dressed in more somber packaging are the cerebral thrillers. This is one of the latter. I like both types, by the way. It's been a good 40 years since I first read this book. My copy is an old dog-eared paperback with 75 cents printed on the cover, published in 1963. I was just hoping the glue would hold together long enough to read again without th [...]

    26. I was trying to figure out how to share my recent woes with my goodread's friends in a review and I was getting nothing. All of my recent books have either taken place in Glasgow, or been World War 2 / Early Cold War era books, and well none of them really capture the angst of being repeatedly cut off from the internet. What's more important than my own discomfort compared to anything else, especially at Christmas? So anyway, while I was standing on a pay phone on 39th Ave trying to get a person [...]

    27. This spy fiction is especially recommended since it's written by John le Carre who once worked in the famous MI5 in the UK, he has known his tradecraft well and thus can write this wonderful fiction from his experience. Some young or middle-aged readers might rarely find his novels readable, this might be the one you should start with; one reason is that it is, as well as each chapter, not too lengthy.I first read this novel in my 20's during my college years, that is, in the midst of the Cold W [...]

    28. It was intriguing to read about the cat and mouse games in this espionage novel which has the reputation of being the best one ever written. I thought I should read it to see whether it would prompt me to read more of the genre. Although I thought it was well written, I cannot say I enjoyed the novel, the atmosphere being so chilling and menacing and the characters so distant and cynical. I am sure le Carre intended the novel to be that way and it must have been the reality of that secret societ [...]

    29. Excellent Cold War spy novel, with many twists and turns. It also puts a human face on the business of espionage, with all the moral ambiguities involved. Highly recommended.

    30. There are several important questions one could ask in life. For instance: where do you get green eggs and ham? Why do we have catalogues and not dogalogues? Or even why is it that it's a penny for my thoughts but I get my say for two cents worth? But one of the most important questions anyone can ask is: why should I read this book?I now attempt to answer the one question which can never be answered And silence will fall. I mean you will understand why this is a book worth reading.At first I my [...]

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