The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

Book - 2013
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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.

Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2013, c1963
ISBN: 9780143189824
Branch Call Number: LEC
Characteristics: xiv, 225 p. ;,21 cm

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c
Cheryl65
Oct 15, 2017

Needing help with the vocabulary of the period, I Googled the phrase  "Pudeur Anglaise", and landed on a glossary for the novel. The website is called Book Drum, a great resource, with many useful features.

l
leiliqian
Dec 19, 2016

another excellent one from John Le Carre. Feeling sad for the ending, that's what the cold war done to human, use humanity to kill and hurt.

LPL_IanS Sep 30, 2016

First time spy novel reader here. I loved it. I thought Le Carre's prose was excellent. The plot was superbly constructed. And the book was highly entertaining. It has a somewhat slow start, and I agree with another reader that at times the mixture of Cold War, spy, and English jargon could leave me feeling a little lost. That said, it's a spy book! I don't need to be one step ahead of the story at all moments.

I have a feeling this is book that will stick with me for a while. I highly recommend it.

b
becker
Feb 08, 2016

Great plot and great writing. This is a classic spy novel for those who like this genre.

s
Stephanie_Sibbald
Jun 29, 2014

My first John Le Carré book, and definitely not my last. It's one of the best spy books I've read, although it seemed as if the main character didn't have a plan until about halfway through the book. Great plot twist at the end, and ultimately the book ended the way it should.

w
wilqser
Apr 26, 2014

Too conversational/interrogational as one reader has said and references to departmental bureaucracies making it hard to understand and follow, and understanding their allegiances. My expectations of this book was not realized even though it is considered one of the very best spy novels.

Indigo_Cobra_8 Mar 23, 2013

I had read many glowing reviews about this book and had been excited to read it. Maybe I'm just not suited to the whole spy genre, but I didn't enjoy this as much I thought I would. The first chapter drew me in, but the rest of the book held considerably less action and was more conversational/interrogational. The twist near the end caught me, and I enjoyed the last few chapters, but overall, I found the book a bit dull.

e
e_long
May 08, 2012

le Carre's best? Possibly. It's hard to say. I'd watched the movie prior to reading the book (I know, it's a sin), so the ending wasn't as powerful as it should have been. An interesting in-between point for le Carre. His later novels become more fragmentary because of flash backs. In this one, you can see how he starts to break away from straight-forward storytelling, but it isn't a terrible amount of work to keep with the plot.

l
lgseguin
Aug 23, 2011

one of the best spy novels ever

j
JM9
Jan 28, 2011

Starts off pretty slow but then it hits you with a twist and carries you away.

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FavouriteFiction Oct 14, 2009

Alec Leamas, a British agent in early Cold War Berlin, is sent on a difficult mission. He is asked to play a disgraced agent, a target of ridicule, and therefore be able to infiltrate deep into communist territory.

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Stephanie_Sibbald
Jun 29, 2014

"Leamas watched him take a cigarette from the box on the table, and light it. He noticed two things: that Peters was left-handed, and that once again he had put the cigarette in his mouth with the maker's name away from him, so that it burns first. It was a gesture Leamas liked: it indicated that Peters, like himself, had been on the run." pg.73

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