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janeriks recommends
NEW in Crime and Suspense:
P. D. James with a new Dalgliesh crime novel: The Lighthouse
John le Carré The Mission Song
Ruth Rendell: End in Tears
Ian Rankin: The Naming Of The Dead
Robert Goddard: Never Go Back
John Grisham: The Innocent Man

Look for Le Carré's books on eBay

John le Carré

whose real name is David John Moore Cornwell, was born in Dorset 19th October 1931. He went to school in Switzerland before going to Oxford, graduating with a degree in modern languages in 1956. After that he joined the Foreign Service, and went to Germany as a junior diplomat. He later worked for MI5 and MI6, before turning to writing full-time.

He wasn't immediately successful. His first book, Call for the Dead, is a crime novel/thriller set in espionage circles. Here he introduces Smiley, who is an important character in many of his following books. The book starts with a short introduction of Smiley, who is a man about 25 years le Carrés senior, who has a background in German literature and who is a small cog in the wheels of some intelligence or security agency.

His next book, A Murder of Quality, was a more standard crime novel, with Smiley as the detective.

His third book, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold was his first success and a real "hit", reforming much of the genre of spy novels. It brought new dimensions and literary aspirations to the spy novel. No glamour, but tedious work, danger and distrust. Smiley became a major character, a spy master fighting his opposite number Carla, in many of the succeeding novels


Call for the Dead 1961 A Foreign Office employee kills himself after a friendly talk with Smiley. Smiley is not satisfied with the official explanations, and is willing to raise some dust in order to understand what happened.
A Murder of Quality 1962  
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold 1963 Leamas runs agents in Eastern Germany from Berlin, but suddenly all his networks fall apart and his agents are caught. Leamas is ordered back to London, where he quickly runs to seed. He is approached by some foreign service, eager to have him talk about his time in Berlin. Soon, Leamas is caught in a web of double-crossing, where the truth is what someone can make it be. Smiley has just a small part in this novel, but he obviously is one of the men who are masterminding the operation.
The Looking Glass War 1965  
A Small Town In Germany 1968 The small town in question is Bonn, from the end of WWII to quite recently capital of the Federal Republic of Germany, or Western Germany.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy 1974  
The Honorable Schoolboy 1977  
The Naive And Sentimental Lover 1978 A very personal love story. I read it a young age, expecting Smiley but finding Cornwell. I remember being intrigued, but this is something quite different from what le Carré writes about in his other books.
Smiley's People 1980  
The Little Drummer Girl 1983  
A Perfect Spy 1986  
The Russia House 1989  
The Secret Pilgrim 1991  
The Night Manager 1993  
Our Game 1995  
The Tailor of Panama 1996  
Single & Single 1999  
The Constant Gardener 2000  
Absolute Friends 2004  

His books and his authorship has also become the theme of a number of books:

This page was last updated on 05.02.2005.



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