John Le Carre Books In Order

George Smiley Books In Publication Order

  1. Call for the Dead (1961)
  2. A Murder of Quality (1962)
  3. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963)
  4. The Looking Glass War (1965)
  5. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974)
  6. The Honourable Schoolboy (1977)
  7. Smiley’s People (1979)
  8. The Secret Pilgrim (1990)
  9. A Legacy of Spies (2017)

The Karla Trilogy Books In Publication Order

  1. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974)
  2. The Honourable Schoolboy (1977)
  3. Smiley’s People (1979)

Standalone Novels In Publication Order

  1. A Small Town in Germany (1968)
  2. The Naive and Sentimental Lover (1971)
  3. The Little Drummer Girl (1983)
  4. A Perfect Spy (1986)
  5. The Russia House (1989)
  6. The Night Manager (1993)
  7. Our Game (1994)
  8. The Tailor of Panama (1996)
  9. Single & Single (1999)
  10. The Constant Gardener (2001)
  11. Absolute Friends (2003)
  12. The Mission Song (2006)
  13. A Most Wanted Man (2008)
  14. Our Kind of Traitor (2010)
  15. A Delicate Truth (2013)
  16. Agent Running in the Field (2019)
  17. Silverview (2021)

Short Stories/Novellas In Publication Order

  1. Dare I Weep, Dare I Mourn? (2016)

John le Carr Short Story Collections In Publication Order

  1. Sarratt and the Draper of Watford (1999)

Non-Fiction Books In Publication Order

  1. The Pigeon Tunnel (2016)

Anthologies In Publication Order

  1. The Book of Spies: An Anthology of Literary Espionage (2003)
  2. Not One More Death (2006)
  3. Ox-Tales: Fire (2009)

George Smiley Book Covers

The Karla Trilogy Book Covers

Standalone Novels Book Covers

Short Stories/Novellas Book Covers

John le Carr Short Story Collections Book Covers

Non-Fiction Book Covers

Anthologies Book Covers

John Le Carre Books Overview

Call for the Dead

With the incomparable opening chapter of Call for the Dead, titled ‘A Brief History of George Smiley,’ John Le Carr introduces his legendary spy and immediately ensnares you in the shadowy world Smiley inhabits. Pulled back from overseas duty during World War II, Smiley was redirected to face the threats of the Cold War. He had been asked to interview Samuel Fennan of the Foreign Office after an anonymous letter accused Fennan of Communist Party membership. Smiley’s report cleared him of the allegations, so he was stunned to learn that Fennan had died the day after the interview, leaving a suicide note that claimed his career had been ruined. Investigating circumstances that make no sense to him, Smiley gradually uncovers a spy ring and in so doing is led into a lethal duel of wits with the best of his war time pupils. Call for the Dead marks the beginning of John Le Carr ‘s brilliant literary career, just as it launches the life of one of the most memorable fictional characters of the twentieth century.

A Murder of Quality

A Murder of Quality is the second novel by John le Carre’. It follows George Smiley, the most famous of le Carre’s recurring characters, in his only book set outside the espionage community.

Ex-undercover agent George Smiley emerges from retirement to solve a baffling, bloody crime. This time it is not a Cold War spy that he is hunting but the solution to the brutal murder of a harmless housewife in the seemingly peaceful setting of a prestigious British boys’ school.

It is there, at Carne School, where he becomes entangled with a woman as dangerous as she is charming and with a tottering, brilliant man haunted by a perverse secret of his past. Smiley pursues the murderer amid the hollow pomp and ceremony of the school’s establishment, where a man’s fate is decided over tea and a sentence of death can be passed out with biscuits and sherry.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

George Smiley is one of the most brilliantly realized characters in British fiction. Bespectacled, tubby, eternally middle aged and deceptively ordinary, he has a mind like a steel trap. It is 1962 the height of the Cold War and only months after the building of the Berlin Wall. Alec Leamas is a hard working, hard drinking British intelligence officer whose East Berlin network is in tatters. His agents are either on the run or dead, victims of the ruthlessly efficient East German counter intelligence officer Hans Dieter Mundt. Leamas is recalled to London, where instead of being consigned to a desk he’s offered a chance to have his revenge by becoming a pawn in a brilliantly conceived plot to destroy Mundt. But in order to do so he has to stay out in the cold a little longer. Starring the award winning Simon Russell Beale as Smiley, and with a distinguished cast including Brian Cox as Alec Leamas, this compelling dramatization perfectly captures the atmosphere of le Carr ‘s taut thriller.

The Looking Glass War

George Smiley is one of the most brilliantly realized characters in British fiction. Bespectacled, tubby, eternally middle aged and deceptively ordinary, he has a mind like a steel trap and is said to possess the cunning of Satan and the conscience of a virgin. Former spy Fred Leiser is lured back from retirement, and manages to cross the border into East Germany in a dangerous nighttime operation. But the world has changed since The Department’s glory days during the Second World War. The harsh realities of the Cold War now prevail, and there is no place for heroes. When word reaches The Department that Soviet missiles are being installed close to the West German border, it seems the perfect opportunity to show their rivals that The Department still has value. Starring the award winning Simon Russell Beale as Smiley, and with a distinguished cast including Ian McDiarmid and Philip Jackson, this compelling dramatization of le Carr ‘s fourth Smiley novel perfectly captures the atmosphere of deception and betrayal.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Smiley, wrestling with retirement and disillusionment, is summoned to a secret meeting with a member of the Cabinet Office. Evidence has emerged that the Circus has been infiltrated at the highest level by a Russian agent. ‘Find the mole, George. Clean the stables. Do whatever is necessary’. Reluctantly Smiley agrees, and so embarks on a dark journey into his past a past filled with love, duplicity and betrayal. Starring the award winning Simon Russell Beale as Smiley, and with a star cast including Anna Chancellor, Alex Jennings, Kenneth Cranham and Bill Paterson, this epic dramatisation brilliantly depicts the complicated moral dilemmas of those who practise post war espionage and illuminates the murky corners of le Carre’s classic spy thriller the first in the Karla trilogy. ‘…
a worthy audio version of the seminal spy drama, brilliantly depicting the complicated moral dilemmas of post war espionage, and allowing Beale room to shine as the character of Smiley really comes into his own’ ‘Herts Advertiser’. ‘beautifully paced in a dramatisation which captures the essence of the book whilst working supremely well in its own right in the radio medium’ ‘Chichester Observer’. ‘This period dramatisation could not be bettered’ ‘Observer’.

The Honourable Schoolboy

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy John le Carre’s last tremendous success ended with the devastating unmasking of a double agent at the heart of the British Secret Service known as the Circus to le Carre’s millions of readers round the world. Now, in The Honourable Schoolboy, George Smiley who has assumed the unenviable job of restoring the health, and reputation, of his demoralized organisation goes over to the attack. Salvaging what he can of the Service’s ravaged network of spies, summoning back a few trustworthy old colleagues, working them and himself around the clock, he searches for a whisper, a hint, a clue that will lead him back to his opposite number: Karla, the Soviet officer in Moscow Centre who masterminded the infamous treachery. When he finds his opening, Smiley moves without hesitation. His battleground: the Far East. His choice of weapons: the Honourable Gerald Jerry Westerby, an Old Asia Hand, veteran of several marriages and wars, unquestioning in his readiness to answer Smiley’s summons. ‘You point me and I’ll march,’ says Jerry. Jerry’s odyssey begins: to Hong Kong and blackmail and murder; to collapsing Cambodia and Vietnam and drug traffickers, the CIA, and a huge and mystifying ‘gold seam’ spilling out of Russia. Slowly, manipulated by Smiley and his cohorts back in the Circus, Jerry thrusts himself into the centre of an intrigue of money, defection, passion and finds not only fertile ground for Smiley’s revenge, but a drama of loyalty and love that both tests his courage and spurs his belated coming of age, in tragic defiance of the voracious requirements of the trice which owns his allegiance. Here is John le Carre’s richest, most accomplished work. Suspense, excitement, the techniques of espionage as only he has been able to make them real for us together with a Towing capacity for sustained action, a grandly conceived and intricately drawn plot, and profound observation of the Far Eastern landscape. The Honourable Schoolboy is both a supreme entertainment and a major novel.

Smiley’s People

This is the third book of John le Carre’s ‘Karla trilogy’ and features British master spy George Smiley.

Spy chief George Smiley may intend to retire, but his active, intelligent mind is not so easily laid aside. So when British Secret Service asks him to go just one more round, his response is predictable–especially as it involves the brutal death of one of Smiley’s loyal cohorts in the underground world of espionage. The man was killed just when he had information of utmost importance to pass on to his spy chief.

Smiley’s opponent in this conclusive match is his mortal enemy inside the Soviet Union, the man whose code name is Karla. For several years they have battled at long range. Now they seize the chance to close. Paris, London, Germany, and Switzerland are the backgrounds for this suspenseful novel, in which le Carre gives us the last chapter, the final convulsive confrontation between George Smiley and Karla.

John le Carre’s classic novels deftly navigate readers through the intricate shadow worlds of international espionage with unsurpassed skill and knowledge and have earned him–and his hero, British Secret Service agent George Smiley–unprecedented worldwide acclaim.

The ‘Karla’ trilogy titles are: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy/ The Honourable Schoolboy/ Smiley’s People

The Secret Pilgrim

After the Berlin Wall came down and opened up new changes in eastern Europe, John le Carre’s stunning novel, The Secret Pilgrim, takes us behind the scenes into the former Cold War world. Nothing is as it was. Old enemies embrace. The dark staging grounds of the Cold War, whose shadows barely obscured the endless games of espionage, are flooded with light; the rules are rewritten, the stakes changed, the future unfathomable. John le Carre has seized this momentous turning point in history to give us the most disturbing experience we have yet had of the frail and brutal world of spydom. The man called Ned speaks to us. All his adult life he has been in British Intelligence the Circus a loyal, shrewd, wily officer of the Cold War. Now, approaching the end of his career, he revisits his own past. He invites us on a tour of his three decades in the Circus, burrowing deep into the twilight world where he ran spies ‘joes’ from Poland, Estonia, Hungary.

A Small Town in Germany

John le Carr ‘s classic novels deftly navigate readers through the intricate shadow worlds of international espionage with unsurpassed skill and knowledge, and have earned him unprecedented worldwide acclaim. A man is missing. Harting, refugee background, a Junior Something in the British Embassy in Bonn. Gone with him are forty three files, all of them Confidential or above. It is vital that the Germans do not learn that Harting is missing, nor that there’s been a leak. With radical students and neo Na*zis rioting and critical negotiations under way in Brussels, the timing could not be worse and that’s probably not an accident. Alan Turner, London’s security officer, is sent to Bonn to find the missing man and files as Germany’s past, present, and future threaten to collide in a nightmare of violence.

The Naive and Sentimental Lover

When first published, The Na ve and Sentimental Lover came as a bolt from the blue an abrupt departure for the world’s grandmaster of spy thrillers. Nearly thirty years later, an increasing number of le Carr fans have come to applaud his versatility, and treasure this tale for the qualities they have discerned in all his novels: a constant pulse of humor, great humanity, and a page turning way of storytelling. Le Carr ‘s hero is Aldo Cassidy, ‘the na ve and sentimental lover,’ a tycoon caught frantically between two astonishing loves. Trapped with him are Shamus, a wild artist who carouses by day or night, and Helen, the artist’s nakedly alluring wife. Who will wind up with whom is only one of the mysteries in a world founded upon spontaneity and feeling.

The Little Drummer Girl

John le Carr has earned worldwide acclaim with novels that navigate the shadow worlds of espionage. In The Little Drummer Girl, one of his most enduring works, le Carr took leave of the Circus, George Smiley, and all his people, and presented instead an original canvas that remains, two decades later, stunningly fresh and topical. It was then, and is now, a thrilling, moving, and courageous novel of Middle Eastern intrigue. Charlie is a promiscuous, unsuccessful, English actress in her twenties. Vacationing on the Greek island of Mykonos with friends, she longs for commitment. But to what? To whom? Intrigued by a handsome, solitary bather, Charlie finds herself lured into the ‘theatre of the real.’ For the mysterious man is Kurtz, an embattled Israeli intelligence officer out to stop the bombing of Jews in Europe. Forced to play her most challenging role, Charlie is plunged into a deceptive and delicate trap set to ensnare an elusive Palestinian terrorist…
and soon proves herself a double agent of the highest order.

A Perfect Spy

John le Carr ‘s classic novels deftly navigate readers through the intricate shadow worlds of international espionage with unsurpassed skill and knowledge, and have earned him unprecedented worldwide acclaim. Immersing readers in two parallel dramas one about the making of a spy, the other chronicling his seemingly imminent demise le Carr offers one of his richest and most morally resonant novels. Magnus Pym son of Rick, father of Tom, and a successful career officer of British Intelligence has vanished, to the dismay of his friends, enemies, and wife. Who is he? Who was he? Who owns him? Who trained him? Secrets of state are at risk. As the truth about Pym gradually emerges, the reader joins Pym’s pursuers to explore the unsettling life and motives of a man who fought the wars he inherited with the only weapons he knew, and so became A Perfect Spy.

The Russia House

John le Carr has earned worldwide acclaim with extraordinary spy novels, including The Russia House, an unequivocal classic. Navigating readers through the shadow worlds of international espionage with critical knowledge culled from his years in British Intelligence, le Carr tracks the dark and devastating trail of a document that could profoundly alter the course of world events. In Moscow, a sheaf of military secrets changes hands. If it arrives at its destination, and if its import is understood, the consequences could be cataclysmic. Along the way it has an explosive impact on the lives of three people: a Soviet physicist burdened with secrets; a beautiful young Russian woman to whom the papers are entrusted; and Barley Blair, a bewildered English publisher pressed into service by British Intelligence to ferret out the document’s source. A magnificent story of love, betrayal, and courage, The Russia House catches history in the act. For as the Iron Curtain begins to rust and crumble, Blair is left to sound a battle cry that may fall on deaf ears.

The Night Manager

Enter the new world of espionage, where the skills forged by generations of spies during the darkest days of the Cold War are put to even more terrifying use. Penetrate the secret world of ruthless arms dealers and drug smugglers who have risen to unthinkable power and wealth. The sinister master of them all is an untouchable Englishman named Roper, the charming, unstoppable ruler of a corrupt world all his own. Slipping into this maze of peril is a former British soldier, Jonathan Pine, who knows Roper well enough to hate him more than he hates any other man on earth. Now personal vengeance is only part of the reason Pine is willing to help the men at Whitehall bring Roper down.

Our Game

At forty eight, Tim Cranmer is a secret servant in premature retirement to deepest rural England. His Cold War is fought and won, and he is free to devote himself to his stately manor house, his vineyard, and his beautiful young mistress, Emma. But no man can escape his past, and Tim’s lives twenty miles away, in the chaotic person of Larry Pettifer: bored radical don, philanderer, and for twenty years Tim’s mercurial double agent against the now vanquished Communist threat. Between the two stands an unresolved rivalry. As the story opens, Larry and Emma have disappeared. Setting off in pursuit of them, Tim discovers that he too is being pursued, by his former masters. The hunter becomes the hunted. Raiding his own past like a thief, he follows Larry and Emma into the minefield physical and emotional of their new allegiance. Our Game is John le Carre at his incomparable best. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Tailor of Panama

A thriller from the author of OUR GAME in which an old Etonian and spy is on a double mission in Panama to keep an eye on the political maneouverings leading up to the American handover of the Panama Canal and to secure for himself the immense private fortune that has so far eluded him.

Single & Single

A lawyer from the London finance house of Single & Single is shot dead on a Turkish hillside by people with whom he thought he was in business. A children’s magician in the English countryside is asked by his bank to explain the unsolicited arrival of more than five million pounds sterling in his young daughter’s modest trust. A freighter bound for Liverpool is boarded by Russian coast guards in the Black Sea. The celebrated London merchant venturer ‘Tiger’ Single disappears into thin air. In Single & Single the writer who both epitomizes and transcends the novel of espionage opens with a haunting set piece, then establishes a sequence of events whose connections are mysterious, complex and compelling. This is a story of corrupt liaisons between criminal elements in the new Russian states and the world of legitimate finance in the West. Le Carr ‘s finest novel in years, it is also an intimate portrait of two families: one Russian, the other English; one trading illicit goods, the other laundering the profits; one betrayed by a son in law, the other betrayed, and redeemed, by a son. This is territory le Carr knows better than anyone. Masterful and prescient, he is writing at the height of his creative powers, and Oliver Single, the central protagonist, is one of his most fascinating characters.

The Constant Gardener

Frightening, heartbreaking, and exquisitely calibrated, John le Carre’s new novel opens with the gruesome murder of the young and beautiful Tessa Quayle near northern Kenya’s Lake Turkana, the birthplace of mankind. Her putative African lover and traveling companion, a doctor with one of the aid agencies, has vanished from the scene of the crime. Tessa’s much older husband, Justin, a career diplomat at the British High Commission in Nairobi, sets out on a personal odyssey in pursuit of the killers and their motive. A master chronicler of the deceptions and betrayals of ordinary people caught in political conflict, le Carre portrays, in ‘The Constant Gardener,’ the dark side of unbridled capitalism. His eighteenth novel is also the profoundly moving story of a man whom tragedy elevates. Justin Quayle, amateur gardener and ineffectual bureaucrat, seemingly oblivious to his wife’s cause, discovers his own resources and the extraordinary courage of the woman he barely had time to love. ‘The Constant Gardener‘ is a magnificent exploration of the new world order by one of the most compelling and elegant storytellers of our time.

Absolute Friends

An absolutely triumphant bestsellereverywhere hailed as the masterpiece toward which John le Carr has been building since the fall of communism. This epic tale of loyalty and betrayal spans the lives of two friends from the riot torn West Berlin of the 1960s to the grimy looking glass of Cold War Europe to the present day of terrorism and new alliances. Absolute Friends is the thrilling work of international espionage that le Carr fans have long awaiteda brilliant, ferocious, heartbreaking work for the ages.

The Mission Song

‘Gripping and moving…
. A marvelous return to the John le Carre of old, with all the captivating characters, finely rendered landscapes, and messy complexities that have always powered his best work.’ San Francisco Chronicle

Hailed everywhere as a masterpiece of suspense, John le Carre’s return to Africa is the story of Bruno Salvador aka Salvo, the 25 year old orphaned love child of an Irish missionary and a Congolese woman. Quickly rising to the top of his profession as an interpreter, Salvo is dispatched by British Intelligence to a top secret meeting between Western financiers and East Congolese warlords, where he hears things not intended for his ears and is forced to interpret matters never intended for his reawoken African conscience. By turns thriller, love story, and comic allegory of our times, The Mission Song recounts Salvo’s heroically naive journey out of the dark of Western hypocrisy and into the heart of lightness.

Salvo may be the author’s most naive creation to date, but he is also one of the most fascinating and engaging…
The atmosphere of intrigue builds nicely and convincingly.’ Baltimore Sun

‘An incendiary tale…
Le Carre’s understanding of how the world ticks is, as always, machete sharp.’ USA TODAY

‘To categorize Le Carre, as many do, as a ‘spy’ novelist is to do him a disservice; he uses the world of cloak and dagger much as Conrad used the sea to explore the dark places in human nature.’ Washington Post Book World

‘Le Carre’s insight into the dense, dangerous nexus of corporate and government interests is chillingly assured.’ New York Times Book Review

‘Engaging, masterfully told…
The Mission Song offers an emotional resonance that stays with a reader long after the book is done.’ Cleveland Plain Dealer

A Most Wanted Man

New spies with new loyalties, old spies with old ones; terror as the new mantra; decent people wanting to do good but caught in the moral maze; all the sound, rational reasons for doing the inhuman thing; the recognition that we cannot safely love or pity and remain good ‘patriots’ this is the fabric of John le Carr ‘s fiercely compelling and current novel A Most Wanted Man.

A half starved young Russian man in a long black overcoat is smuggled into Hamburg at dead of night. He has an improbable amount of cash secreted in a purse around his neck. He is a devout Muslim. Or is he? He says his name is Issa.

Annabel, an idealistic young German civil rights lawyer, determines to save Issa from deportation. Soon her client’s survival becomes more important to her than her own career or safety. In pursuit of Issa’s mysterious past, she confronts the incongruous Tommy Brue, the sixty year old scion of Brue Fr res, a failing British bank based in Hamburg.

Annabel, Issa and Brue form an unlikely alliance and a triangle of impossible loves is born. Meanwhile, scenting a sure kill in the ‘War on Terror,’ the rival spies of Germany, England and America converge upon the innocents.

Thrilling, compassionate, peopled with characters the reader never wants to let go, A Most Wanted Man is a work of deep humanity and uncommon relevance to our times.

Our Kind of Traitor

The unrivaled master of spy fiction returns with a taut and suspenseful of dirty money and dirtier politics. For nearly half a century, John le Carr ‘s limitless imagination has enthralled millions of readers and moviegoers around the globe. From the cold war to the bitter fruits of colonialism to unrest in the Middle East, he has reinvented the spy novel again and again. Now, le Carr makes his Viking debut with a stunning tour de force that only a craftsman of his caliber could pen. As menacing and flawlessly paced as The Little Drummer Girl and as morally complex as The Constant Gardener, Our Kind of Traitor is signature le Carr . . Perry and Gail are idealistic and very much in love when they splurge on a tennis vacation at a posh beach resort in Antigua. But the charm begins to pall when a big time Russian money launderer enlists their help to defect. In exchange for amnesty, Dima is ready to rat out his vory Russian criminal brotherhood compatriots and expose corruption throughout the so called legitimate financial and political worlds. Soon, the guileless couple find themselves pawns in a deadly endgame whose outcome will be determined by the victor of the British Secret Service’s ruthless internecine battles.

The Book of Spies: An Anthology of Literary Espionage

A collection of work from some of the finest novelists of the 20th century. Inspired by the politics of tyranny or war, each of these writers chose the basic elements of highly evolved spy fiction as the framework for a literary novel. The book offers a diverse array of selections that combine raw excitement & intellectual sophistication in an expertly guided tour of the dark world of clandestine conflict. We meet diplomats, political police, agents, provocateurs, resistance fighters, & assassins players in the Great Game, or victims of the Cold War. The authors include: Eric Ambler, Anthony Burgess, Joseph Conrad, Maxim Gorky, Graham Greene, John le Carre, W. Somerset Maugham, Charles McCarry, Baroness Orczy, John Steinbeck, & Rebecca West.

Not One More Death

Prominent musicians, playwrights, scientists and writers look at how public opinion is wilfully ignored, and ‘democracy’ used as a figleaf for US imperial ambitions in the Middle East. Not One More Death examines the record of US and UK troops in Iraq, questions Bush and Blair’s position under international law, and considers the responsibilities of artists, writers and the wider public in a time of war and occupation. Published in collaboration with the Stop the War Coalition www. stopwar. org. uk.

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