Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - John le Carré

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

By John le Carré

  • Release Date: 2011-06-07
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
4 Score: 4 (From 975 Ratings)


From the New York Times bestselling author of A Legacy of Spies

The man he knew as "Control" is dead, and the young Turks who forced him out now run the Circus. But George Smiley isn't quite ready for retirement—especially when a pretty, would-be defector surfaces with a shocking accusation: a Soviet mole has penetrated the highest level of British Intelligence. Relying only on his wits and a small, loyal cadre, Smiley recognizes the hand of Karla—his Moscow Centre nemesis—and sets a trap to catch the traitor.
The Oscar-nominated feature film adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is directed by Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) and features Gary Oldman as Smiley, Academy Award winner Colin Firth (The King's Speech), and Tom Hardy (Inception).
With an introduction by the author.


  • The Vindication of Control

    By Inkeyman
    George Smiley, ever the cryptic figure, is called upon to unravel the tangled web of deceit and betrayal at Britain’s Cold War secret service known as the Circus. Le Carre` weaves a complicated story with vivid characters, but rarely leaves the reader with all the answers or fully satisfied. We want more, but realize that tying up the loose ends is not the way of real life and certainly not modus of Smiley. The anti-American under-tones are riddled throughout but never fully explained. The decline of post-war Britain, with its loss of Empire and relevance is comparable to the post-Soviet Russia of today. Still very dangerous in theory, but past its ability to dominate the conversation. Unlike the 007 Bond stories with beautiful people and detestable villains, Le Carre’s characters are drawn from the understudies of central casting, painfully human and flawed. Even in the final book of the trilogy (Smiley’s People), the author refused to tie-up the story in a neat bow. Karma against the mysterious Karla is achieved. The “good guys” seemingly have won, but won what? Indeed, Le Carre’s morality tale is by design a questioning of good vs. evil, and will pop-up one last time in his final book (A Legacy of Spies) before his death in 2020.
  • Love twisted idea!

    By cloud01person
    This book keeps me preoccupied until end. Then I watch movie, also great.
  • For spy fiction lovers

    By Ram_Swam
    Quintessential Le Carre
  • Rich with nuance

    By bobditch
    I read TTSS many years ago and was enthralled with le Carre’s literary genius.I saw the movie severall years ago with some friends and they just didn’t get it; having read the book I totally understood. I have read all his book in my younger year and found several to be a difficult read. I’ve started reading all over again in order and I must say they are more enjoyable, I guess, due to literary maturity. (I’ve read A LOT of boks over the years). Looking forward to the reread.
  • Nebulous

    By Amator Librorum
    A groundbreaker for sure, as it details the shady world of double agents in the Cold War, but this is a sub-culture that needs some explicit context setting and LeCarre assumes everyone is up on the nuances of the "Circus" and (for the Americans in the crowd) the intricacies of the British class system at mid-century. A must read for patient Anglophiles, but a hard slog for the uninitiated.
  • Wonderful

    By AstieH
    The plot is simple - uncover the Soviet agent in British Intelligence - but the story is complex. It’s written by an ex-spy (real name David Cornwall) and it shows. There is a wealth of detail and a level of complexity that requires the reader’s full attention to follow along.
  • Boring!

    By TxPharmacist
    Mind numbing .... I tried so hard to enjoy this book but only got about a third of the way through it. Even at that point, the plot was still not clear.
  • Mind numbingly English

    By jalidanefan
    Do you like Jane Austen? You'll like this then. Unrequited English love in a spy novel. Beautifully written but tries really hard not to excite you too much. Which is why the movie was a flop. I guess I don't have enough imagination to realize all the tension and complexity to the story. So be it, I bet I just saved a few people a frustrating read.
  • Best thriller of the 20th Century

    By Common reader
    The movie and the TV series are good, but nothing original. It make one weep for all the intelligence wasted in the Cold War, all the promise buried in paranoia, all those betrayals of every ideal fought for since 1939 in Europe.
  • In a word, a masterpiece

    By WaveSkiBoy
    This work is to the Bond books what Titian is to a comic strip. Flat out the finest "spy novel" ever. Complex, rich, thorough, in plotting, prose and point. Simply superb.