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A Legacy of Spies

A Novel

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The undisputed master returns with his first Smiley novel in more than twenty-five years--a #1 New York Times bestseller.


Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself, are to be scrutinized by a generation with no memory of the Cold War and no patience with its justifications.

 

Interweaving past with present so that each may tell its own intense story, John le Carré has spun a single plot as ingenious and thrilling as the two predecessors on which it looks back: 
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and 
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In a story resonating with tension, humor and moral ambivalence, le Carré and his narrator Peter Guillam present the reader with a legacy of unforgettable characters old and new.
Rezension
"[Le Carré's] novels are so brilliant because they're emotionally and psychologically absolutely true, but of course they're novels." -New York Times Book Review

"Le Carré's prose remains brisk and lapidary. His wit is intact and rolls as if on casters... I might as well say it: to read this simmering novel is to come in from the cold." -New York Times

"Le Carré is such a gifted storyteller that he interlaces the cards in his deck so they fit not simply with this book, but with the earlier ones as well." -The Atlantic

"A kind of eulogy for the present as well as the past, A Legacy of Spies is haunting." -Chicago Tribune

"Swift and satisfying." -USA Today

"We wish for more complexity and logic in our politics, so we look to make political art that is logical and complex: a genre defined by John le Carré." -New Republic

"The spy master's latest Smiley novel entwines today's world with a lost one... Ingenious."
-Washington Post

"Intricately plotted and richly satisfying." -Star Tribune

"Gripping."-The Christian Science Monitor

"[Le Carré] can convey a character in a sentence, land an emotional insight in [a] phrase & demolish an ideology in a paragraph." -Publishers Weekly (starred)

"Any reader who knows le Carré's earlier work, and quite a few who don't, will assume that any attempt to second-guess the mandarins of the Service will backfire. The miracle is that the author can revisit his best-known story and discover layer upon layer of fresh deception beneath it."
-Kirkus

Praise for John le Carré

"One of our great writers of moral ambiguity, a tireless explorer of that darkly contradictory no-man's land."
-Los Angeles Times

"No other writer has charted-pitilessly for politicians but thrillingly for readers-the public and secret histories of his times."
-The Guardian (UK)

"I would suggest immortality for John le Carré, who I believe one of the most intelligent and entertaining writers working today."
-Alan Cheuse, Chicago Tribune

"The constant flow of emotion lifts le Carré not only above all modern suspense novelists, but above most novelists now practicing."
-Financial Times

"A writer of towering gifts."
-The Independent (UK)
Portrait
John le Carré was born in 1931 and attended the universities of Bern and Oxford. He taught at Eton and served briefly in British Intelligence during the Cold War. For the last fifty years he has lived by his pen. He divides his time between London and Cornwall.
John le Carré was born in 1931 and attended the universities of Bern and Oxford. He taught at Eton and served briefly in British intelligence during the Cold War. For the last fifty years he has lived by his pen. He divides his time between London and Cornwall.
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  • Chapter One

    What follows is a truthful account, as best I am able to provide it, of my role in the British deception operation, codenamed Windfall, that was mounted against the East German Intelligence Service (Stasi) in the late nineteen fifties and early sixties, and resulted in the death of the best British secret agent I ever worked with, and of the innocent woman for whom he gave his life.

    A professional intelligence officer is no more immune to human feelings than the rest of mankind. What matters to him is the extent to which he is able to suppress them, whether in real time or, in my case, fifty years on. Until a couple of months ago, lying in bed at night in the remote farmstead in Brittany that is my home, listening to the honk of cattle and the bickering of hens, I resolutely fought off the accusing voices that from time to time attempted to disrupt my sleep. I was too young, I protested, I was too innocent, too naive, too junior. If you're looking for scalps, I told them, go to those grand masters of deception, George Smiley and his master, Control. It was their refined cunning, I insisted, their devious, scholarly intellects, not mine, that delivered the triumph and the anguish that was Windfall. It is only now, having been held to account by the Service to which I devoted the best years of my life, that I am driven in age and bewilderment to set down, at whatever cost, the light and dark sides of my involvement in the affair.

    How I came to be recruited to the Secret Intelligence Service in the first place-the 'Circus' as we Young Turks called it in those supposedly halcyon days when we were quartered, not in a grotesque fortress beside the River Thames, but in a fustian Victorian pile of red brick, built on the curve of Cambridge Circus-remains as much of a mystery to me as do the circumstances of my birth; and the more so since the two events are inseparable.

    My father, whose acquaintance I barely remember, was according to my mother the wastrel son of a wealthy Anglo-French family from the English midlands, a man of rash appetites, fast-diminishing inheritance and a redeeming love of France. In the summer of 1930, he was taking the waters in the spa town of Saint-Malo on Brittany's north coast, frequenting the casinos and maisons closes and generally cutting a dash. My mother, sole offspring of a long line of Breton farmers, at that time aged twenty, also happened to be in town, performing the duties of a bridesmaid at the wedding of the daughter of a wealthy cattle auctioneer. Or so she claimed. However, she is a single source, not above a little decoration when the facts were against her, and it would not at all surprise me if she came into town for less upright purposes.

    After the ceremony, so her story goes, she and a fellow bridesmaid, the better for a glass or two of champagne, played truant from the reception and, still in their finery, took an evening stroll along the crowded promenade, where my father was also strolling with intent. My mother was pretty and flighty, her friend less so. A whirlwind romance followed. My mother was understandably coy about the pace of it. A second wedding was hastily arranged. I was the product. My father, it appears, was not naturally connubial, and even in the early years of marriage contrived to be more absent than present.

    But now the story takes an heroic turn. War, as we know, changes everything, and in a trice it had changed my father. Scarcely had it been declared than he was hammering on the doors of the British War Office, volunteering his services to whoever would have him. His mission, according to my mother, was to save France single-handed. If it was also to escape the ties of family, that is a heresy I was never permitted to utter in my mother's presence. The British had a newly formed Special Operations Executive, famously tasked by Winston Churchill himself with 'setting Europe ablaze'. The coastal
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Beschreibung

Produktdetails

Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Seitenzahl 272
Erscheinungsdatum 05.09.2017
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-7352-2511-4
Verlag Penguin US
Maße (L/B/H) 23,6/15,8/3,5 cm
Gewicht 536 g
Buch (gebundene Ausgabe, Englisch)
Buch (gebundene Ausgabe, Englisch)
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