Books

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

John le Carré's bestselling 1963 novel.

John le Carré

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. (From Penguin Canada)

From the book

The American handed Leamas another cup of coffee and said, "Why don't you go back and sleep? We can ring you if he shows up."

Leamas said nothing, just stared through the window of the checkpoint, along the empty street.

"You can't wit forever, sir. Maybe he'll come some other time. We can have the polizei contact the Agency: you can be back here in twenty minutes."

"No," said Leamas, "it's nearly dark now."


From The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré ©1963. Published by Penguin Canada.

Interviews with John le Carré

In this interview from 2017, the former British intelligence officer and master of the political thriller talks to Eleanor Wachtel about A Legacy of Spies, his latest novel to feature the iconic character, George Smiley. 1:07:29

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