A Legacy of Spies - John le Carré

A Legacy of Spies

By John le Carré

  • Release Date: 2017-09-05
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Score: 4
From 231 Ratings



The undisputed master returns with a riveting new book—his first Smiley novel in more than twenty-five years 

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.


  • Horrid Slow Going

    By edroid
    Ugh. . . This book is a painful slog.
  • Still Amazing

    By toruss
    I have always thought that LeCarre was the best English prose writer of our time. He hasn’t missed a beat with his latest. The Smiley character is one of the greats of literature. His writing is like poetry.
  • A Legacy of Spies

    By Pace en terram
    Tedious at first then worth the wait.
  • Very Disappointing

    By Loyal NYT Reader
    A fan of the author and genre, but unfortunately this was extremely disappointing.
  • Like a visit with old friends

    By SKTaylor88
    Le Carres gorgeous prose and the juxtaposition of modern sensibilities upon Cold War paranoia make for a great read
  • tDGlobal

    By Tdglobalconsulting
    With all due respect the author would be best served putting the pen down and finding peace. The art left him long ago, this was terribly boring, impossible to follow and grossly over rated. It was awful and I can't imagine why I read it other than the Lacarre name and shame on me!
  • Couldn’t finish it

    By Chestersdad
    Seldom can I not finish a book once I purchase it, but it happened with this one. I saw the author on “60 Minutes” and he was an interesting guy, so I read the sample on the book store and enjoyed it. Within a few pages after the sample the plot became muddled. I couldn’t remember who was who (what team they were one, good guy or bad guy) or where the book was going. Disappointing. Save your money.
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  • A Legacy of Spies

    By Swamp Fox 36
    A happy and haunting return to the Circus world. As ever, filled with the style and guile that places le Carre atop the list of awaited and favorite reads. Please let there be more.
  • Disappointing

    By RedDog1
    As an espionage novel devotee, and le Carre in particular, this comes off as a throwaway. Typically great plot and dialogue... right up until the point where all's supposed to tie together, make sense, and fade to black. This just suddenly goes black. When the building tension finally results in a lurch towards resolution, the author just quits. We're supposed to believe that the master dissembler of the Cold War, who finally makes an appearance 10 pages from the end, will just drop everything and "take care of things"...? I'm afraid it feels like a cop out. Surely le Carre doesn't just need the money at this point...?