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Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian's evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish émigré living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian's family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise.
When a letter turns up at the door of a spy chief in London warning him of a dangerous leak, the investigations lead him to this quiet town by the sea . . .
Silverview is the mesmerising story of an encounter between innocence and experience and between public duty and private morals. In this last complete masterwork from the greatest chronicler of our age, John le Carré asks what you owe to your country when you no longer recognise it.
© The Literary Estate of David 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021
Le Carré at his finest, revealing character and backstory through dialogue with an economy and grace beyond most writers . . . le Carré's greatness has its roots in his mastery of spy fiction; a genre he augmented with novels notable for their craftsmanship and humanity, and writing for its stealth and sophistication. With the publication of Silverview, it's clear these virtues remained intact to the end.
Thematically, this is classic le Carré: an exploration of how people do the wrong thing for the right motive. The prose is as unshowily superb as ever
His publisher is promoting it as a great literary event - the final book by one of postwar Britain's finest writers. That seems fair enough to me . . . [Silverview has] enough reminders of the old magic to please his most ardent aficionados
A fitting coda to the work of our greatest spy novelist
Textbook le Carré and a pleasing coda to a brilliant career: a short, sharp study of the human cost of espionage
The first page hooks you in . . . John le Carré has lost none of his power to draw the reader straight into his world
A lyrical, poignant portrait of betrayal in a family that lives in a world submerged in subterfuge, and resonates with le Carré's exquisite genius. It is to be savoured gently rather than devoured
There is a retro charm about proceedings . . . as well as a welcome array of familiar le Carré tropes, from sharply drawn characters to stimulating interviews and debriefings, plus a compelling denouement involving a wanted man on the run . . . a worthy coda, a commanding farewell from a much-missed master
Arguably the greatest English novelist of his generation
Crisp prose, a precision-tooled plot, the heady sense of an inside track on a shadowy world . . . all his usual pleasures are here
John le Carré’s suspense-filled drama The Little Drummer Girl hits TV screens later this year. Here's your first look at the production that includes industry heavyweights Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Shannon.
In this extract from The Pigeon Tunnel, John le Carré describes the accusations of disloyalty he faced from former Secret Service colleagues - and how Alec Guinness used them in his portrayal of George Smiley