Free Reading The Spy Who Came In from the Cold –

In This Classic, John Le Carre S Third Novel And The First To Earn Him International Acclaim, He Created A World Unlike Any Previously Experienced In Suspense Fiction With Unsurpassed Knowledge Culled From His Years In British Intelligence, Le Carre Brings To Light The Shadowy Dealings Of International Espionage In The Tale Of A British Agent Who Longs To End His Career But Undertakes One Final, Bone Chilling Assignment When The Last Agent Under His Command Is Killed And Alec Leamas Is Called Back To London, He Hopes To Come In From The Cold For Good His Spymaster, Control, However, Has Other Plans Determined To Bring Down The Head Of East German Intelligence And Topple His Organization, Control Once Sends Leamas Into The Fray This Time To Play The Part Of The Dishonored Spy And Lure The Enemy To His Ultimate Defeat The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, John le Carr The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a 1963 Cold War spy novel by the British author John le Carr The West Berlin office of the Circus is under the command of Station Head Alec Leamas, who served as an SOE Special Operations Executive operative during World War II, and fought in the Nazi occupied Netherlands and Norway 2012 1390 286 10 9789642533589 1392 20. I am of two minds now that I have finished The Spy Who Came in From the Cold for the first time I am irritated at myself for having postponed the pleasure of reading this magnificent book for so many years, and yet I am exhilarated and excited too, marked by this unqualified encounter with greatness.I certainly was stupid all these years, for I did not read this book at least in part because I considered it just a spy novel albeit a superb one , and the spy novel at least since Ian Fleming ruined it is not one of my favorite genres But The Spy Who Came in From the Cold is only just a spy novel in the sense that Moby Dick and The Secret Sharer are just sea tales or The Turn of the Screw and Afterward are just ghost stories Sure, they fulfill the requirements of their genres But they are much oh, so much.In the course of this tale of a complex double agent operation, which he tells in a style that somehow combines both cold rage and white heat, Le Carre reveals the heartlessness of British Intelligence and, by implication, of all intelligence systems which will not hesitate to crush the innocent and betray its own in pursuit of secrecy and success No matter whose side they are on, or what their particular goals may be, there can be no heroes in this dirty, duplicitous game.I do not think of other spy novels when I think of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold Instead I think of the great writers of the English language Conrad the bitter isolation of the characters , Koestler the fierce subtlety of the interrogations , and Orwell the bleak vision of the state.And yet this is part of what makes the book great The Spy Who Came in From the Cold is an excellent spy story too, with an intricate plot which will keep you guessing all the way to the end Yes, Le Carre offers the reader of spy stories everything he could wish for Except a hero. What do you think spies are priests, saints, and martyrs They re a squalid procession of vain fools, traitors too, yes pansies, sadists, and drunkards, people who play cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten lives Do you think they sit like monks in London balancing the rights and wrongs Checkpoint Charlie where it all begins.John Le Carre A.K.A David John Moore Cornwell while in college started working for MI5 and then later transferred to MI6 He worked as a consul code for spy for the British Embassy in Germany and that is where he saw something that would spur the creation of the most influential spy novel of all timeIt was the Berlin Wall that had got me going, of course I had flown from Bonn to take a look at it as soon as it started going up I went with a colleagues from the Embassy and as we stared back at the weasel faces of the brainwashed little thugs who guarded the Kremlin s latest battlement, he told me to wipe the grin off my face I was not aware I had been grinning, so it must have been one of those soupy grins that comes over me at dreadfully serious moments There was certainly nothing but disgust and terror, which was exactly what I was supposed to feel the Wall was perfect theatre as well as a perfect symbol of the monstrosity of ideology gone mad This moment spawned The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.He d written two little novels, almost novellas, where he introduces his character George Smiley Smiley is in this novel as well, a shadowy figure behind the scenes which is where he works best He can pull strings, and at the same time smooth the path, dropping just the right amount of crumbs to lead enemies into making assumptions we all know the ditty about assumptions Cornwell wrote these books under an assumed name to protect himself from blowback which was prudent given the nature of his clandestine work When Spy is published and it stays on the US bestseller list for over a year all pretenses of anonymity are replaced with the exact oppositecelebrity The Spy, David Cornwell, who wrote novels, John Le Carre.Le Carre has an interest in secrets He wants to understand them, and the need that people have to keep them His father Ronnie was a man that probably would have made a great spy if he hadn t decided to be a criminal instead Much to Le Carre s ongoing embarrassment Ronnie was eventually jailed for insurance fraud and was frequently on the verge of bankruptcyHis father, Ronnie, made and lost his fortune a number of times due to elaborate confidence tricks and schemes which landed him in prison on at least one occasion This was one of the factors that led to le Carr s fascination with secrets His father also had business dealings with the notorious Kray Twins who were London gangsters in the 1960s I recently ordered a book on the Kray Twins becausewelllook at them I must know Reginald and Ronald KraySpying and committed fraud are not so far apart on the scale of unsavory professions, so those aspects that may have made Ronnie a con artist are exactly the same attributes that made his son a good spy So Smiley is relegated to the shadows and in the forefront is Alec LeamasHe had an attractive face, muscular, and a stubborn line to his thin mouth His eyes were brown and small Irish, some said It was hard to place Leamas If he were to walk into a London club the porter would certainly not mistake him for a member in a Berlin night club they usually gave him the best table He looked like a man who could make trouble, a man who looked after his money, a man who was not quite a gentlemanThe intensity of Richard Burton playing Alec Leamas in the movie brought the fictional character to life.Leamas was head of the Berlin branch until too many things went wrong His network of spies had been dismantled one by one by his arch enemy Mundt, head of the East German Intelligence When I say dismantled I mean dead and by dead I mean murdered Leamas is recalled to London where in a meeting with Control, head of the Circus and of course, Smiley is there, a plan is hatched to bring Mundt down It is going to have to take a con, not the short con, but the long con It would take time to turn Leamas from a reasonably respectable man into a man that is desperate enough to want to sell his country s secrets First step, he must begin drinking copious amounts of alcohol, not a hard chore given his penchant for heavy drinking anyway Second, they find him a job shelving books in a library a job so mundane for most people you know norms it would create desperation The plan goes slightly awry when he meets Liz, who also works at the library Later when he is at one of his bleakest moments behind the Iron Curtain he realizes that Liz has given him something to hope for beyond just the success of this mission Claire Bloom stars as Liz in the 1965 movieHe knew what it was then that Liz had given him the thing that he would have to go back and find if ever he got home to England it was the caring about little things the faith in ordinary life the simplicity that made you break up a bit of bread into paper bag, walk down to the beach, and throw it to the gulls It was this respect for triviality which he had never been allowed to possess whether it was bread for the seagulls or love, whatever it was he would go back and find it he would make Liz find it for him To me, anyone who can inspire those thoughts in another person is a beautiful human being The diabolical thing about Smiley is that what seems random is simply a carefully planned roll of loaded dice As the pieces of plot fall into place my respect for Smiley continues grow right along with a leeriness of ever wanting my fate in his hands Being a weighed risk before men such as Control, Smiley, or Mundt is like waiting for a judgment from Pontius Pilate Though this is a short book the plot is heavy, forcing the reader to pay close attention, to ponder each revelation, and still be left at the end with doubts about who among the main players pulled the final string I will defer to Graham Greene s assessment of this book The best spy story I have ever read I also watched the 1965 British movie starring Richard Burton This was a reread and a rewatch for me, but so much water has went under the bridge that much of it was new again or at least being seen, being read, with older, hopefully wiser eyes The movie is faithful to the book Many great novels inspire great movies and many great novels great movies inspire future writers The overall impact of this novel on the genre is hard to calculate, but it is impossible to deny that this book set the bar high for all writers who try to write a better one My Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy ReviewIf you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at A few years ago the Broadway musical Wicked came to Nashville and my family and I went to experience this production at the Tennessee Performing Arts Theater I have actually seen a musical on Broadway Rock of Ages and I was impressed But this was something else entirely I was awestruck by the talent the singing, the acting, the stage production As you may imagine, this was not my usual forte Oh, I can walk across a room and avoid dragging my knuckles most days but for the most part a presentation of this sort is beyond me but I can at least acknowledge the virtuosity of a performance, even if it is not in a medium to which I am normally accustomed.Spy novels, likewise, are not in a genre to which I am inclined Nonetheless, I know when I see greatness and this must certainly be, like Graham Greene stated, the best spy novel I ve ever read.First of all, I was astounded by Le Carre s mastery of prose language They walked to her flat through the rain and they might have been anywhere Berlin, London, any town where paving stones turn to lakes of light in the evening rain, and the traffic shuffles despondently through wet streets Le Carre delivers this level of artistry in page after page of prose reminiscent of Graham Greene, or obliquely, like Malcolm Lowry This is simply a very well written book.Add to that the psychological depth and the labyrinthine twists and turns of the interactions between east and west operatives and there is little doubt why this novel has collected such accolades A book that rises above its labeled genre and becomes simply a brilliant story Le Carre could have described competing stationary merchants and this would have been interesting.Most impressive is that Le Carre eschews convention, deliberately rejects Hollywood sentimentality and tells this straight He makes his case as it should be, as it must be.Bravo 2018 My wife and I visited Berlin this year and went to Checkpoint Charlie, it was kind of surreal Beautiful city BTW.