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 447 Ratings



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

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.


  • Solid, but not his best

    By JonasFj70
    I think this book was well worth reading, but it's not one of John Le Carre's best. I wish he leave the cold war behind and write about current affairs.
  • Great but for one flaw.

    By HeyOldTimer
    The greatest aspect of the novel is having our Peter G. all to ourselves as an intimate narrator. The amazing thing is the voice is absolutely familiar, even though we never heard it directly before. Viewing the full sweep of Circus history was also a delight. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about then the book is not for you— yet. You first need to read ALL the George Smiley novels. That in itself is worth it. ) The flaw I think is the end. OK I confess that I haven’t loved all of Le Carre’s ends, but they always seemed aesthetically impressive— even if you weren’t going to hang it in your living room. But in this case, it seemed like he just got tired and needed a quick wrap up. Along with a veiled anti-Brexit dig. (I had no idea George was a so pro-Europe all these years. Hmmm. )
  • 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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