The Spy Who Came in from the Cold - John le Carré

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

By John le Carré

  • Release Date: 2012-01-18
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Score: 4
From 877 Ratings


From the New York Times bestselling author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Our Kind of Traitor; and The Night Manager, now a television series starring Tom Hiddleston.

The 50th-anniversary edition of the bestselling novel that launched John le Carré’s career worldwide

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.

Setting a standard that has never been surpassed, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a devastating tale of duplicity and espionage.


  • The spy that came in from the cold

    By pcdavidson
    Okay. Too confusing
  • Great place to start reading le Carré

    By Aaron of Krypton
    This was my first John le Carré book, after seeing the movie Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy. I did some online snooping and others recommended that this book was the best place to start. The best way to approach his books is knowing that they are of the “slow burn” variety of reading: the book starts off slowly, and you need to really pay attention to seemingly small details of the story. Very nuanced and subtle meanings. But by the end of the book, it’s a roaring fire, beckoning you to keep flipping the pages. Really fantastic reading.
  • Time passed it by

    By NotBrightEnough
    Lots of pontificating and angst. Very right for the time it was published. Not so much now.
  • The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

    By HDulcimerchick
    I wasn't sure I would care for this book, as I dislike most war stories and espionage. But this one had me from "hello". Very well written, there was a time early on when I felt things were too slow, too detailed. But I still couldn't put it down. The suspense was expertly woven throughout the entire book, keeping me intrigued from start to the surprise finish. If you like spy vs spy, this one will meet your expectations.
  • Outstanding

    By huskynation
    Loved it years ago. Along with Chandler. However, Donna Tartt's "The Secret History" is a must for lovers of mystery thrillers and sublime writing! I'm surprised it was not on the list. Highly recommend!!!
  • Perfect

    By axd4534
    Hands down the best spy novel ever.
  • What's all the fuss?

    By @;:
    Ok, let me get this straight: the reader is to believe the English and the Americans are as bad as the East Germans? LeCarre can take a flying leap as far as I'm concerned. Sorry I contributed to his retirement fund.
  • Fantastic, well-written plot

    By wemarx001
    Can't ask for much more from an espionage novel.