Reading lists

Where to start reading John le Carré’s books

John le Carré is one of the most celebrated and influential spy authors of all time. So where to start if you're new to his work? Here is our guide to get you hooked.

John Le Carré's death in December 2020 marked the end of a career that produced internationally acclaimed novels in every decade from the 1960s onwards. His work was enjoyed by readers and critics alike, and adapted multiple times for film and television, making him one of the most celebrated and influential authors of modern times.

Le Carré is probably the greatest espionage author who has put pen to paper, giving the world one of the most memorable characters in literature: the dumpy and badly dressed anti-James Bond, George Smiley. 

A slight problem for the uninitiated is that le Carré’s prolific writing career started nearly 60 years ago – so where to begin? Here is our reading guide to get you started. 

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