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Reading lists

Where to start reading John le Carré

The publication of John Le Carré's final novel Silverview this week completes an incredible writing career. So where to start if you're new to his work? Here is our guide to get you hooked. 

His death in December 2020 marked the end of a career which produced internationally acclaimed novels in every decade from the 1960s onwards. Le Carré’s 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 with his final full-length novel, Silverview published this week - so where to start? Here is our reading guide to get you started. 

What to read next

For more on crime and thriller books, visit Penguin’s Dead Good website, where you’ll find recommendations, discounted books at bargain prices and exclusive giveaways.

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