The Looking Glass War

The Looking Glass War

The Smiley Collection

Summary

THE FOURTH GEORGE SMILEY NOVEL

When the Department - faded since the war and busy only with bureaucratic battles - hears rumours of a missile base near the West German border, it seems the perfect opportunity to regain some standing in the Intelligence world. Desperate for glory and determined to outdo their rivals at the Circus, including George Smiley, they send deactivated agent Fred Leiser back into East Germany, armed only with some schoolboy training and his memories of the war. In the land of eloquent silence that is Communist East Germany, Leiser's fate is no longer his own.

Showing men carried away by fear and pride, The Looking Glass War is a powerful, moving story of human frailty.

'A devastating and tragic record of human, not glamour, spies' New York Herald Tribune

'A book of rare and great power' Financial Times

Reviews

  • Le Carré's most underrated novel is a devastating and first-class read
    The Times

About the author

John le Carré

John le Carré was born in 1931. For six decades, he wrote novels that came to define our age. The son of a confidence trickster, he spent his childhood between boarding school and the London underworld. At sixteen he found refuge at the university of Bern, then later at Oxford. A spell of teaching at Eton led him to a short career in British Intelligence (MI5&6). He published his debut novel, Call for the Dead, in 1961 while still a secret servant. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People. At the end of the Cold War, le Carré widened his scope to explore an international landscape including the arms trade and the War on Terror. His memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel, was published in 2016 and the last George Smiley novel, A Legacy of Spies, appeared in 2017. He died on 12 December 2020. His posthumous novel Silverview was published in 2021.
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