The Pigeon Tunnel

The Pigeon Tunnel
Author: John le Carré
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780143199175
Available:
Release: 2016-09-06
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“Out of the secret world I once knew, I have tried to make a theatre for the larger worlds we inhabit. First comes the imagining, then the search for reality. Then back to the imagining, and to the desk where I'm sitting now.” From his years serving in British Intelligence during the Cold War, to a career as a writer that took him from war-torn Cambodia to Beirut on the cusp of the 1982 Israeli invasion to Russia before and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, John le Carré has always written from the heart of modern times. In this, his first memoir, le Carré is as funny as he is incisive, reading into the events he witnesses the same moral ambiguity with which he imbues his novels. Whether he’s writing about the parrot at a Beirut hotel that could perfectly mimic machine gun fire or the opening bars of Beethoven’s Fifth, visiting Rwanda’s museums of the unburied dead in the aftermath of the genocide, celebrating New Year’s Eve 1982 with Yasser Arafat and his high command, interviewing a German woman terrorist in her desert prison in the Negev, listening to the wisdoms of the great physicist, dissident, and Nobel Prize winner Andrei Sakharov, meeting with two former heads of the KGB, watching Alec Guinness prepare for his role as George Smiley in the legendary BBC TV adaptations, or describing the female aid worker who inspired the main character in The Constant Gardener, le Carré endows each happening with vividness and humor, now making us laugh out loud, now inviting us to think anew about events and people we believed we understood. Best of all, le Carré gives us a glimpse of a writer’s journey over more than six decades, and his own hunt for the human spark that has given so much life and heart to his fictional characters.

John le Carre

John le Carre
Author: Adam Sisman
Pages: 720
ISBN: 9780062106292
Available:
Release: 2015-11-03
Editor: Harper Collins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The definitive biography of the internationally adored author of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and A Perfect Spy—arguably one of the most important and influential writers of the post-World War II period—by the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning biographer Adam Sisman. In this definitive biography—blessed by John le Carré himself—Adam Sisman reveals the man behind the bestselling persona. In John le Carré, Sisman shines a spotlight on David Cornwell, an expert at hiding in plain sight—“born to lying,” he wrote in 2002, “bred to it, trained to it by an industry that lies for a living, practiced in it as a novelist.” Of course, the pseudonym “John le Carré” has helped to keep the public at a distance. Sisman probes Cornwell’s unusual upbringing, abandoned by his mother at the age of only five and raised by his con man father (when not in prison), and explores his background in British intelligence, as well as his struggle to become a writer, and his personal life. Sisman has benefited from unfettered access to le Carré’s private archive, talked to the most important people in his life, and interviewed the man himself at length. Who is John le Carré? Intriguing, thorough, and packed with entertaining detail, this biography will be a treat for the legions of le Carré fans.

Silverview

Silverview
Author: John le Carré
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780735244474
Available:
Release: 2021-10-12
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In Silverview, John le Carré turns his focus to the world that occupied his writing for the past sixty years—the secret world itself. Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian’s evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish émigré living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian’s family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise. When a letter turns up at the door of a spy chief in London warning him of a dangerous leak, the investigations lead him to this quiet town by the sea . . . Silverview is the mesmerizing story of an encounter between innocence and experience and between public duty and private morals. In this last complete masterwork from the greatest chronicler of our age, John le Carré asks what you owe to your country when you no longer recognize it.

Conversations with John Le Carr

Conversations with John Le Carr
Author: John Le Carré
Pages: 180
ISBN: 1578066697
Available:
Release: 2004
Editor: Univ. Press of Mississippi
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Master spy thriller writer John le Carré talks about his craft, the nature of language, the literature he loves, and the ways his life influences the creation of his novels and his characters in this collection of engaging interviews with George Plimpton, Melvyn Bragg, and other luminaries. Simultaneous.

A Legacy of Spies

A Legacy of Spies
Author: John le Carré
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780735234536
Available:
Release: 2017-09-05
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The undisputed master returns with a riveting new book—his first Smiley novel in more than twenty-five years 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 for its justifications. Interweaving past and present so that each tells 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.

The Naive and Sentimental Lover

The Naive and Sentimental Lover
Author: John le Carré
Pages: 472
ISBN: 9780143182955
Available:
Release: 2010-07-27
Editor: Penguin Canada
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Aldo Cassidy is the naive and sentimental lover. A successful, judicious man, he is wrenched away from the ordered certainties of his life by a sudden encounter with Shamus, a wild, carousing artist and Helen, his nakedly alluring wife. Cassidy, plunged into a whirlpool of recklessness and spontaneity, becomes a man bewildered and agonised as he is torn between two poles of a nature more complex than he had ever imagined.

Absolute Friends

Absolute Friends
Author: John le Carré
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9780143183006
Available:
Release: 2006-08-22
Editor: Penguin Canada
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An absolutely triumphant bestseller Absolute Friends has been hailed everywhere as the masterpiece toward which John le Carré has been building since the fall of Communism. This thrilling tale of loyalty, betrayal, and international espionage spans the lives of two friends from the riot-torn West Berlin of the 1960s to the grimy looking-glass of Cold War Europe to the present day of terrorism and uncertain new alliances alliances that aren’t always what they seem to be.

Agent Running in the Field

Agent Running in the Field
Author: John le Carré
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780735238626
Available:
Release: 2019-10-22
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

New York Times Bestseller National Bestseller A new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author John le Carré Set in London in 2018, Agent Running in the Field follows a twenty-six year old solitary figure who, in a desperate attempt to resist the new political turbulence swirling around him, makes connections that will take him down a very dangerous path. In his plot and characterization le Carré is as thrilling as ever and in the way he writes about our times he proves himself, once again, to be the greatest chronicler of our age.

The Russia House

The Russia House
Author: John le Carré
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9780143183068
Available:
Release: 2008-06-03
Editor: Penguin Canada
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In Moscow, highly classified military documents have been leaked. If they make it into the wrong hands, the consequences could be cataclysmic. Barley Blair, a bewildered, drink-marinated English publisher, becomes the unlikely recipient of the smuggled documents. Blair is hardly to the taste of the spymasters, yet he has to be used. John le Carré catches history in the act and gives us a magnificent thriller, a love story, an ethical puzzle, and a chilling portrayal of the Cold War. As the Iron Curtain begins to rust and crumble, Blair is left to sound a battle cry that may fall on deaf ears.

A Delicate Truth

A Delicate Truth
Author: John le Carré
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780143188919
Available:
Release: 2013-05-07
Editor: Penguin Canada
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

2008: A covert counterterror operation code-named Wildlife is to be mounted on the Rock of Gibraltar. This one is right off the books; the target code-named PUNTER. The Brits on land, the American mercenaries by sea. Kit Probyn, an upright Foreign Office veteran with a safe pair of hands and no previous experience of the dark arts, will be the minister’s eyes and ears on the ground. His “red telephone.” Toby Bell, a rising Foreign Office star and the minister’s personal private secretary, has been kept out of the loop. Why? There are whispers of private armies, bounty, dicey intelligence, corporate wars. 2011: A disgraced Special Forces soldier who took part in Wildlife delivers a message from the dead. The worlds of Toby Bell and Kit Probyn collide. If the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing, at what point do these two good men become guilty bystanders?

The Mission Song

The Mission Song
Author: John le Carré
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780143183044
Available:
Release: 2010-07-27
Editor: Penguin Canada
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In his twentieth novel, John le Carré returns to Africa with a new tale of mystery and corruption that bears the hallmarks of classic le Carré storytelling. By turns thriller, romance, and exposé of post-colonial politics, The Mission Song chronicles interpreter Bruno Salvador’s journey into the darkness of Western hypocrisy and deceit. Born to a Congolese mother and an Irish–French father and educated in Britain, “Salvo” is the faithful servant eager to play his minor part in brokering a deal that would ostensibly bring peace and prosperity to the resource-rich but ravaged Congo. But Salvo finds himself both hunter and prey when he stumbles into a carefully plotted swindle that will only further devastate his birthplace.

The Pigeon Whisperer

The Pigeon Whisperer
Author: Motaz H Matar
Pages: 176
ISBN: 8277618727
Available:
Release: 2020-09
Editor: Motaz H Matar
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Meet Dabbour, a 25-year-old Syrian refuge and introvert and a pigeon herder. He fled with to Berlin with Yasser, his childhood friend and the two have succeeded in finding a new home using fake passports. Dabbour is trying to learn the ropes in this new country; while trying to learn German he's fallen for his German teacher, Zara. One day, Dabbour jumps on the railway tracks to save an injured pigeon and almost gets himself killed. For this, he gets arrested by the police - and realizes how much he misses home and the birds. Yasser asks Dabbour to use his talents as a "pigeon whisperer" and steal stray pigeons to transport drugs. Dabbour agrees, then realizes it was a big mistake. Dabbour's endless struggles with authority are threatening to jeopardize his residency status in Germany. Will the young man be sent back to Syria? Or will he be allowed to remain in Germany after everything he has done? Will love be his ultimate salvation? Dabbour is forced to choose between his loyalty to his friend and the promise of a new "family" and doing the right thing. Dabbour sinks further and further into the world of crime and drug smuggling.

Tunnels

Tunnels
Author: Brian Williams
Pages: 354
ISBN: 9781908435224
Available:
Release: 2012-08-02
Editor: Chicken House
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Fourteen-year-old Will doesn't think he has much in common with his family. Nothing, that is, except a strange passion for digging which he shares with his father. But one day, Will's dad mysteriously vanishes down a tunnel - part of London's vast, labyrinthine underground system. With his friend Chester, Will decides to investigate. But soon the boys find themselves deep in darkness, unearthing a terrifying secret which may cost them their lives... This riveting bestseller oozes the mysterious fascination of the underground and all its hideous possibilities. Creepy, tantalising and original, it's full of thrills to keep you burrowing in!

Alicia

Alicia
Author: Alicia Appleman-Jurman
Pages: 433
ISBN: 9780553282184
Available:
Release: 1990
Editor: Bantam
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Recounts the capture of Alicia, her mother, and brother by the Nazis, Alicia's escape and rescue of other Jews during the war, and her leadership of an underground escape route for Jews when she was sixteen years old

A Divided Spy

A Divided Spy
Author: Charles Cumming
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781250021038
Available:
Release: 2017-02-14
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In A Divided Spy, a brilliant novel of modern espionage by New York Times bestselling author Charles Cumming, MI6’s Thomas Kell faces off against a handsome and charismatic Russian double agent. "Astonishingly masterful . . . riveting." —Valerie Plame, New York Times bestselling author of Fair Game Thomas Kell thought he was done with spying. A former MI6 officer, he devoted his life to the Service, but it has left him with nothing but grief and a simmering anger against the Kremlin. Then Kell is offered an unexpected chance at revenge. Taking the law into his own hands, he embarks on a mission to recruit a top Russian spy who is in possession of a terrifying secret. As Kell tracks his man from Moscow to London, he finds himself in a high stakes game of cat and mouse in which it becomes increasingly difficult to know who is playing whom. As the mission reaches boiling point, the threat of a catastrophic terrorist attack looms over Britain. Kell is faced with an impossible choice. Loyalty to MI6—or to his own conscience?

The Pigeon Tunnel

The Pigeon Tunnel
Author: John Le Carré
Pages: 424
ISBN: 1444832840
Available:
Release: 2017-01-06
Editor: Charnwood
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From his years serving in British Intelligence during the Cold War, to a career as a writer that took him from war-torn Cambodia to Beirut on the cusp of the 1982 Israeli invasion, to Russia before and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, John le Carre has always written from the heart of modern times. Whether he's writing about the parrot at a Beirut hotel that could perfectly mimic machine-gun fire, or visiting Rwanda's museums of the unburied dead in the aftermath of the genocide, or watching Alec Guinness preparing for his role as George Smiley, in each event le Carre offers a glimpse of a writer's journey over more than six decades, and his own hunt for the human spark that has given so much life and heart to his fictional characters.

Churchill and Orwell

Churchill and Orwell
Author: Thomas E. Ricks
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780698164543
Available:
Release: 2017-05-23
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A New York Times bestseller! A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2017 A dual biography of Winston Churchill and George Orwell, who preserved democracy from the threats of authoritarianism, from the left and right alike. Both George Orwell and Winston Churchill came close to death in the mid-1930's—Orwell shot in the neck in a trench line in the Spanish Civil War, and Churchill struck by a car in New York City. If they'd died then, history would scarcely remember them. At the time, Churchill was a politician on the outs, his loyalty to his class and party suspect. Orwell was a mildly successful novelist, to put it generously. No one would have predicted that by the end of the 20th century they would be considered two of the most important people in British history for having the vision and courage to campaign tirelessly, in words and in deeds, against the totalitarian threat from both the left and the right. In a crucial moment, they responded first by seeking the facts of the matter, seeing through the lies and obfuscations, and then they acted on their beliefs. Together, to an extent not sufficiently appreciated, they kept the West's compass set toward freedom as its due north. It's not easy to recall now how lonely a position both men once occupied. By the late 1930's, democracy was discredited in many circles, and authoritarian rulers were everywhere in the ascent. There were some who decried the scourge of communism, but saw in Hitler and Mussolini "men we could do business with," if not in fact saviors. And there were others who saw the Nazi and fascist threat as malign, but tended to view communism as the path to salvation. Churchill and Orwell, on the other hand, had the foresight to see clearly that the issue was human freedom—that whatever its coloration, a government that denied its people basic freedoms was a totalitarian menace and had to be resisted. In the end, Churchill and Orwell proved their age's necessary men. The glorious climax of Churchill and Orwell is the work they both did in the decade of the 1940's to triumph over freedom's enemies. And though Churchill played the larger role in the defeat of Hitler and the Axis, Orwell's reckoning with the menace of authoritarian rule in Animal Farm and 1984 would define the stakes of the Cold War for its 50-year course, and continues to give inspiration to fighters for freedom to this day. Taken together, in Thomas E. Ricks's masterful hands, their lives are a beautiful testament to the power of moral conviction, and to the courage it can take to stay true to it, through thick and thin. Churchill and Orwell is a perfect gift for the holidays!

East West Street

East West Street
Author: Philippe Sands
Pages: 425
ISBN: 9780525433729
Available:
Release: 2017
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A personal detective story, an uncovering of secret pasts, and a book that explores the creation and development of world-changing legal concepts that came about as a result of the unprecedented atrocities of Hitler's Third Reich. East West Street looks at the personal and intellectual evolution of the two men who simultaneously originated the ideas of "genocide" and crimes against humanity," both of whom not knowing the other, studied at the same university with the same professor, in a city little know today that was a major cultural center of Europe, "the little Paris of Ukraine," a city variously called Lemberg, Lwów, Lvov, or Lviv. Sands realized that his own field of international law had been forged by two men--Rafael Lemkin and Hersch Lauterpacht--each of whom had studied law at Lviv University in the city of his grandfather's birth, each of whom had come to be considered the finest international legal mind of the twentieth century, each considered to be the father of the modern human rights movement, and each, at parallel times, forging diametrically opposite, revolutionary concepts of humanitarian law that had changed the world.

The New Spymasters

The New Spymasters
Author: Stephen Grey
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781466867130
Available:
Release: 2015-07-14
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The old world of spying-dead-letter boxes, microfilm cameras, an enemy reporting to the Moscow Center, and a hint of sexual blackmail-is history. The spymaster's technique has changed and the enemy has, too. He or she now frequently comes from a culture far removed from Western understanding and is part of a less well-organized group. The new enemy is constantly evolving and prepared to kill the innocent. In the face of this new threat, the spymasters of the world shunned human intelligence as the primary way to glean clandestine information and replaced it with an obsession that focuses on the technical methods of spying ranging from the use of high-definition satellite photography to the global interception of communications. However, this obsession with technology has failed, most spectacularly, with the devastation of the 9/11 attacks. In this searing modern history of espionage, Stephen Grey takes us from the CIA's Cold War legends, to the agents who betrayed the IRA, through to the spooks inside Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Techniques and technologies have evolved, but the old motivations for betrayal-patriotism, greed, revenge, compromise-endure. Based on years of research and interviews with hundreds of secret sources, Stephen Grey's The New Spymasters is an up-to-date exposé that shows how spycraft's human factor is once again being used to combat the world's deadliest enemies.

Single and Single

Single and Single
Author: John le Carré
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780143183020
Available:
Release: 2009-07-07
Editor: Penguin Canada
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A lawyer from the London finance house of Single & Single is shot dead on a Turkish hillside by people with whom he thought he was in business. A children's magician in the English countryside is asked by his bank to explain the unsolicited arrival of more than five million pounds sterling in his young daughter's modest trust. A freighter bound for Liverpool is boarded by Russian coast guards in the Black Sea. The celebrated London merchant venturer "Tiger" Single disappears into thin air. In Single & Single the writer who both epitomizes and transcends the novel of espionage opens with a haunting set piece, then establishes a sequence of events whose connections are mysterious, complex and compelling. This is a story of corrupt liaisons between criminal elements in the new Russian states and the world of legitimate finance in the West. Le Carré's finest novel in years, it is also an intimate portrait of two families: one Russian, the other English; one trading illicit goods, the other laundering the profits; one betrayed by a son-in-law, the other betrayed, and redeemed, by a son. This is territory le Carré knows better than anyone. Masterful and prescient, he is writing at the height of his creative powers, and Oliver Single, the central protagonist, is one of his most fascinating characters.