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- Penguin Books Ltd
- 196 x 128 x 26 mm
- 330 g
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The Human Past
The Pigeon Tunnel
Stories from My Life100
THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING MEMOIR OF SPY-WRITING LEGEND JOHN LE CARRE 'As recognizable a writer as Dickens or Austen' Financial Times From his years serving in British Intelligence during the Cold War to a career as a writer, John le Carre has lived a unique life. In this, his first memoir, le Carre 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 interviewing a German terrorist in her desert prison or watching Alec Guinness preparing for his role as George Smiley, this book invites us to think anew about events and people we believed we understood. Best of all, le Carre 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. 'No other writer has charted - pitilessly for politicians but thrillingly for readers - the public and secret histories of his times' Guardian 'When I was under house arrest I was helped by the books of John le Carre . . . These were the journeys that made me feel that I was not really cut off from the rest of humankind' Aung San Suu Kyi
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Fascinating, important, pithy. Anyone interested in le Carre and his significant contribution to the literature of the 20th and 21st centuries will want to read these engaging meanderings through his life and career.He has plenty to say about Kim Philby, the movie business, fellow spooks and Russian defectors, encounters with the great and good, and his intrepid travels to research his novels -- William Boyd * Guardian * Vintage le Carre ... [he] remains a magician of plot and counter-plot, a master storyteller * Observer * John le Carre is as recognizable a writer as Dickens or Austen * Financial Times * When I was under house arrest I was helped by the books of John le Carre ... they were a journey into the wider world ... These were the journeys that made me feel that I was not really cut off from the rest of humankind * Aung San Suu Kyi * No other writer has charted - pitilessly for politicians but thrillingly for readers - the public and secret histories of his times * Guardian * A smashing read -- Richard Davenport-Hines * Wall Street Journal * Offers thrills of recognition as le Carre's archetypes spring to life... The 84-year old novelist discards extended narrative and writes in elegiac fragments with linking harmonies, like the late works of that other German Romantic, Beethoven -- John Gapper * Financial Times * Exceptionally well-turned and enjoyable -- David Sexton * Evening Standard * Grippingly written, it is revealing in ways the author never intended it to be * Sunday Telegraph * Cagey, clever, revealing * Daily Telegraph * le Carre is a master of the art... fascinatingly readable * The Times * Frank and fascinating * Daily Express * The Pigeon Tunnel is a delight... a collection of highly polishes oddments from a life, assembled to entertain and inform...fabulously funny * Radio Times * A snapshot of a story that is, truly, as extraordinary as any of his fiction * Daily Mail * For me The Pigeon Tunnel just confirms the enigma... extremely humorous... at no point do I feel that I knew one tiny bit more than he wants me to know -- Susanne Bier, director of The Night Manager He has written an uproarious, darkly poignant and precious book -- James Naughtie * New Statesman * A beautiful book. The great glory of it is it comes close to unlocking the central mystery of le Carre -- Tony Parsons As enthralling as his fiction * Woman and Home * Le Carre is such a good writer . . . Though urbane and detached, there is rage simmering not far below the surface of both le Carre and his new book. But then, nothing, absolutely nothing, is what it seems * Daily Mail * A deeply personal and touching account of le Carre's life ... it has undeniable power * Prospect * Explosive * Daily Mail * le Carre's The Pigeon Tunnel is exquisite -- Hugh Laurie I savoured the gravelly, quietly insistent voice of a master storyteller examining his own life -- Michela Wrong * The Spectator * the entertaining recollections of a raconteur -- Neil McCormick * Telegraph * Elusive and frank and witty by turns, the spy master gives away just as much of himself as he wants to in The Pigeon Tunnel, tracing the story of his life through his walk-on parts in the history and mythology of the cold war, and the shape-shifting discipline of his imagination -- Tim Adams * Guardian Biographies of the Year *
John le Carre 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 Carre 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.