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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Remembering espionage writer John le Carré with some of his best books

David Cornwell -- known to the world as John le Carre -- died after a short illness in Cornwall, southwestern England

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | December 14, 2020 5:30:11 pm
John le Carré, John le Carré books, books written by John le Carré, famous books of John le Carré, John le Carré death, John le Carré legacy, indian express newsJohn le Carre, the spy-turned-novelist whose elegant and intricate narratives defined the Cold War espionage thriller and brought acclaim to a genre critics had once ignored, has died. He was 89. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, file)

Celebrated British author John le Carré, who wrote many famous spy thrillers like ‘The Spy Who Came In From The Cold‘ and ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy‘, died Saturday, December 12, aged 89. While fellow authors paid tribute to his towering legacy, his agent said in a statement that David Cornwell — known to the world as John le Carre — died after a short illness in Cornwall, southwestern England.

To honour his enduring legacy, we share some of his famous novels which will always remind us of the great storyteller.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974)

John le Carré, John le Carré books, books written by John le Carré, famous books of John le Carré, John le Carré death, John le Carré legacy, indian express news The book cover (Source: Amazon.com)

George Smiley, a troubled man of infinite compassion, is also a single-mindedly ruthless adversary as a spy. He enters a Cold War landscape of moles and lamplighters, scalp-hunters and pavement artists, where men are turned, burned or bought for stock. His mission is to catch a Moscow Centre mole burrowed 30 years deep into the Circus itself.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963)

John le Carré, John le Carré books, books written by John le Carré, famous books of John le Carré, John le Carré death, John le Carré legacy, indian express news The book cover (Source: Amazon.com)

The book derives its suspense from the setting of its plot at a time when tensions were high during the Cold War, as the war between the East and West Berlin raged on with the Berlin wall standing tall between them. Alec Leamas is a British spy agent who was sent on a mission to gain information from East Germany. His mission fails as the last of his spies is killed. His superiors, known as the Control, send him on another dangerous mission after this, where he has to find Mundt — the chief of the East German Intelligence.

Agent Running in the Field: A Novel (2019)

John le Carré, John le Carré books, books written by John le Carré, famous books of John le Carré, John le Carré death, John le Carré legacy, indian express news The book cover (Source: Amazon.com)

This one is about Nat, a 47-year-old veteran of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service. He believes his years as an agent runner are over. He is back in London with his wife. But with the growing threat from Moscow Centre, the office has one more job for him. Nat is to take over The Haven, a defunct substation of London General with a rag-tag band of spies. The only bright light on the team is young Florence, who has her eye on the Russia Department, and a Ukrainian oligarch with a finger in the Russia pie.

A Perfect Spy (1986)

John le Carré, John le Carré books, books written by John le Carré, famous books of John le Carré, John le Carré death, John le Carré legacy, indian express news The book cover (Source: Amazon.com)

Over the course of his seemingly irreproachable life, Magnus Pym has been all things to all people: a devoted family man, a trusted colleague, a loyal friend—and the perfect spy. But in the wake of his estranged father’s death, Magnus vanishes, and the British Secret Service is up in arms. Is it grief, or is the reason for his disappearance more sinister? And who is the mysterious man with the sad moustache who also seems to be looking for Magnus?

A Legacy of Spies (2017)

John le Carré, John le Carré books, books written by John le Carré, famous books of John le Carré, John le Carré death, John le Carré legacy, indian express news The book cover (Source: Amazon.com)

Peter Guillam, the 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. 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 with its justifications.

Smiley’s People (1979)

John le Carré, John le Carré books, books written by John le Carré, famous books of John le Carré, John le Carré death, John le Carré legacy, indian express news The book cover (Source: Amazon.com)

Smiley’s People is a thrilling confrontation between one of the most famous spies in all fiction and his Cold War rival, Karla. Like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Honourable Schoolboy, it is as tense and unforgettable as only le Carré’s novels can be.

The Honourable Schoolboy (1977)

John le Carré, John le Carré books, books written by John le Carré, famous books of John le Carré, John le Carré death, John le Carré legacy, indian express news The book cover (Source: Amazon.com)

The Honourable Schoolboy is remarkable and thrilling, one of three books (together with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Smiley’s People) to feature the legendary clash between Smiley and Karla, two brilliant spymasters on opposite sides of the Cold War.

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