I Spy…: Two Tales of Espionage and Conspiracy

There’s nothing like a good spy novel to take you out of your reading slump, and nobody does spy novels quite like John Le Carre.

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold was the very first spy novel I’ve ever read, as well as my first John Le Carre novel.  It’s a short novel published in 1963, about agent Alec Leamas at the end of his assignment in West Berlin, Germany.


Even without knowing much about the world of government espionage and conspiracies, The Spy Who Came in From The Cold was a very interesting read, with it’s protagonist, Alec Leamas, strangely flawed for a hero.  With it’s complex twists and turns, it will leave you guessing the truth till the very last page.

To ensure that I don’t fall back into a slump, I followed The Spy Who Came in From the Cold with another Le Carre novel – A Perfect Spy.  It seems quite different from The Spy Who Came in From the Cold – the obvious thing being that it is over 600 pages long, whereas The Spy….Cold is only around 200 pages.

I have not read very far into A Perfect Spy, but it seems like the protagonist is a Magnus Pym, and like The Spy….Cold, Le Carre’s most famous spy character, George Smiley will be a significant part of the story.

I’m hoping that after A Perfect Spy, I will be able to get back to my usual reading pace.


The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (1963) – John Le Carre

Scribner; 212 pages

Personal rating:  2.5/5

4 thoughts on “I Spy…: Two Tales of Espionage and Conspiracy

  1. The only le Carré novel I’ve read is Our Kind of Traitor, and I really enjoyed it. I picked up a few more of his books from a library book sale, and I’m looking forward to reading them (when I get to them).

  2. I don’t have much time to read, but I spend a lot of time driving, so audiobooks are great for me. If you’ve never checked out Audible, I highly recommend it. They have lots of books by Le Carre.

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