John le Carré

John le Carré

John le Carré (1931-2020) was David Cornwell in real life. A former spy, he became one of the world’s best-known writers of spy fiction. He is a frequently recommended author on Five Books, with his books turning up again and again in interviews on not only espionage thrillers, but also spy books more generally. His most recommended books are The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, the 1963 novel that catapulted him to international fame, and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Le Carré’s most recent books were: Agent Running in the Field—the audiobook was narrated by John Le Carré himself, then in his 80s—and Silverview, which was published post-humously in 2021.

Books by John le Carré

Interviews where books by John le Carré were recommended

The best books on Spies, recommended by Ben Macintyre

The British public-school system, with its hidden homosexuality and feelings of loneliness, encouraged subterfuge and led to a generation of great spy writers and spies, suggests author and journalist Ben Macintyre. He picks the best books on spies.

The Best Literary Thrillers, recommended by Chris Power

For those with a taste for fine literature, but who also enjoy their fiction with a bit of suspense and momentum, the acclaimed novelist Chris Power—author of A Lonely Man—has put together a recommended reading list of five ‘literary thrillers’, including work by Fernanda Melchor, Roberto Bolaño and the Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano.

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