A Perfect Spy: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


Forget everything you (think you) know about John le Carre, except that he's one fabulous writer. And don't let the title pigeonhole your expectations. A Perfect Spy is a deep-delving, exhilarating exploration of the making of a human chameleon, tapping the sources of loyalty and trust, betrayal and suspicion, the hunger to love and be loved-- all wrapped in a narrative that begins in a slow burn, and accelerates to demise.

— From Peter

Description



“The best English novel since the war.” -- Philip Roth

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?
 
In A Perfect Spy, John le Carré has crafted one of his crowning masterpieces, interweaving a moving and unusual coming-of-age story with a morally tangled chronicle of modern espionage.

About the Author


John le Carré was born in 1931. For six decades, he wrote novels that came to define our age. The son of a con man, 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 Carré 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 December 12, 2020.

Praise For…


“Le Carré’s best book, and one of the finest English novels of the twentieth century.”—Philip Pullman

“The best English novel since the war.”—Philip Roth

“Brilliantly written.”—The Washington Post

“Le Carré’s best book, one of the enduring peaks of imaginative literature in our time.”—Los Angeles Times
Product Details
ISBN: 9780143119760
ISBN-10: 0143119761
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: July 20th, 2011
Pages: 624
Language: English