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Smiley's People [Format Kindle]

John le Carré
4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“A delight to read, intricate, exciting, absorbing.”—Chicago Tribune

“An enormously skilled and satisfying work.”—Newsweek

“An achievement of subtlety and power of which few novelists would be capable.”—Financial Times

Présentation de l'éditeur

The classic Cold War novel.

Into a shadowy, violent and intricate world steeped in moral ambivalences steps George Smiley – tubby, perceptive and morally perplexed as ever – sometime acting Chief of the Circus, as the Secret Service is known.

A Russian émigré woman is accosted in Paris in broad daylight by a Soviet intelligence officer. A scared Estonian boy plays courier in Hamburg. In London at the dead of night, George Smiley is summoned from his lonely bed by news of the murder of an ex-agent. His brief is to bury the crime, not solve it. His dilemma is the number of ghosts from the past who clamour to him from the shadows.

Through scenes of mounting revelation, and a cast of superbly drawn characters, through Switzerland, Hamburg, Paris and the fens of Schleswig-Holstein, le Carré rallies us irresistibly to the chase, till we find ourselves at Smiley’s very side on the Berlin border, where Smiley’s people – the ‘no-men of no-man’s land’ – conduct their grimy commerce.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 George Smiley's crowning achievement 16 février 2010
One day in the 1950s, when Moscow Centre's spies defected in droves following purges at home, George Smiley GS) unwittingly came face to face with Karla in New Delhi. Karla's newly-installed networks on the US West Coast had been rolled up hours after Karla left. GS flew to India to assess his value, telling him he could help himself escape certain death, if only he talked. Karla remains silent and is deported to Russia. Somehow he manages to shift the blame for his failure and is given a new chance as a spymaster operating outside the mainstream KGB organisation.
In Part 1 of the "Karla Trilogy", GS painstakingly roots out the mole, the insider turned traitor, whom Karla is servicing inside the Circus. In Part 2, GS as caretaker Chief of the Circus, still much in disarray from the damage inflicted by Karla's mole, succeeds--with help from the CIA--in frustrating what would have been an immense victory for Karla in the Far East. GS is double-crossed by some of his most senior British collaborators and the CIA runs off with the main prize, a high-placed Chinese defector. But this operation has put the Circus on the map again and GS's two shifty, pro-US former collaborators have become the new Circus chief and Head of Operations.
At the start this volume, Part 3, GS is once more brought out of retirement following the murder in London of a defector, an elderly former Soviet general. What happens next is a formidable act of will, full of deceit and deception, memorable characters and dramatic scenes, with one purpose, to sting Karla and blackmail him into defection.
GS and Karla will meet again, face to face, one yard between them, much as they did 25 years earlier. And GS bows out and retires, finally, after 50 years (1928-1978) of serving his country unnoticed by all but a few. And millions of readers.
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Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Should be read before (and after) watching the BBC DVD of Smiley's people starring Alec Guinness. The two complement each other very well and make it much easier to follow the intricacies of the plot which are pretty obscure as in most of Le Carré's novels!
The DVD has also a most interesting "extra" interview of John Le Carré about his relationship with Alec Guinness during the making of the film. I'm going to watch the DVD and read the book again!
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Last of The Trilogy 19 juin 2004
After The Honourable Schoolboy, Smiley still acts as a spy, but the retired king.
He is still after Karla and his quest turns him to visit West Germany, Switzerland and also France.
John Le Carre is as usual very convincing with his spy stories.
To read.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  155 commentaires
56 internautes sur 56 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Conclusion of one of the best modern trilogies ever written 23 juillet 2002
Par Michael K. Smith - Publié sur Amazon.com
This is the last volume in a trilogy which, without any doubt, the best spy story ever written in English. _Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy_ began it with the story of George Smiley's uncovering of the mole in British Intelligence HQ, known as "the Circus." _The Honourable Schoolboy_ -- which largely stands alone from the first and third books, and is a superior piece of work by itself -- tells of Smiley's first steps toward revenge against Karla, head of Moscow Centre and his personal enemy for nearly thirty years . . . only to be denied the fruits of his own success by political machinations at home. _Smiley's People_ brings everything to a very satisfying conclusion, via the discovery that Karla has an unsuspected human side, which makes him vulnerable. As always, Le Carre's development of his characters is masterful and his dialogue and descriptive passages make it clear why, at his best, he is considered an exceptional stylist. The pace of the action in the early part of the book is purposely rather slow, drawing you in, making you pay attention to what's happening and thinking about what secrets might be behind it all -- just as one imagines George is doing. But as the story develops, the pace picks up, until the last quarter is nearly a headlong gallop toward a triumphant final chapter. Unreservedly recommended.
26 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Final Confrontation... 29 juin 2011
Par HMS Warspite - Publié sur Amazon.com
The Cold War ended a couple of decades ago, but John LeCarre's classic spy novel, "Smiley's People", is still an astonishingly good read. It is actually the concluding piece of a superb espionage trilogy that begins with "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and continues with "The Honorable Schoolboy." The rather dense plot of "Smiley's People" will likely make more sense if the novels are read in sequence.

As the story opens, a former agent of the British Secret Service is found horribly murdered outside London, after making contact with his old employers. George Smiley, once head of the Secret Service, is summoned out of an unhappy retirement to make sense of the mess. What he discovers is a secret so important to an old adversary that it was worth killing for.

With official license renewed, the patient Smiley follows a faint trail of clues across Europe and his own history in the Cold War. He will call upon old friends and comrades for information and assistance, while trolling the sad wreckage of his own personal life. At the end of the trail may be the opportunity for the supreme act of professional revenge on a Russian spy master, or a deadly ambush...

LeCarre has a unique writing style, intermingled with a cynical take on the espionage business, that requires close attention from the reader. His hero, George Smiley, is almost the antithesis of the James Bond stereotype. However, the patient reader may find that George Smiley's own considerable gifts for his craft can make for a very compelling story. "Smiley's People" is very highly recommended to fans of espionage novels in general and those of John LeCarre in particular.
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Smiley's swan song 14 octobre 2007
Par Joseph Boone - Publié sur Amazon.com
Smiley's People is the final installment of the trilogy that tells of the struggle between George Smiley, British spy extraordinaire, and Karla, his Russian counterpart. George is called out of retirement to investigate the death of a Russian defector from his earlier days at the agency. As usual the trail is absolutely Byzantine, but it leads him toward an opportunity that could finally bring his nemesis Karla down. I won't reveal any more of the plot because novels like this depend too much on the specific twists and turns for their entertainment value.

To some extent, it's a waste of time reviewing the third book in a trilogy. If you haven't read them, you should really read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Honourable Schoolboy before even thinking about this book. If you have, and liked them, you want to know how the story ends and you'll read Smiley's People regardless of the reviews. If you didn't like them, then even glowing reviews probably won't be enough to get you across the finish line. For the few people on the fence, here's my two cents.

Le Carre' is an undisputed master of the spy novel and in many respects he's on the top of his game here. Of the three books in the trilogy, this was by far the easiest and most straightforward to read. It's the only one that uses a classic third party narrator perspective and the story is relatively simple (for a spy novel). I found the story and many of the characters interesting. It moves along at a steady pace and there was a sufficient sense of menace to feel some tension even if the stakes aren't as high as some of the other stories.

On the negative side, George and his dithering about a wife who cheats on him constantly has gotten a bit tiresome for me. And the ending seemed contrived to show us that George's life has lost all meaning both personally and professionally. This was not exactly satisfying to me after investing about 1300 pages or on the character. I would also warn readers that Le Carre' gives away the ending in the Introduction to the book... a truly foolish thing to do no matter how long it's been in print.

All in all, I recommend this book. If you've read the first two books and enjoyed them then it's worth finishing. It's also easier to read than the first two so if you've struggled with that at all, you can take heart.
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 True Spycraft 18 octobre 2005
Par M. A. Ramos - Publié sur Amazon.com
In this John le Carre novel we have the final confrontation between George Smiley and Karla, his long time nemesis. This is my first book by the author and I did not feel like I was starting in the middle. So you do not need to read the two that precede it. This is not just a spy novel, but also a well-written book. And the author is able to allow us to have a strong sense of picturing the characters. They are well thought out and three-dimensional.

Our hero George Smiley is brought out of retirement by some antics and death of an old retired contact. And we follow Mr. Smiley as he works to solve the case or close it any way he can. Of course George Smiley does his utmost to solve it. And it is this journey he takes that leads us to his old time foe from the Soviet Union, Karla.

Smiley does not seem like a spy, but his methods, instincts and powers of observations are exceptional. But what any person attuned to his surroundings would have. It is nice to have a normal human hero. One who shoes us his range of emotions and thought process. And the realistic ending. Yes it may seem anticlimactic. But I prefer the realism of it all.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Powerful Finale 21 mars 2007
Par Stephanie De Pue - Publié sur Amazon.com
"Smiley's People" is the third and final book in British spymeister John LeCarre's outstanding cold war trilogy. It opens with one of the author's thrilling set pieces in Paris, and closes with another, a white-knuckle scene at the Berlin wall. In between, it neatly wraps up the epic struggle between George Smiley, British spy; and his Russian Moriarty, Karla, who is described by one of his underlings in this book as "the head of the independent Thirteenth Intelligence Directorate, subordinated to the Party's Central Committee, who is known throughout Centre only by his workname Karla. This is a woman's name and is said to belong to the first network he controlled."

The book is a compendium of LeCarre's great virtues as a novelist: his first-hand experience of spycraft; his witty, terse writing; his ability to fashion complex, yet clear plots; to create a Dickensian canvas's worth of individual, recognizable characters, and to provide them with sharp dialogue. It also, as many of his later books do, pays great attention to the characters' language. At one point the author writes, "Saul Enderby drawled in that lounging Belgravia cockney which is the final vulgarity of the English upper class." "Smiley's" brings back many characters from the earlier books; Smiley, Enderby and Karla, of course. Also Peter Guillam, now newly-married and preggers; Connie Sachs, settled down for her final innings with a lesbian lover; Doc de Salis, Inspector Mendel, Toby Esterhase, Sam Collins. It also, at last, brings Smiley's eternally beautiful and unfaithful wife Ann on stage for the first time.

Smiley is out of favor again, and forcibly retired -- as are his friends-- when the book opens. One of Karla's Russian hoods approaches Mme. Ostrakova in Paris: the Soviet Union has decided to give her long lost daughter Alexandra an exit visa so she can join her mother in the West. Ostrakova has only to do the paperwork. Smiley comes to learn about this after the murder of a friend/former spy of his. The English spy, with his lifetime of experience, realizes that Karla is behaving in an irregular manner that may finally enable the British to bring him down. Smiley plots his course, making what the Hungarian refugee Esterhase calls his "flucht nach vorn," which, the author tells us, nobody can translate except in the most literal sense as an "escape forward." In his unravelling of the mystery of Karla's behavior, Smiley returns to the German-speaking world where he was educated, his longtime second home: Berne, Switzerland, Hamburg, Germany, and eventually, Berlin and its menacing wall.

Karla had set a mole-- a term LeCarre invented, meaning a spy put within a sensitive organization, in deep cover, not to be activated until the time matures-- within the circus, the fictional name LeCarre assigned the British secret service. This mole had nearly destroyed the circus, and Smiley's marriage, as well. In the final struggle between these two dedicated men, Smiley comes to realize that any triumph over Karla will not be without cost. "On Karla has descended the curse of Smiley's compassion; on Smiley the curse of Karla's fanaticism."
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