John le Carre was born in 1931. For six decades, he wrote novels that came to define our age. The son of a confidence trickster, 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 Carre 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 12 December 2020.
Thematically, this is classic le Carre: an exploration of how people do the wrong thing for the right motive. The prose is as unshowily superb as ever * Sunday Telegraph * His publisher is promoting it as a great literary event - the final book by one of postwar Britain's finest writers. That seems fair enough to me . . . [Silverview has] enough reminders of the old magic to please his most ardent aficionados -- Dominic Sandbrook * Sunday Times * A fitting coda to the work of our greatest spy novelist -- John Williams * Mail on Sunday * Textbook le Carre and a pleasing coda to a brilliant career: a short, sharp study of the human cost of espionage * Daily Telegraph * The first page hooks you in . . . John le Carre has lost none of his power to draw the reader straight into his world * The Times * Arguably the greatest English novelist of his generation * Guardian * Crisp prose, a precision-tooled plot, the heady sense of an inside track on a shadowy world . . . all his usual pleasures are here * Observer * Le Carre's ability to inhabit the deepest recesses of his characters' lives is once again on sparkling display . . . It leaves no doubt that le Carre believed good literature could help make the world a better place. His own contribution to that edifice was by no means negligible * FT * A diverting if slender coda to one of the boldest writing careers of the 20th century . . . In this posthumous farewell, le Carre is still showing us how literary fiction and the spy narrative can coexist in the same book * i * Packed with cherishable details and intriguingly ambivalent about the role of the Secret Intelligence Service, John le Carre's last novel brings his career to a close in fine style * Scotsman * It has often been said that le Carre is a novelist, not a mere thriller writer. Yet the thing is that, for all his protests that his creations were always more fictional than credited, what he excels at is giving us a plausible peek into the spy's world * The Times * It is written with elegance and often pungency, the pitch-perfect dialogue ranging from the waggishly epigrammatic to the bluntly outraged * New York Times * Promises to be filled with intrigue, surprises and timely meditations on the relationship between individuals and nations * i * First-rate prose and a fascinating plot . . . a fitting coda to a remarkable career * Publishers Weekly *