Order Alert: Le Carré Brings
His Spy In From The Cold

9780735225114John le Carré’s most famous literary creation, George Smiley, has not had a literary outing in 25 years. That is about to change.

The Cold War spymaster is coming back in A Legacy of Spies (PHR/Viking; Sept. 5; ISBN 9780735225114; cover art not final). On his website le Carré writes, “George Smiley is back… The past has come to claim its due.”

Le Carré’s agent, Jonny Geller, told The Guardian that the new book will “close George Smiley’s story.” That story began with Call for the Dead in 1961, played out in multiple novels including the iconic The Spy Who Came In From the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy, and was thought to have ended in 1990 with The Secret Pilgrim.

The new book will also feature another familiar character, Peter Guillam, who, reports The Guardian, has “retired from the world of spooks to a farm in southern Brittany … Summoned back to London, Guillam and his colleagues are subject to scrutiny for past misdemeanours, committed at a time when there were fewer scruples about the methods used to win the ideological war raging between the west and the Soviets.”

The Guardian adds, “It is believed that the author was inspired to revisit his old characters because of the current political situation.” Geller tells the paper that idea was “far too simplistic” although he admits, “As a readers you can see parallels between what we thought was over and what is happening now.”

As we have posted and the LA Times points out, le Carré’s “books are currently hot material for film and television adaptations.”

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was adapted in 2011 and starred Gary Oldman as Smiley and Benedict Cumberbatch as Guillam. Last year, AMC and BBC aired the miniseries The Night Manager based on the 1993 novel. The networks are partnering again on an adaptation of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, which was earlier made into a famous film, starring Richard Burton as Smiley. 2016 also saw the release of Our Kind of Traitor starring Ewan McGregor, Damian Lewis, and Stellan Skarsgård.

The renewed attention a brand-new audience to both the books and the author and to his memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample), which was covered widely last year.

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