The Secret Life of John Le Carre


Product Details

$27.99  $26.03
Publish Date
5.2 X 7.4 X 0.8 inches | 0.5 pounds

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About the Author

Adam Sisman is the author of Boswell's Presumptuous Task, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography, and the biographer of John le Carré, A. J. P. Taylor, and Hugh Trevor-Roper. Among his other works are two volumes of letters by Patrick Leigh Fermor. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an honorary fellow of the Universy of St. Andrews.


"Page-turning . . . . Adam Sisman completes the task of showing us who [John le Carré] was--a minor spy who became a major novelist, whose most important agents in the field were the women he needed to love and then betray. For le Carré, tradecraft was lovecraft. Much more than What Was Left Out, The Secret Life of John le Carré is not merely the conclusive homage to a compulsively fascinating character, but an insightful study into the biographical process itself. Even David Cornwell, the man who actually was John le Carré, would have saluted him." -- Nicholas Shakespeare

"A more rounded and less appealing picture of Cornwell--complex, vain, emotionally manipulative--emerges from this . . . book than before. But it does not diminish the literary and moral seriousness of le Carré's greatest novels about the secret world." -- The Economist

"While there is plenty of tabloid-worthy material between its covers, the book is nonetheless complex and consequential . . . [it] is also a fascinating examination of the biographer's art that casts le Carre's life and writing in a fresh light." -- The Washington Post

"Revealing . . . . Future accounts of le Carré's life will have to wrestle with the bombshells dropped here." -- Publishers Weekly

"A deeply entertaining book . . . . A determined and at times forensic attempt to set the record straight, detailing the full extent of what was kept from him, going to town on le Carré's obstructiveness and reality-softening, undermining various aspects of the le Carré legend and exposing the decades-long exercise in stage management that lay at its unexpectedly chilly heart." -- The Spectator

"A one-of-a-kind revisiting of a wondrously productive life lived at the expense of two wives and many lovers." -- Kirkus Reviews