18: A Legacy of Spies -John Le Carre review

Legacy of Spies Podcast Round Table


A Legacy of Spies
John Le Carre is back and so is George Smiley in A Legacy of Spies

September 7th saw  the publication of the latest John Le Carre novel ‘A Legacy of Spies.

Is it any good? Does the master still have it? What do some of his most ardent fans think?

Legacy of Spies
Legacy of Spies Review by the Spybrarians at Spybrary Spy Podcast

Today’s podcast is a round table episode, Spybrary Host Shane Whaley is joined by Double O Sections’ Matthew Bradford and Spywrite’s Jeff Quest, two of the biggest Le Carre fans I know, they will give us their views on A Legacy of Spies. We have all been salivating over this one ever since the news was released that George Smiley and the Circus were back. Normally we keep Spybrary podcast episodes to around 1 hour but with the excitement of the return of Smiley, Jim Prideaux, Peter Guillam, Control, Mundt et al we could not help but run over a time as there was so much to discuss.

A Legacy of Spies
A Legacy of Spies

From the Book description:

The undisputed master returns with a riveting new book—his first Smiley novel in more than twenty-five years

Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself, are to be scrutinized by a generation with no memory of the Cold War and no patience with its justifications.

Interweaving past with present so that each may tell its own intense story, John le Carré has spun a single plot as ingenious and thrilling as the two predecessors on which it looks back: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In a story resonating with tension, humor and moral ambivalence, le Carré and his narrator Peter Guillam present the reader with a legacy of unforgettable characters old and new.

What did you think of A Legacy of Spies? Love it? Hate it? Do you have a burning question about it? We are carrying on the conversation over at our private Spybrary discussion group, feel free to join us here

Spybrary Spy Podcast Discussion Group
Talk more about spy books in our Spybrary discussion group

Resources in Episode 18 of Spybrary Podcast

Follow Jeff Quest – Spywrite
Follow Matthew Bradford – Double O Section

John Le Carre Official Website

Legacy of Spies Reviews

A Final Turn from Smiley's Circus (The Guardian) Robert McCrum

John Le Carre Goes Back Into the Cold (The Atlantic) – Love the title image they use with this one.

George Smiley and other Old Friends Return in John Le Carre's ‘A Legacy of Spies.' (New York Times.)

A Satisfying Close to the Saga – (The Independent.)

A Legacy of Spies – (Kirkus)

More soon!






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2 Responses
  1. We get some further information on Oliver Lacon, a fascinating character. Interesting that he was a senior Civil Servant at the Treasury before moving to the Cabinet Office, and was sent to the House of Lords presumeably after retirement.