The Secret Pilgrim

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, May 26, 2011 - Fiction - 416 pages
20 Reviews

The last of John Le Carré's espionage novels to feature his most enduring and well-loved character, George Smiley, and a gripping feat of narrative brilliance, The Secret Pilgrim is published in Penguin Modern Classics with an afterword by the author.

The Cold War is over and Ned has been demoted to the training academy. He asks his old mentor, George Smiley, to address his passing-out class. There are no laundered reminiscences; Smiley speaks the truth - perhaps the last the students will ever hear. As they listen, Ned recalls his own painful triumphs and inglorious failures, in a career that took him from the Western Isles of Scotland to Hamburg and from Israel to Cambodia. He asks himself: Did it do any good? What did it do to me? And what will happen to us now? In this final Smiley novel, the great spy gives his own humane and unexpected answers.

John le Carré was born in 1931 and attended the universities of Bern and Oxford. He taught at Eton and served briefly in British Intelligence during the Cold War. For the last 50 years he has lived by his pen. He divides his time between London and Cornwall.

If you enjoyed The Secret Pilgrim, you might like le Carré's The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'Consummate and enthralling'

Observer

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Review: The Secret Pilgrim (George Smiley #8)

User Review  - Jonathan - Goodreads

Le Carre in his prime here. There is no one quite like J LC for me. The vividness of his writing is something magical- that connection straight deep into your mind is something rare, like Dickens at ... Read full review

Review: The Secret Pilgrim (George Smiley #8)

User Review  - Rachel - Goodreads

I loved this book. I found the form of the novel intriguingly old-fashioned: a series of chapters from the life of a British Intelligence man near the end of his career, linked together by his own ... Read full review

About the author (2011)

John le Carré was educated at the University of Berne (where he studied German literature for a year) and at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he graduated with a first-class honours degree in modern languages. From 1959 to 1964 he was a member of the British Foreign Service, serving first as Second Secretary in the British Embassy in Bonn and subsequently as Political Consul in Hamburg. He started writing novels in 1961, and since then has published twenty-one titles.

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