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The Secret pilgrim
Le Carré, John, 1931-
Personal Author:
Large print edition.
Physical Description:
543 pages ; 25 cm
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Clearfield Library FICTION Adult Large Print Large Print
Grand Island Library FICTION Adult Large Print Large Print

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Author Notes

David John Moore Cornwell was born in Poole, Dorsetshire, England in 1931. He attended Bern University in Switzerland from 1948-49 and later completed a B.A. at Lincoln College, Oxford. He taught at Eton from 1956-58 and was a member of the British Foreign Service from 1959 to 1964.

He writes espionage thrillers under the pseudonym John le Carré. The pseudonym was necessary when he began writing, in the early 1960s because, at that time, he held a diplomatic position with the British Foreign Office and was not allowed to publish under his own name. When his third book, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, became a worldwide bestseller in 1964, he left the foreign service to write full time. His other works include Call for the Dead; A Murder of Quality; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; The Honourable Schoolboy; and Smiley's People.

He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America in 1986 and the Diamond Dagger from the Crime Writers Association in 1988. Several of his books have been adapted for television and motion pictures including The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The Russia House, and The Constant Gardener.

Le Carré's memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from my Life, became a New York Times bestseller ist in 2016.

(Bowker Author Biography) John le Carre was born in 1931. After attending the univesities of Berne and Oxford, he spent five years in the British Foreign Service. He's the author of eighteen novels, translated into twenty-five languages. He lives in England.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The world's favorite spy novelist is still drawing more drama, humor and poignancy than one would have believed possible from a profession that seems, at least in the traditional East-West arena, doomed. Le Carre, however, will not acknowledge that, though he understands--none better--how profoundly the world has changed in recent years; he sees that the yearning for secrets, for undercover manipulation, is a basic, ineradicable obsession of men and their governments. The Secret Pilgrim seems almost a valedictory. Ned, the Circus veteran last seen in The Russia House , is now in command of training new recruits, and invites the legendary George Smiley down to address them. The narrative beautifully interweaves Smiley's remarks and reminiscences to the enthralled youngsters with Ned's own recollections of his experiences, jolting and disillusioning as they often were. In effect the book is a collection of superbly crafted stories illuminating every aspect of security work: sometimes absurd, as in the tailing of a kleptomaniac Arab visitor through a London department store; sometimes brutal, as in the ``turning'' of Polish security chief Jerzy; sometimes touching, as in the preservation of a British soldier's pride in his rotten son; and sometimes, as in the unmasking of a mild, opera-loving code clerk, a breathtaking high-wire act that balances satire, pathos and horror. It is becoming tedious to say that le Carre just gets better and better; but it is difficult to think of another contemporary writer with the knowledge, the range, the sureness of touch and the storytelling skills to bring off a book like The Secret Pilgrim. As for where le Carre is heading, there is a splendidly enraged sketch of a rich, contemptuous British arms dealer that demonstrates a passion and engagement new to the author. He could turn out to be a major novelist of the post-Cold War world, as he has been of that war itself. 350,000 first printing; BOMC main selection. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This title is an oddity among le Carre's espionage fiction for being a loosely connected group of stories more than a novel, as top spy George Smiley's protege Ned reflects upon his career during a lecture by his mentor. Ned's story reflects upon his growing awareness of the moral ambiguity of his endeavors. The first-person narrative gives veteran le Carre interpreter Michael Jayston an excellent opportunity to use inflection to convey nuances to reveal both theme and character. VERDICT The anecdotal, episodic nature of the tale makes it easier to follow than some of le Carre's labyrinthine novels.-Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr., New York (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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