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Silverview: The Sunday Times Bestseller Paperback – 28 April 2022

4.1 out of 5 stars 8,240 ratings

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From the Publisher

Product description


Valedictory, with a final turn of events that ends surprisingly but pleasingly in a cock-up, this is a satisfying coda to the career of the finest thriller writer of the 20th century Guardian, Books of the Year

A compelling character study of a supposedly retired spy . . . Such was his rare command of language and unique understanding of how the world really works that I finished the book with a sense that the only real grown-up in the room had left -- Jake Kerridge ― Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year

As graceful an exit as we could hope for, the old master remaining at the top of his game to the last -- Mick Herron ―
Daily Express, Books of the Year

Nothing will ever match the Cold War spy novels written in his prime, but his later work
illuminates themes of loyalty, betrayal and conflicting values in a modern context -- Vince Cable ― New Statesman, Books of the Year

A superb example of le Carré's enduring and exquisite geniusDaily Mail, Books of the Year

Gripping and involving, an elegant farewell by a much missed writer -- Siân Phillips ― Daily Express, Books of the Year

Silverview has many of le Carré's characteristic virtues . . . engaging characters and three or four splendid set scenes in which veteran spooks stir the embers of old fires ― Scotsman, Best Books of the Year

Silverview is a cat-and-mouse chase from an East Anglian seaside town to the Eastern Bloc. Published ten months after he passed away, it marks a fitting final work by the master of spy fictionIrish Times, Books of the Year

A taut, thrilling spy novel. Read it as a tribute to a masterStella, Books of the Year

Silverview has all the old magic . . . it offers a rewarding post-script to the long-distance spell-binders The Little Drummer Girl and Absolute Friends -- David Bromwich ― Times Literary Supplement, Books of The Year

His publisher is promoting it as
a great literary event - the final book by one of postwar Britain's finest writers. That seems fair enough to me . . . [Silverview has] enough reminders of the old magic to please his most ardent aficionados -- Dominic Sandbrook ― Sunday Times

Le Carré at his finest, revealing character and backstory through dialogue with an economy and grace beyond most writers . . . le Carré's greatness has its roots in his mastery of spy fiction; a genre he augmented with novels notable for their craftsmanship and humanity, and writing for its stealth and sophistication. With the publication of Silverview, it's clear these virtues remained intact to the end -- Mick Herron ― Guardian

Thematically, this is classic le Carré: an exploration of how people do the wrong thing for the right motive. The prose is as unshowily superb as ever

Sunday Telegraph

A fitting coda to the work of our greatest spy novelist -- John Williams ― Mail on Sunday

It is
written with elegance and often pungency, the pitch-perfect dialogue ranging from the waggishly epigrammatic to the bluntly outraged New York Times

Le Carré's ability to inhabit the deepest recesses of his characters' lives is once again on sparkling display . . . It leaves no doubt that le Carré believed good literature could help make the world a better place. His own contribution to that edifice was by no means negligible


Textbook le Carré and a pleasing coda to a brilliant career: a short, sharp study of the human cost of espionage Daily Telegraph

The first page hooks you in . . .
John le Carré has lost none of his power to draw the reader straight into his worldThe Times

There is
a retro charm about proceedings . . . as well as a welcome array of familiar le Carré tropes, from sharply drawn characters to stimulating interviews and debriefings, plus a compelling denouement involving a wanted man on the run . . . a worthy coda, a commanding farewell from a much-missed masterEconomist

Arguably the greatest English novelist of his generation Guardian

Crisp prose, a precision-tooled plot, the heady sense of an inside track on a shadowy world . . . all his usual pleasures are here


A lyrical, poignant portrait of betrayal in a family that lives in a world submerged in subterfuge, and resonates with le Carré's exquisite genius. It is to be savoured gently rather than devoured Daily Mail

A diverting if slender coda to one of the boldest writing careers of the 20th century . . . In this posthumous farewell, le Carré is still showing us how literary fiction and the spy narrative can coexist in the same book


A poignant story of love and loyaltyIndependent

A fitting conclusion to the long career of a writer who redefined an entire genre with the deceptive easy of pure genius . . . Silverview is filled with joy in the resilience of the human spirit, and with love . . . It's also deeply thrilling, in the best wayIrish Times

Packed with cherishable details and intriguingly ambivalent about the role of the Secret Intelligence Service, John le Carré's last novel brings his career to a close in fine style


A very fine finale . . . for writing of subtlety, cadence and strength, with a special aptitude for the revealing particular, [le Carré] is virtually unequalled . . . Time and again, le Carré was able to weave an entrancing, haunting world of his own, a feat repeated in Silverview. There are few writers to match him, and fewer who are still aliveSpectator

In his
trademark lucid prose, le Carré sets the scene for an atmospheric tale of betrayal, deceit and secret service malpractice . . . John le Carré, one of the great analysts of the contemporary scene, has left us a minor masterpiece of secrets and lies in spy landEvening Standard

A winner with fans of the master spy-writer Oldie

A piercing portrait of moral ambivalence i

It is
classic le Carré . . . If this is the quality le Carré was producing in the last years of his life, we can be certain there are further posthumous delights coming our way ― Herald

gobbled up Silverview . . . Here le Carré is on more familiar territory - what was once known as Mitteleuropa, with its shape-shifting double agents, scarred idealists on the prowl for lost causesSpectator

It has often been said that le Carré is a novelist, not a mere thriller writer. Yet the thing is that, for all his protests that his creations were always more fictional than credited, what he excels at is giving us a
plausible peek into the spy's worldThe Times

[Le Carré's] prose is
as quietly impressive as ever and it's a thoroughly enjoyable read. It makes for bittersweet reading - the final work of a master, on fine form Daily Express

Promises to be
filled with intrigue, surprises and timely meditations on the relationship between individuals and nations i

One of the great moral writers of recent timesMetro

First-rate prose and a fascinating plot . . . a fitting coda to a remarkable careerPublishers Weekly

From the Back Cover

Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian's evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish émigré living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian's family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise.

When a letter turns up at the door of a spy chief in London warning him of a dangerous leak, the investigations lead him to this quiet town by the sea . . .

Silverview is the mesmerising story of an encounter between innocence and experience and between public duty and private morals. In his inimitable voice John le Carré, the greatest chronicler of our age, seeks to answer the question of what we truly owe to the people we love.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin; Heruitgave edition (28 April 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0241994535
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0241994535
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Customer reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 8,240 ratings

About the author

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John le Carre was born in 1931. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy: Tinke, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; The Honorable Schoolboy, and Smiley's People. His novels include The Little Drummer Girl, A Perfect Spy, The Russia House, Our Game, The Taileor of Panama, and Single & Single. John le Carre lives in Cornwall.

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
8,240 global ratings

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