NPR

In 'A Legacy Of Spies,' John Le Carré Goes Back Out In 'The Cold'

Former CIA operative Valerie Plame says pop culture doesn't usually get espionage right — but le Carré comes close. His new novel is a kind of prequel to 1963's The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.

George Smiley is back.

For the first time in 25 years, John le Carré has written a new novel featuring the spy at the center of some his most popular books. The new release, A Legacy of Spies, is a kind of prequel to The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1963), the book that made le Carré famous and changed spy novels forever.

In A Legacy of Spies, le Carré goes deep into Smiley's past, re-examining the role he and his cohorts played in The Spy, a story of betrayal and deception that ends badly at the Berlin Wall.

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