Running Time 11hrs 47mins
The extraordinary memoir from one of Britain’s greatest novelists
The Pigeon Tunnel, John le Carré’s memoir and his first work of non-fiction, is a thrilling journey into the worlds of his ‘secret sharers’ – the men and women who inspired some of his most enthralling novels. From terrifying meetings with Yasser Arafat in war-torn Beirut to brilliantly observed encounters with the great figures of 20th century film, from Stanley Kubrick to Alec Guinness.
The reader is swept along not just by the chilling winds of the Cold War or by the author’s frightening journeys into places of terrible violence but, most importantly, by the author’s inimitable voice.
In this astonishing work we see our world, both public and private, through the eyes of one of this country’s greatest writers.
John le Carré was born in 1931. For six decades, he wrote novels that came to define our age. The son of a confidence trickster, he spent his childhood between boarding school and the London underworld. At sixteen he found refuge at the university of Bern, then later at Oxford. A spell of teaching at Eton led him to a short career in British Intelligence (MI5&6). He published his debut novel, Call for the Dead, in 1961 while still a secret servant.
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 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley’s People. At the end of the Cold War, le Carré widened his scope to explore an international landscape including the arms trade and the War on Terror. His memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel, was published in 2016 and the last George Smiley novel, A Legacy of Spies, appeared in 2017.
He died on 12 December 2020.
‘John le Carré deserves the Booker’ Ian McEwan
‘John le Carré is as recognizable a writer as Dickens or Austen’ Financial Times
‘When I was under house arrest I was helped by the books of John le Carré… they were a journey into the wider world… These were the journeys that made me feel that I was not really cut off from the rest of
humankind’ Aung San Suu Kyi