Smiley's People: A George Smiley Novel

Featuring George Smiley, this New York Times bestseller is the third and final installment in the Karla Trilogy, from the author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold


Tell Max that it concerns the Sandman…

A very junior agent answers Vladimir’s call, but it could have been the Chief of the Circus himself. No one at the British Secret Service considers the old spy to be anything except a senile has-been who can’t give up the game—until he’s shot in the face at point-blank range. Although George Smiley (code name: Max) is officially retired, he’s summoned to identify the body now bearing Moscow Centre’s bloody imprimatur. As he works to unearth his friend’s fatal secrets, Smiley heads inexorably toward one final reckoning with Karla—his dark “grail.”

In Smiley’s People, master storyteller and New York Times bestselling author of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Our Kind of Traitor John le Carré brings his acclaimed Karla Trilogy, to its unforgettable, spellbinding conclusion.

With an introduction by the author.

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By Chloe (Portland, OR) · ★★★★☆ · July 17, 2009
Note for completists: This is the third of the Smiley books, preceded by first Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and then by The Honourable Schoolboy. While it is possible to read these books out of order and still enjoy them, the later books are informed by the events that come before and definitely... ...more
By Jen (Beaverton, OR) · ★★★★★ · April 05, 2009
Okay, sorry 'bout the all caps, but you cannot possibly read this book in isolation and enjoy it in the way that it was meant to be savored and enjoyed. This is the ul... ...more
By Krissa (Brooklyn, NY) · ★★★★★ · May 09, 2012
This book changed my life. My dad, sick of hearing me make fun of his spy novel proclivities, bet me $50 that I would love this book. It was a safe bet, too. If I loved it, I owed him nothing other than the smug satisfaction of having been right. If I hated it, he'd give me $50.

I loved it. I love... ...more
By Srinivas Prasad (Chennai, 044, India) · ★★★★★ · October 23, 2010
In my Top 10 all time list. Few (if any) understood the human psyche as well as Le Carre and the Master's white hot brilliance finds its fullest expression in this Espionage classic. The last few pages where the enigmatic Karla is finally made to confront himself after painstakingly precise spade... ...more
By Patrick (The United States) · ★★★★★ · January 11, 2014
A masterpiece and a tour de force of pacing and point of view. What separates Le Carre from his competitors is the depth of humanity he gives his characters. He's so in tune with human nature--the things that drive us and make us who we are--and it shines through in all his people, but most of al... ...more
By Michael (Seattle, WA) · ★★★★★ · January 05, 2012
A stunning work, even better than the excellent Tinker, Tailor.

Smiley's intelligence is portraid in the cracks in between action. The progress of his investigation is subtle; this isn't anything like a modern spy thriller. No car chases, no galavanting around the world.

Although this is a book th... ...more
By Matt (Sydney, 02, Australia) · ★★★★★ · June 09, 2013
An excellent conclusion of the Karla Trilogy, with a welcome return of focus to George Smiley. Now well into his (second) forced retirement, Smiley is haunted by the failures of his long career, dissatisfied where life has left him and troubled by the ruthlessness and complete lack of loyalty sho... ...more
By Scotchneat (Waterloo, ON, Canada) · ★★★★★ · October 26, 2011
Just re-read this one after many years. I forgot how awesome this book is. Le Carre was at the top of his game.

First, there's Smiley, his heavy-lidded contemplation of what makes people tick. Then there's his people--the lamplighters, the mothers, the housekeepers and the wranglers.

The lead-up... ...more
By Liz (London, The United Kingdom) · ★★★★★ · January 25, 2013
I don't think I've ever clutched a book quite so tightly while finishing it as I did with this one. It was partly awareness of the impending parting - I was about to finish the Karla trilogy and would have to let go of this world - but mainly it was pure tension, built up gradually over three nov... ...more