website statistics Silverview - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

Silverview

Availability: Ready to download

In Silverview, John le Carr� turns his focus to the world that occupied his writing for the past sixty years--the secret world itself. 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 Po In Silverview, John le Carr� turns his focus to the world that occupied his writing for the past sixty years--the secret world itself. 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 �migr� 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 mesmerizing story of an encounter between innocence and experience and between public duty and private morals. In this last complete masterwork from the greatest chronicler of our age, John le Carr� asks what you owe to your country when you no longer recognize it.


Compare

In Silverview, John le Carr� turns his focus to the world that occupied his writing for the past sixty years--the secret world itself. 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 Po In Silverview, John le Carr� turns his focus to the world that occupied his writing for the past sixty years--the secret world itself. 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 �migr� 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 mesmerizing story of an encounter between innocence and experience and between public duty and private morals. In this last complete masterwork from the greatest chronicler of our age, John le Carr� asks what you owe to your country when you no longer recognize it.

30 review for Silverview

  1. 4 out of 5

    Beata

    A definite winner for me. The tale that connects the present with the distant and not so distant past, secrets and the ways the spy world operates. John le Carre knows how to uncover the truth in a most teasing way and how to make a reader speculate on the possible interconnections, subtleties and well-masked deeds. The writing style, the language and the characters remind me a little of The Delicate Truth and The Constant Gardener which I could read non-stop. I always love the language, indiosy A definite winner for me. The tale that connects the present with the distant and not so distant past, secrets and the ways the spy world operates. John le Carre knows how to uncover the truth in a most teasing way and how to make a reader speculate on the possible interconnections, subtleties and well-masked deeds. The writing style, the language and the characters remind me a little of The Delicate Truth and The Constant Gardener which I could read non-stop. I always love the language, indiosyncratic for le Carre, and being a non-native speaker of English, I dive into it and learn, learn, learn ... And let me just add that Mr Toby Jones does a terrific job with the interpretation of this book. His voice and diction match the story splendidly. You are the best, Mr Jones!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Woman Reading

    3.5 ☆My only wise words of advice ... A radical's a radical. Doesn't matter whether he's an ex-Communist or an ex anything else. He's the same chap. You don't change your reasoning just because your conclusion's changed. Human nature. Before succumbing to cancer, a worried wife performs one last act of duty to the Service and couriers a secret warning. As Head of Domestic Security, Stewart Proctor must decide whether it's nothing more than a private marital spat or a revelation of treason that r 3.5 ☆My only wise words of advice ... A radical's a radical. Doesn't matter whether he's an ex-Communist or an ex anything else. He's the same chap. You don't change your reasoning just because your conclusion's changed. Human nature. Before succumbing to cancer, a worried wife performs one last act of duty to the Service and couriers a secret warning. As Head of Domestic Security, Stewart Proctor must decide whether it's nothing more than a private marital spat or a revelation of treason that requires follow-up. No more air-conditioned treadmills, sunlamps and saunas for him, thank you; no more alcoholic revels to celebrate another dicey, socially useless financial coup, and the one-night stands that inevitably follow. London man is dead. Julian Lawndsley has cast off the shackles of the rat race in the City's financial corridors for a simpler life in a small seaside town in East Anglia. Edward Avon pops up at Julian's new bookstore. In his rich and compelling voice, slightly tinged with a foreign cadence, Edward proclaims a friendship with Julian's father during their public school days. Edward is married to Deborah whose family estate Silverview is perched at the far side of town and which has a view of the sea. And in short order with subtle maneuvering, Edward soon entangles Julian into his schemes... [Julian] was learning to see the entire Avon clan and its offshoots as being united, not in the secrets they shared, but in the secrets they kept from one another. John le Carré died in December 2020, and he had left behind a slim unpublished manuscript, Silverview. In the afterword, the author's son stated that this draft had needed little editing as it had been repeatedly worked upon and then put aside since 2013. Compared with the complex plots of the George Smiley Karla trilogy, Silverview is a simpler, yet still oblique, tale of spies, thwarted foreign policies, and a frustrated Intelligence Service which may have further muddied the waters. The truth is, old boy ... we didn't do much to alter the course of human history, did we? As one old spy to another, I reckon I'd have been more use running a boys' club. After reading nearly a dozen le Carré novels, his touch is apparent in the cynicism and in the less than adulatory assessment of the Service which dissembles its goals from its own people. Silverview is just as polished as Agent Running in the Field, the last book published while le Carre was alive, though it lacks the passion that fueled the acerbic wit of the latter. Most of this story is viewed in the rearview mirror as key events had transpired during the Cold War and then in the Bosnian War. Silverview is far from le Carré's best but it's still an appreciated parting memento from the great espionage writer. My review was published first at https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/si...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Margaret M

    Released 14th October 21, the last published book of the late John LeCarre, a literary giant. ***************************** “Who are you Edward?- you who have been so many people and pretended to be still others? Who do we find when we’ve pulled away the layers of disguise? Or were you only ever the sum of all your disguises?” A chance encounter between Edward Avon, from the Bosnian intelligence force and Julian Lawndsley, a bookshop owner from East Anglia plus a letter that turns up at the doo Released 14th October 21, the last published book of the late John LeCarre, a literary giant. ***************************** “Who are you Edward?- you who have been so many people and pretended to be still others? Who do we find when we’ve pulled away the layers of disguise? Or were you only ever the sum of all your disguises?” A chance encounter between Edward Avon, from the Bosnian intelligence force and Julian Lawndsley, a bookshop owner from East Anglia plus a letter that turns up at the door of a spy chief warning him of a dangerous leak, are all the ingredients needed to create a heightened level of suspense from the opening pages. This chance encounter is in fact a meeting between the master and the novice as the somewhat naïve Lawndsley is persuaded to set up a new book venture in the unused basement of his shop to be called “Republic of Literature” and is furthermore manipulated into delivering a message to a woman in London that Edward claims to be having an affair with. In the meantime, Proctor, Head of domestic security, investigates Edwards’s days and involvement in the Bosnian war and with the hints of defection the story leads us through a path of deceit and lies, as more is revealed about all the characters and the plot in the book. Whilst LeCarre draws the reader into playing their part and can sometimes leave the book endings with its own level of suspense, it begs the question if perhaps on this occasion he did not get round to finishing the book properly. But then again, this is what we know of Silverview. It was believed to be finished in 2016 only to be released posthumous on 14th October 21, at LeCarre’s request. No explanation was given by his family or his editor as to why LeCarre did not want the book published during his lifetime when he went on to write two more novels, but this is the last of LeCarre’s books to be published. What we do get from the book is more insight into LeCarre’s view of the intelligence service and its monstrous bureaucracy, and the incongruity of the secret world of the intelligence services, in his view, in need of reform. Perhaps his timely release is to encourage the reflection on the relationship between the nation’s government and its people. When two old spies meet, the comment reflects not just the tone and view in the book but also of LeCaree’s own personal view “We didn’t do much to alter the course of human history did we? Philip replies “.. as one old spy to another I would have been more use running a boys club” No doubt this will become one of the best sellers in 2021, and one of the most anticipated novels this autumn since the death of the wonderfully talented legend that is John LeCarre. The popularity of John LeCarre’s body of work is enormous and has brought him world wide acclaim as the best spy novelist ever. I would certainly endorse that view having read so many of LeCarre’s books and enjoyed so many of the film adaptions of his novels. However, I wish the master of espionage had left us with one of the biggest achievements of his career and unfortunately Silverview did not achieve that in my opinion. Nevertheless, this is a novella at 200 pages, but it still possesses all the intrigue we come to expect from LeCarre, I adore his writing style, the multi-layered and complex nature of his plots and he will always remain one of my favourites authors of all time.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    Hard to close the book on this one. I'll write more. Read it on a flight from Maine to DFW. Not quite a novel but a lovely novella by one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century. Hard to close the book on this one. I'll write more. Read it on a flight from Maine to DFW. Not quite a novel but a lovely novella by one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Roman Clodia

    This has the feel of a valedictory book, suffused as it is with a backward-looking, retrospective narrative - all the real 'action' as such has already taken place during the Cold War and Bosnian conflict, and in the present there's both a piecing together of this past story and an understanding of the consequences which have ensued. It's no surprise, then, that the spymasters are largely aged, ill, dying - and the Service itself feels a bit of a has-been, looking back to its glory days while st This has the feel of a valedictory book, suffused as it is with a backward-looking, retrospective narrative - all the real 'action' as such has already taken place during the Cold War and Bosnian conflict, and in the present there's both a piecing together of this past story and an understanding of the consequences which have ensued. It's no surprise, then, that the spymasters are largely aged, ill, dying - and the Service itself feels a bit of a has-been, looking back to its glory days while struggling now with maintaining a place in the world which Britain has, largely, lost. This isn't, for me, vintage le Carré but it's still astute in political terms.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jill Mackin

    This was such a brilliant story! I think it ranks up there with his classic The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. All the moral ambiguities that are standard in LeCarre’s characters are front and center in Silverview. Highly recommend. Sorry it’s his last novel.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cphe

    I imagine that this final book by a master craftsman will get high accolades but for this reader it fell short. To my mind it just didn't have the intensity, the "cat and mouse" or the depth of earlier novels (it's Smiley I'm thinking of) This felt bleaker, heavier, "older" if that makes sense. Facets of the earlier work are present but it just felt incomplete. If I was first coming to the work of le Carre I would have been satisfied, but....... I imagine that this final book by a master craftsman will get high accolades but for this reader it fell short. To my mind it just didn't have the intensity, the "cat and mouse" or the depth of earlier novels (it's Smiley I'm thinking of) This felt bleaker, heavier, "older" if that makes sense. Facets of the earlier work are present but it just felt incomplete. If I was first coming to the work of le Carre I would have been satisfied, but.......

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ron Milligan

    At this time in the pandemic (October 2021) what I needed was a gripping tale that I could get lost in for about a week or so to escape the endless chatter about Covid or whether the Chinese were about to engulf the world - or at least eat Taiwan as an appetizer. Imagine my delight when I found a Le Carre book that I had not read, and his final book at that! So, oh great god Amazon, bring it forth for my reading pleasure, and the god obliged with it's usual speed, efficiency and disregard for ca At this time in the pandemic (October 2021) what I needed was a gripping tale that I could get lost in for about a week or so to escape the endless chatter about Covid or whether the Chinese were about to engulf the world - or at least eat Taiwan as an appetizer. Imagine my delight when I found a Le Carre book that I had not read, and his final book at that! So, oh great god Amazon, bring it forth for my reading pleasure, and the god obliged with it's usual speed, efficiency and disregard for cardboard. After ripping off the cardboard and disposing of the inflatable bags, I was initially disappointed to see how thin the book was - less than 300 pages. This will not occupy a full week , I thought, and so it proved to be for I devoured it in two relatively short sittings, or rather lying downs. It was great, up to Le Carre's usual standard. Despite the initial or obvious lack of a adversary or an amiable foreign agent, I was hooked from the outset and read vocaciously to discover who was part of the Circus, who wasn't and what they were all up to. I loved the main characters, several of which had fascinating back stories ..... but you will have to read it to find out more. i think I will now go back and re-read all his books...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Shindler

    When I was much younger, I stumbled upon the novel “ Call for the Dead.” I became entranced by John LeCarre, eagerly looking forward to each new release. I awaited the posthumously published “ Silverview” with a sense of anticipation and wistfulness, knowing that I would never again be able to savor a newly published book by this author. This final book is a fitting addition to LeCarre’s body of work.For me, it is not fruitful to evaluate where the book ranks within his prodigious output.It is sa When I was much younger, I stumbled upon the novel “ Call for the Dead.” I became entranced by John LeCarre, eagerly looking forward to each new release. I awaited the posthumously published “ Silverview” with a sense of anticipation and wistfulness, knowing that I would never again be able to savor a newly published book by this author. This final book is a fitting addition to LeCarre’s body of work.For me, it is not fruitful to evaluate where the book ranks within his prodigious output.It is satisfying enough that”Silverview” contains the elements that have made me an avid follower of this author.He once again constructs a plot that centers around the mendacity and betrayals that are rooted in the human predilection for self delusion and willingness to believe justifications that reduce subtly shaded problems into simply accepted clarion calls to action.He embeds his themes in sinuously crafted narratives that reflect on bureaucratic incompetence, geopolitical turbulence and the role of institutions in impacting individual lives. We are immediately thrust into a level of intrigue when a young lady,pushing a pram on a rainswept morning, delivers a secret letter to a spymaster in London.On that same morning there is a seemingly chance encounter in East Anglia between Edward Avon,a figure with a shadowy past, and Julian Lawndsley.Julian is a bookseller with little knowledge of books who has eschewed the pressures of a City financial trader to pursue a more tranquil life in a small seaside town.It soon becomes apparent that this is a meeting between a seducer and a naïf.Edward has past ties to the secret world.Julian is struggling to find his way in his newly chosen career and is grateful for Edward’s offer to help in selecting stock for the bookshop and in organizing Julian’s computers.As this process unfolds, the spymaster in London has examined the secret letter and departs for East Anglia to investigate a serious security leak. LeCarre’s sparse, subtle prose slowly unwinds the serpentine plot and reveals backstories, delusions and nuances of social interactions in a constricted yet shifting milieu.People are watched,monitored and hunted.The characters confront truths about themselves and the ways in which they deceive themselves and others. Ultimately, LeCarre’s legacy goes beyond that of a spy novelist. He distinguishes himself by his portrayal of the romance of seduction.In the process he prompts the reader to consider the difference between the face we present to the world and the inner secret view of self that every one harbors within. “ Silverview” is a worthy creation that forces us to consider this eternal conundrum.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Martina

    Final novel from John le Carre who died during December 2020. I'll be reading it as I have all his books! Started reading the book two days ago. Just enjoying the read. Sigh. Did not want to rush this. My only alternative after this book is to go back and reread his entire output! Now that's an idea..... I finished the book and had to think about what I'd read for a bit. The afterword by the author's son, who had promised to see the book through publication after his father died, helped a great d Final novel from John le Carre who died during December 2020. I'll be reading it as I have all his books! Started reading the book two days ago. Just enjoying the read. Sigh. Did not want to rush this. My only alternative after this book is to go back and reread his entire output! Now that's an idea..... I finished the book and had to think about what I'd read for a bit. The afterword by the author's son, who had promised to see the book through publication after his father died, helped a great deal. I don't want to say much else as you need to just read the book and decide things for yourself. For me, it's 5 stars for a lifetime of pleasure reading!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Peterhans

    "What can it have been like, he wondered, to be forged in that furnace of guilt and shame? To know that even if you spend your whole life trying, you’ll never get rid of the stain?" "What can it have been like, he wondered, to be forged in that furnace of guilt and shame? To know that even if you spend your whole life trying, you’ll never get rid of the stain?"

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    A magnificent final work,from an extraordinary author.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Ray

    This manuscript was discovered by John le Carre's son and seemed a fitting finale to his previous works. There is a lot of discourse and insight based upon earlier Cold War events. Julian, the main character, is a former London hotshot who flees his life there to open a bookshop in a small English village. He befriends Edward and is drawn into his world of secrets and spies. The clues and mysteries unravel through the atmosphere and dialogue of all the players. The different plots eventually con This manuscript was discovered by John le Carre's son and seemed a fitting finale to his previous works. There is a lot of discourse and insight based upon earlier Cold War events. Julian, the main character, is a former London hotshot who flees his life there to open a bookshop in a small English village. He befriends Edward and is drawn into his world of secrets and spies. The clues and mysteries unravel through the atmosphere and dialogue of all the players. The different plots eventually converge. The melancholy of the disenchanted intelligence officers was only enhanced by my own sadness that this was John Le Carre's last novel.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Roving Book Review

    I read John Le Carré’s Silverview today and what a joy it was! Le Carré truly was a master of his art and Silverview - a brilliantly crafted spy novel, fine-tuned to the precision of a Swiss clockwork - is a farewell worthy of Le Carré’s literary genius.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Renata

    Well that was an unexpected pleasant surprise. Chose this on a whim as an add-on to my BOTM pick, and glad I did. I’ve never read le Carre before and remember not liking the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy movie, so this was a surprising choice. I liked the story and they way it unfolded. I do have a feeling that had he lived to “work” it some more and publish it when he was ready, it would have more “meat on the bones”. Alas, it is what it is. I enjoyed it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Masterful, gripping, thought-provoking and brilliant. As I read this I was both astounded and saddened knowing that it will be the last work that we receive from this, one of our greatest contemporary authors. Cheers to you and rest in peace David Cornwell!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Having read Mick Herron's review in The Guardian from October 14 (2021), I would recommend anyone interested in reading this book to check that out before reading this book. I simply jumped into the book based on author's previous works after excitedly checking it out from my library. I found myself mightily confused through much of the book. There were major characters and events to follow, but it seemed to me like observing stick figures being moved about atop a shoebox theatre. Yes, it's about Having read Mick Herron's review in The Guardian from October 14 (2021), I would recommend anyone interested in reading this book to check that out before reading this book. I simply jumped into the book based on author's previous works after excitedly checking it out from my library. I found myself mightily confused through much of the book. There were major characters and events to follow, but it seemed to me like observing stick figures being moved about atop a shoebox theatre. Yes, it's about spooks, but these spooks are unusually spooky. The title comes from the name of a house featured in the book, but Herron explains better than I can. At first I liked the main character who had left a city career and opened a book shop, but things happen to him that are hard to swallow. If I could advise, I would have told him to just stay in London. Rest in peace, dear author. Library Loan

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller

    Spymaster John le Carré has left this world, sadly, but not before giving his readers one last thrilling novel. Two months ago, Julian Lawndsley left the city to become the proprietor of Lawndsley’s Better Books, a delightful shop located in an English seaside town. This new life suits him, and he’s settling nicely into a comfortable routine. Then one evening, just before closing time, a man calling himself Edward Avon steps through the door, apologizing for arriving late but nonetheless continui Spymaster John le Carré has left this world, sadly, but not before giving his readers one last thrilling novel. Two months ago, Julian Lawndsley left the city to become the proprietor of Lawndsley’s Better Books, a delightful shop located in an English seaside town. This new life suits him, and he’s settling nicely into a comfortable routine. Then one evening, just before closing time, a man calling himself Edward Avon steps through the door, apologizing for arriving late but nonetheless continuing inside. Julian doesn’t mind. Edward seems like quite an interesting chap --- intelligent and affable. After wandering around a while, conversing with Julian, the man takes his leave. But the next morning, at a local café, they meet again. Julian wonders if this really is just a coincidence. Edward has something of a proposal for the bookshop owner. He has seen the store’s basement and hates for space like that to go unused. Shouldn’t they fill it with special books and call it, oh, maybe Republic of Literature? Intrigued, Julian can’t stop thinking about the idea and looks forward to further discussion. Edward takes to dropping in each afternoon near closing time. He confesses that his wife is dying. Does Julian mind these encounters? No, not at all. As they become more acquainted, Edward ventures to ask a favor of Julian. Would he please deliver a letter to a lady friend of his in London? Of course, Julian says. He’d be happy to. But others are watching the interactions between Julian and Edward --- people from the Service. They are curious about that letter Julian delivered. However, the young man did not peek inside the envelope. He knows nothing other than that he took it to Edward’s lady friend in the city. Whether he begins to suspect that there are secret goings-on or not, Julian continues to enjoy the company of the rather odd Edward Avon. A few weeks later, he is invited to Silverview, the Avon home. He eagerly accepts without reservation and ends up having a lovely evening over dinner. As a bonus, he meets Edward’s daughter, Lily. Lily is a colorful character with language to match. She takes a shining to Julian and frequents the shop often. Her visits aid him in getting a better handle on who Edward is. Lily seems to want little more than to be in Julian’s company, a man with whom she can speak frankly and may understand her more than any other. The Service, though, is paying close attention. They want to know everything, especially what Edward has been up to. It’s all hush-hush, as the spy business is. Julian appears to have been a naïve target for the experienced Edward Avon, if not a genuine friend in the making. Their Edward has found a use for Julian, one that could get him into trouble. The bookshop owner, for his part, simply views their relationship --- and indeed the world --- with honesty, interest and a forthright mien. So where will this take them? The literary community mourns the loss of a writer as great as John le Carré. Fortunately, we as readers are blessed with this final contribution by the author of some of the top spy thrillers ever to hit bookshelves. Read it as a fitting tribute to this superb literary giant. Reviewed by Kate Ayers

  19. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    It felt bittersweet to read the final novel from the greatest spy novelist of the 20th century, the one whom Ian McEwan famously said "will be remembered as perhaps the most significant novelist of the second half of the 20th century in Britain." So many of his books I have read and savored multiple times - I have a particular fondness for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Our Game - and this one will be no exception. Slight in size but looming large in the author's major themes and preoccupation It felt bittersweet to read the final novel from the greatest spy novelist of the 20th century, the one whom Ian McEwan famously said "will be remembered as perhaps the most significant novelist of the second half of the 20th century in Britain." So many of his books I have read and savored multiple times - I have a particular fondness for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Our Game - and this one will be no exception. Slight in size but looming large in the author's major themes and preoccupations, Silverview is a reflective look back at a foreign intelligence service that is flawed, morally questionable, and even broken, one where those who think they have the answers find themselves full of questions. I love the generational themes, as Lily, the daughter of spies Deborah and Edward, adapts their techniques if not their career for herself, in pursuit of her own aims. Both couples - the Avons and the married pair who are Edward Avon's retired handlers - question whether losses felt, sacrifices made, and duplicitous betrayals enacted in the service of the nation were worth the energy and effort expended in their duties throughout the Cold War, particularly when it's hard to determine right and wrong in a world of grey. A fitting, moving capstone to the career of one of the greats.

  20. 4 out of 5

    The Cookster

    Rating: 2.4/5 Not far short of a year has elapsed since John Le Carré passed away in December 2020. "Silverview" is billed as the last novel that he completed during his lifetime and its publication has been eagerly anticipated by many people who admired the work of the master craftsman that Le Carré so often showed himself to be. Sadly, this is unlikely to go down as one of his best or most memorable novels, and is actually somewhat disappointing. There are glimpses of Le Carré at his best with s Rating: 2.4/5 Not far short of a year has elapsed since John Le Carré passed away in December 2020. "Silverview" is billed as the last novel that he completed during his lifetime and its publication has been eagerly anticipated by many people who admired the work of the master craftsman that Le Carré so often showed himself to be. Sadly, this is unlikely to go down as one of his best or most memorable novels, and is actually somewhat disappointing. There are glimpses of Le Carré at his best with some tantalising wordsmithery and eloquent prose. "Silverview" also contains a number of wonderfully drawn characters with genuine depth and appeal. However, in spite of those elements and despite the fact that this is described as his final completed novel something feels amiss. It isn't simply that the book is unusually short, but there is also the sense that certain sections still feel as though they are "work in progress". The bones of the structure are there, but there is the impression that Le Carré still intended to revisit certain passages and flesh them out more fully. We will probably never know for sure whether that was actually the case, so perhaps John Le Carré has left his readers with one final mystery and conspiracy theory to ponder over, after all.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mindo'ermatter

    A Different Side of John le Carré Revealed As his son recounts in the afterword, this final work of John le Carré was the one he kept reworking but had not released. As such, it stands unique being the literary child of the author, held back until he could do no more, knowing that his son would keep a promise to release it after his death. In its own way, it serves well as the author's valedictory and final volume to a lifelong pursuit. Accordingly, it reveals a deeper, more personal John le Car A Different Side of John le Carré Revealed As his son recounts in the afterword, this final work of John le Carré was the one he kept reworking but had not released. As such, it stands unique being the literary child of the author, held back until he could do no more, knowing that his son would keep a promise to release it after his death. In its own way, it serves well as the author's valedictory and final volume to a lifelong pursuit. Accordingly, it reveals a deeper, more personal John le Carré, perhaps a little more conflicted and even insecure about the world of espionage in which he spent his early years. Although all of le Carré's works deal with the ambiguities of life, power, human weakness, and personal costs of unintended consequences upon loyal participants, this novel focuses more on the uncontrollable monster created created by decades of misguided and compartmentalized bureaucratic intelligence services, who unremorsefully "eat their own." The convoluted plotline focuses on a dying espionage agent and all those impacted by her lifetime of clandestine activities and questionable relationships. Implied within the spycraft storyline are multiple examples poorly planned, ill-timed, and incompetently managed intelligence efforts. In the wake of her successful career, we find the human flotsam and jetsam caused by her ruthlessness. Who were the traitors, patriots, villains, victims? There must always be someone else to blame for the mistakes arbitrary, misguided, power-hungry leaders corrupted by their perverted political ambitions. This short and intense novel highlights all the weaknesses of an agency that has lost its way, it purpose, and soul. I found this final, albeit procrastinated, work of John le Carré an insightful key or Rosetta Stone to the author's other works by adding some missing information and perspective. I experienced several "Eureka" moments as I reflected back on earlier novels, now seeing them differently. This short work in many ways was a final confession by the author but without betraying his oath of professional secrecy, releasing and confirming the pain we always felt in all of John le Carré's creative endeavors. Toby Jones was a superb narrator for Audible's companion supplement, adding depth and insightful interpretations to the author's enigmatic storytelling. An essential addition to a complete library of John le Carré's many entertaining and eye-opening creations. F. Scott Fitzgerald said all authors have a single story they keep trying to tell. This final installment helps make all of John le Carré's many adventures more complete and understandable!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Henley

    I was 30% into Joe Abercrombie's The Wisdom of Crowds when John Le Carré's Silverview popped up on my Kindle. Do I switch books now or finish the excellent "Age of Madness" series? Sorry, Joe. I love your books, but this is Le Carré. And I'll return. I promise. Silverview is billed as Le Carré's last completed novel and it definitely has a beginning, middle and end. It's a fast-paced read, filled with the author's expected obsessions communicated with his outrageous literary skill. In no way did I I was 30% into Joe Abercrombie's The Wisdom of Crowds when John Le Carré's Silverview popped up on my Kindle. Do I switch books now or finish the excellent "Age of Madness" series? Sorry, Joe. I love your books, but this is Le Carré. And I'll return. I promise. Silverview is billed as Le Carré's last completed novel and it definitely has a beginning, middle and end. It's a fast-paced read, filled with the author's expected obsessions communicated with his outrageous literary skill. In no way did I feel that is was incomplete. There were times, though, when I thought that, although finished, the middle section could be developed more fully. I would like to have spent more time with the character's early secret service years. As published, some of the chapters seem compressed, as if the author wanted to get the gist down and fill in the details later. But don't get me wrong. The story is complete and it really packs a wallop. Le Carré's son Nick adds an afterword about the novel and he explains why he thinks his father was reluctant to publish it. Don't be reluctant to read it. Silverview does not disappoint.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dan Trefethen

    A young man who opens a new bookstore in a small town. An elderly man with a slight accent who befriends him. A Secret Service handler who is tracking down a former agent. Le Carré juggles his different characters as he so often did, giving us pieces of a puzzle and challenging us to put them together. While this is not the most dramatic of his novels, it is a satisfying coda to his career. His son speculates in an afterword why Le Carré may have put this finished novel in the trunk, and it has n A young man who opens a new bookstore in a small town. An elderly man with a slight accent who befriends him. A Secret Service handler who is tracking down a former agent. Le Carré juggles his different characters as he so often did, giving us pieces of a puzzle and challenging us to put them together. While this is not the most dramatic of his novels, it is a satisfying coda to his career. His son speculates in an afterword why Le Carré may have put this finished novel in the trunk, and it has nothing to do with the elements of the plot or characterization, but of Le Carré's possible reticence to show his former service in an unfavorable light. Given that the service does not exactly show up with sterling colors in previous books, I'm not sure that's the case, but his son would have a better feeling for his motivation. I see no problem with the book itself; it has the calm assurance of a man who knows exactly how to tell a story.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Forsyth

    A wonderful little novella from the late, great le Carré. It might not be as tightly focused as his other work, but it’s a mirror to THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD in some respects, and feels like a fitting goodbye to one of the great literary voices of our times.

  25. 4 out of 5

    DJ

    I was surprised with SILVERVIEW Today... And have devoured it in an afternoon... I don't want to give spoilers as this is only its release day. It is classic John Le Carr at his best. There is so much of him in it that when reading one specific character - I read him in Le Carrès voice. Now to go back and read all the others but this time in order. An exquisite but tinged with sadness afternoon. I was surprised with SILVERVIEW Today... And have devoured it in an afternoon... I don't want to give spoilers as this is only its release day. It is classic John Le Carr at his best. There is so much of him in it that when reading one specific character - I read him in Le Carrès voice. Now to go back and read all the others but this time in order. An exquisite but tinged with sadness afternoon.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bill Keefe

    Vintage Carre. Nothing happens. Few things move. People are interviewed. Others pose indecisive because they only have enough information to know that they don't know how to act. The sky is grey turning to night, the landscape bleak. The past is always in question. The answer elusive, eventually anticlimactic. You, the reader, implore the storyteller to go on forever, continue this murky, chilling ode to lost innocence, whose truths hover eternally ambivalent. Even more so now, knowing that the Vintage Carre. Nothing happens. Few things move. People are interviewed. Others pose indecisive because they only have enough information to know that they don't know how to act. The sky is grey turning to night, the landscape bleak. The past is always in question. The answer elusive, eventually anticlimactic. You, the reader, implore the storyteller to go on forever, continue this murky, chilling ode to lost innocence, whose truths hover eternally ambivalent. Even more so now, knowing that the end came before the beginning of the book, before you opened the book jacket and said goodbye.

  27. 5 out of 5

    James W Castle

    The Final Curtain A fitting finale. I read it over 24 hours, picking it up each time because it was vintage Le Carre - a joy to read. And putting it down because I didn’t want to finish it - knowing this was the last read. Now it is over. A joy to remember.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    More like 3.5. I like the bones of this story a lot, and there are several other excellent things about this last novel by LeCarre, including the opening and closing 30 pages (the opening was so clean and driving I actually wondered to myself if an AI had written it.) That said, it's hard for me to believe he intended this to be 200 pages, as several things felt underexplained/underexplored, particularly the relationship between the tenents of Silverview, which is, you know, kind of related to t More like 3.5. I like the bones of this story a lot, and there are several other excellent things about this last novel by LeCarre, including the opening and closing 30 pages (the opening was so clean and driving I actually wondered to myself if an AI had written it.) That said, it's hard for me to believe he intended this to be 200 pages, as several things felt underexplained/underexplored, particularly the relationship between the tenents of Silverview, which is, you know, kind of related to the heart of the novel as well as themes the author's been exploring since forever. There is a closing piece from LeCarre's son who owns the fact that some touching up was required after his father's death, and the seams and gaps still showed for me, particularly after I finished reading and began to reflect more on the story. The attempt to connect this story to the annals of classic literature felt... off... to me. I was hoping for more meaningful payback from that basement. All of that said, it is often a fast, compelling read, and it's his last, so I don't recommend not reading it if you like this stuff. Just maybe slightly adjust your expectations.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Venky

    Written just a year before his death in 2020, John Le Carré’s ‘Silverview’ represents the culmination of an era of masterly espionage fiction, the likes of which, will, arguably, elude all attempts at replication. Le Carré’s swansong does not disappoint. Slim (just over 200 pages in length), yet spectacular, Silverview holds no secrets when it comes to the author’s views or loyalties. Employing a degree of lucidity that warms the very cockles of the heart, Carré lampoons the Secret Service for t Written just a year before his death in 2020, John Le Carré’s ‘Silverview’ represents the culmination of an era of masterly espionage fiction, the likes of which, will, arguably, elude all attempts at replication. Le Carré’s swansong does not disappoint. Slim (just over 200 pages in length), yet spectacular, Silverview holds no secrets when it comes to the author’s views or loyalties. Employing a degree of lucidity that warms the very cockles of the heart, Carré lampoons the Secret Service for the harm caused by them and the agency’s lamentable lack of remorse over such impairment. The beginning of the book is bleak and dreary. A young lady going by the name of Lily, with her child Sam, in a stroller, braves inclement weather and a torrent of conflicting emotions in delivering an envelope at a London house. Lily has been strictly instructed by the originator of the message contained within the confines of the envelope, her own mother, to wait until the beneficiary of the message provides an oral response. Accomplishing her deed, Lily makes a swift and furtive exit. The action then shifts to an equally (if not more) windswept and quaint East Anglian seaside town. Julian Lawndsley, a young man tired of all the ‘excesses’ that is the preserve of city life takes over a book shop. The fact that the world of literature to him is a virgin territory does not deflect or detract from his determination. Just when Julian is at his wit’s end in trying to wrap his head around the esoteric world of books, a saviour appears in the form of an absolute mad hatter. “Mad as a flute” in Julian’s own words, Edward Avon manifests at his doorstep and incredulously suggests using the basement of the shop for establishing a “Republic of Literature.” As a start he also recommends that Julian begin reading “The Rings of Saturn” by W.G.Sebald. Edward also prepares a painstakingly handwritten manifest of six hundred “choice” books which Julian would do well to procure. Edward’s presence and the untimely demise of his spouse Deborah Avon sets off a chain of cascading events at the eye of all of which is the mysterious Stewart Proctor. “Proctor The Doctor” after toiling and moiling away at, and for the Secret Service has reached a point where stagnation represents progress. Proctor perks up visibly when the appearance of Edward Avon offers an opportunity to elevate his career to a pedestal hitherto imagined. This opportunism takes Proctor to make an inquiring visit to two former Secret Service colleagues who make a couple too. The simple yet profound gravitas permeating the conversation demonstrates with scathing brilliance the métier of le Carré. At the end of the mild interrogation, Phillip who has been felled by a stroke advises Proctor, “between ourselves – don’t tell your trainees or you’ll lose your pension – we didn’t do much to alter the course of human history, did we? As one old spy to another, I reckon I’d have been more use running a boys’ club. Don’t know what you feel.” These lines encapsulate the quintessential feature of the book and carry with aplomb the unmistakable message it conveys. Juxtaposing wicked wit with wistful wisdom, Carré regales his readers one last time. He does it with a sincerity that is apparent, and an urgency that is timely. Joseph Quincy Mitchell reporting for the New Yorker dazzled his readers with a stunning cocktail of riveting pieces and alluring books. He was, during the peak of his writing, a candidate for the world's greatest living reporter. But he unfortunately was racked by "writer's block" and suffered from depression throughout his life. For the last 31 years and six months of his career he went to the New Yorker's office, got out the lift, perched himself before his typewriter and intermittently clacked away. But he did not hand in a single piece. Out of sheer respect, his employer allowed him to retain his office and $20,000 salary. Carré, sans Silverview and a half dozen works before that would still go down in the world of literature as one of the unparalleled masters of his genre. Every reader who has read the warring of wits between Smiley and Karla will wholeheartedly endorse this claim. The omnibus trilogy of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People firmly installed Carré as the numero uno in his class. But over the years one can discern a not so understated shift or alteration in the works of the master. Agitation and angst seem to have prevailed over aesthetics. May be this is a sign of the torment nursed by Carré against the changing times. The use of expletives is more liberal, and protagonists willingly allow themselves to be bested by bouts of frustration. But the magic still remains unblemished, untarnished and untainted. Silverview is also the name of the house where Edward resides. This part of the story reminds me of the James Bond movie, Skyfall. Edward’s residence is as dear to him as was Skyfall to M. Carré informs his readers that the name of the house is derived from Nietzsche’s own house which was named Silberblick. Both M as well as Edward seek their ultimate redemption in the cavernous confines of homes that are not just dear to them, but have in fact gone on to define them. Both Ian Fleming and Carré couched the greatest strength of their characters within the shroud of immense vulnerability. Perhaps, it was experience that bestowed on them this facet, what with both men hailing from the Services themselves. It is perhaps a fitting coincidence that the publication of Silverview and the latest, and in all probability, the final installment in the Bond Franchise Die Another Day follow closely in each other’s wake. There could not have been a more poignant and parallel ending to the lives of one of the greatest spies the world has ever seen and one of the greatest creators of spies that the world has been privy to. Many a time, at the intersection of fact and fiction, lies the absolute truth.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Martin Jones

    Silverview is John Le Carré’s posthumously published 2021 novel about a City trader who plots an escape to bookshop ownership in a quiet English seaside town. But once installed in his new shop, he inadvertently becomes involved in the affairs of a disenchanted former spy. Obviously, reviewing a book like this involves not giving away plot details, keeping secrets, as any good agent gathering information is obliged to do. But a review is also designed to let people in on a few secrets so that a p Silverview is John Le Carré’s posthumously published 2021 novel about a City trader who plots an escape to bookshop ownership in a quiet English seaside town. But once installed in his new shop, he inadvertently becomes involved in the affairs of a disenchanted former spy. Obviously, reviewing a book like this involves not giving away plot details, keeping secrets, as any good agent gathering information is obliged to do. But a review is also designed to let people in on a few secrets so that a potential reader can decide if this is a book for them. Or you might have already read the book and are looking to see what someone else found in it. Tricky - the secrets you keep or give away in this intelligence report. What I will say is that I enjoyed Silverview. To me it was a study in the contradictions of belief, the meaning that people find in being passionate about something - whether that’s related to religion, politics, nationality or fighting the good fight against extreme manifestations of whatever belief people latch onto. Agents who are passionate about the rightness of their mission are highly motivated. However, that passion remains an unpredictable energy, which can easily express itself in dangerous ways. Here we have the thoughts of a Secret Service staffer, who characterises life in the Service as the avoidance of passion: Absolute commitment of any sort constituted to his trained mind a grave security threat. The entire ethic of the Service was utterly – he would almost say absolutely – opposed to it, unless, that is, you were talking of manipulating the absolute commitment of an agent you were running. As a final note, with an admitted risk to security, I will share one thought with you, which might help provide a way into the central contradiction of Silverview. Perhaps Le Carré puts his main idea into the form of a little code. It would be a similar code to that found in the name of the lovely character, Liz Gold, in The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. In that book it is hard to work out where exactly constitutes the Cold, when one side uses the same ruthless tactics as the other. This confusion might be characterised by Liz Gold’s name - gold sounding so similar to cold. Silverview has a character who had me thinking similar furtive thoughts. She has a “nun like” devotion, representing a capacity for passionate commitment, which has ambivalent outcomes. Her name is only one letter away from ‘mania’. I will leave you to find her and come to your own conclusions. This book brings the spy story into an age where those national struggles the Service was built to support, have themselves become a threat. It’s a fascinating and timely addition to Le Carré’s collection of work.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...