Silverview (Paperback)John le Carré (author)
Characteristically taut and incisively written, the final completed novel from the unassailable master of espionage finds an independent bookshop owner caught between the sinister attentions of a Polish emigre; and the dogged suspicions of a British spy chief.
In Silverview John le Carré 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 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.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 240 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 20 mm
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 genius - Daily 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 fiction - Irish Times, Books of the Year
A taut, thrilling spy novel. Read it as a tribute to a master - Stella, 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 - FT
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 world - The 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 master - Economist
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 - Observer
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 - i
A poignant story of love and loyalty - Independent
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 way - Irish 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 - Scotsman
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 alive - Spectator
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 land - Evening 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
I 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 causes - Spectator
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 world - The 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 times - Metro
First-rate prose and a fascinating plot . . . a fitting coda to a remarkable career - Publishers Weekly
You may also be interested in...
“One of his best...”
I starting reading John Le Carre rather late, "Our Kind of Tratior" being the first of his books I read in 2011. I found it so good that subesequently over the next few years I purchasd and read all of his... More
“A brilliant and beautiful novel by the master.”
This will become a classic. I have just finished it and wished that John le Carre had not died, so that I could read more of his books. Each of his works are original, with human flaws shown in all there brilliance.... More
“Close to the bone”
I pre-ordered ‘Silverview’. How could I not? John le Carré’s novels have shaped aspects of my thinking through several decades; he is, in my opinion, one of the best story-tellers of the last half-century. His... More
Please sign in to write a review
Would you like to proceed to the App store to download the Waterstones App?