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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

In Silverview, John le Carré turns his focus to the world that occupied his writing for the past 60 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.

©2021 John le Carré (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Silverview

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A fitting finale

Silverview is a slow burning character driven nugget of excellence. It was advertised as a spy novel but did not become clear until the final third that it was and it ended up with all actions and loose ends coming together in true Le Carre style. I love Toby Jones as an actor, but could he pull it off as a narrator? You bet he could! Superb. What a shame that there are no more books to come, and what a body of work Le Carre has left us. All that was missing was a 98 year old Smiley making one final appearance.

13 people found this helpful

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A fitting farewell

As with any of his books - a gripping story with well developed characters. Although, I felt the actual actions of Edward weren’t explained well enough (i.e. what info did he give away and to whom) and Julian’s character felt somewhat unfinished. Always enjoyable though.

7 people found this helpful

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Not the finest but still Le Carre

The great Le Carre’s final book and one I was hugely looking forward to.

We join two story threads. Julian has escaped the City to run a bookshop. He is entranced by the mysterious Edward who suggests a joint venture and a number of favours. Meanwhile Dr Proctor, connected to the Service but position a little murky, is engaged in various clandestine meetings and interactions.

This isn’t one of Le Carre’s best works but it is Le Carre, so that can be forgiven. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Toby Jones. I hugely missed Le Carre’s own narration which was reading the book rather than performing (and therefore hugely interpreting each character). Overall a strong 3*.

6 people found this helpful

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Not the grand finale that I’d hoped for

Being a lifelong fan of JLC, I was expecting him to go out on a high with this posthumous work.

The plot slithered along and the characters were unappealing and uninteresting.

Thank goodness that JLC’s literary legacy will rest on firmer foundations.

The narrator did a professional job but failed to embody any of the characters.

5 people found this helpful

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  • TU
  • 21-11-21

Very entertaining. Extremely well performed.

Really enjoyed it. Found it difficult at first to reconcile Lilly's "common" character with her background and upbringing: a minor quibble. Interesting plot, well presented and worked through

4 people found this helpful

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Wish it could have gone on & on 😢

RIP John Le Carré - wish we could have had more of this, forever.

3 people found this helpful

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A gem.

Le Carré's last is a real gem.
Finished it in one session.
Proctor had all the makings of a new Smiley.

3 people found this helpful

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Straightforward JLC

A straightforward and fairly simple spy story of historical action being discovered in the present, with the well developed complex characters that one expects from JLC. I admit I was waiting for an unforseen twist that never came; this is not his most subtle book but is an enjoyable story. Although the narrator is fine, I felt his style was not appropriate for Le Carre - too ponderous, too modern. It would have benefited from a detached, clipped RP rendition and I felt it detracted from the tale. Overall, a good addition to the Le Carre oeuvre but not his finest.

2 people found this helpful

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A small disapointment

This story was a small disappointment. For some time I did not understand what was going on.

2 people found this helpful

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Confusing

I love John Le Carre and have read every other book. I was thrilled to start this audiobook. However, I’ve listened to it twice now and still haven’t a clue what most of it is about. I found it disjointed and confusing, and it didn’t really go anywhere. Toby Jones overdoes it on the voices too.

1 person found this helpful

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  • R G Hart
  • 07-02-22

Put me to sleep twice!

Sorry, I’m a fan of le Carré, but three hours in and the story and the narration have become too boring to persevere any longer.