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Summary

It is the third summer of perestroika. Niki Landau, philanderer and travelling rep, attends the first Moscow audio fair and is asked by beautiful young Katya to take a parcel back to England.

It’s addressed to Barley Blair, jazz-player and drinker, and contains information vital to the defence of the West. But times and heroes are changing. And Barley Blair is a man who makes his own rules of engagement.

©2010 David Cornwell (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

What listeners say about The Russia House

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Well read in a strong believable voice.

The ending is different to the film adaptation, which I believe is better because your mind makes its own predictions of the outcome, which I'm finding aren't quite as nice.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect voice for the master's stories

John Le Carre writes quite amazing stories - about flawed innocents with pure intentions caught up in the mendacities of the real word. There is something about Michael Jayston's voice, the slightly jaded world-weariness, that makes it quite the perfect vehicle for Le Carre's writing.

29 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another Le Carre cracker

I read it when it was first published, and have just listened to it. I will listen to it again, several times. As well as being a great story, it is an interesting commentary on the politics of our day.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Story is too slow for my liking

Pros
I enjoyed Le Carré's descriptions of people and their actions ; the narrator was good, using different voices for different characters.
Cons
I found the story very slow - I tuned out sometimes but didn't seem to have missed anything when I started to pay attention again.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another masterpiece

The narration is outstanding. Balanced,convincing totally plausible. Really adds to the story.
This is not an action packed adventure. It’s far better, it explores relevant world tensions, good v bad, stereotypes, it’s packed with suspense leaving the reader unsure whose narrative is reliable. A real feel for the vagaries of Cold War espionage in recent years. Le Carré delivers another compelling insight into the murky workings of the world.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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A real snoozer

I've enjoyed all Carré's preceding novels, but this one I just cannot listen to without either nodding off, forgetting who Clive or Ned or Bob or some other uninteresting character is, or ssking myself: Is anything actually going to happen in this story? Have I learned anything new? Why am I bothering?
I think if this were not Carré it would not be so highly rated. Reluctantly throwing in the towel with 3 hours listening time remaining.
Very well written! Very well narrated! But just too boring.

5 people found this helpful

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I don’t want to do a review I don’t want to do a review I don’t want to do a review I don’t want to do a review

a review I don’t want to do a review I don’t want to do a review a review I don’t want to do a review I don’t want to do a review a review I don’t want to do a review I don’t want to do a review

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Slightly dull Le Carre

On balance Le Carre often places individual conflict in the centre of espionage stories and spycraft. Sometimes the dial is a little too far over towards the personal turmoil and the wider story doesn't quite grip. I think thats the case with the Russia House for me - no great hooks amongst the characters on the outside of the emotional conflict at the heart of the story.
Top Marks for Michael Jayston, however, as I really enjoy his dry/wry delivery - perfect for Le Carre's anti heroes.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love and Espionage

Exquisite writing and cleverly cloaking a love story behind the smoke and mirrors of the spying game.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating description of Spy life

Really well written More complex than his previous books. Thank you Mr Cornwall i really enjoyed it

10 people found this helpful