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  • Published: 3 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241994535
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $22.99


The Sunday Times Bestseller

The much anticipated publication of John le Carré's last complete novel now in paperback

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 after only a couple of months into his new career, Edward, a Polish émigré, shows up at his door with a very keen interest in Julian's new enterprise and a lot of knowledge about his family history. And 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 this last complete masterwork from the greatest chronicler of our age, John le Carré asks what you owe to your country when you no longer recognise it.

  • Published: 3 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241994535
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

John le Carré

John le Carré was born in 1931. For six decades, he wrote novels that came to define our age. The son of a confidence trickster, he spent his childhood between boarding school and the London underworld. At sixteen he found refuge at the university of Bern, then later at Oxford. A spell of teaching at Eton led him to a short career in British Intelligence (MI5&6). He published his debut novel, Call for the Dead, in 1961 while still a secret servant. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People. At the end of the Cold War, le Carré widened his scope to explore an international landscape including the arms trade and the War on Terror. His memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel, was published in 2016 and the last George Smiley novel, A Legacy of Spies, appeared in 2017. He died on 12 December 2020. His posthumous novel Silverview was published in 2021.

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Praise for Silverview

First-rate prose and a fascinating plot . . . a fitting coda to a remarkable career

Publishers Weekly

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

A fitting coda to the work of our greatest spy novelist

John Williams, Mail on Sunday

Crisp prose, a precision-tooled plot, the heady sense of an inside track on a shadowy world . . . all his usual pleasures are here


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

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


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


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 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


Arguably the greatest English novelist of his generation


It is written with elegance and often pungency, the pitch-perfect dialogue ranging from the waggishly epigrammatic to the bluntly outraged

New York Times

Textbook le Carré and a pleasing coda to a brilliant career: a short, sharp study of the human cost of espionage

Daily Telegraph

Promises to be filled with intrigue, surprises and timely meditations on the relationship between individuals and nations


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

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

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


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

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


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

One of the great moral writers of recent times


A poignant story of love and loyalty


A winner with fans of the master spy-writer


[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

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


A piercing portrait of moral ambivalence


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

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

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


A superb example of le Carré's enduring and exquisite genius

Daily Mail, 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

Gripping and involving, an elegant farewell by a much missed writer

Siân Phillips, Daily Express, 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

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

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 taut, thrilling spy novel. Read it as a tribute to a master

Stella, 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

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