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The Russia House

Written by: John le Carré
Narrated by: Michael Jayston
Length: 13 hrs and 53 mins

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Publisher's 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 members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • 21-06-11

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.

22 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MR DAVID I SUTTON
  • 18-01-18

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.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard
  • 28-07-18

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.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vicuña
  • 16-07-18

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nike
  • 20-06-18

Fascinating description of Spy life

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

8 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • EAMONN MCCALLION
  • 21-02-19

Not the usual Le Carre standard

Most Le Carre books are riveting but sadly this one didn’t capture my attention like the others. It’s a reasonable story and don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book, but you would be better served selecting another Le Carre book.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Noel Austin
  • 15-01-19

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • peter
  • 17-03-13

HOPE NEVER DIES....

In the best tradition and under the cover of hide-and-seek, it's a hunting love story, resembling a Russian folktale, which offers a rare and enthralling spectacle: the resurrection of buried hopes. The novel is reserved, but still full of potent surprises, 24 years after its publication. This could hardly be said about the global political system, which inspired its conception. We were full of hopes then. Many of us disenchanted of what has transpired since. The work is a great example of fine literature may outlive reality that has gone to the dogs.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. S. Burgess
  • 20-02-20

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.

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  • Clifford Thurlow
  • 27-12-19

Love and Espionage

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

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-02-18

Enjoyable listening

I enjoyed listening to this book the narrator was very pleasant to listen too the story was well written I would recommend it

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Judith Cresswell
  • 03-08-19

stick with the film

I remember liking the Russia House film and although some parts of the plot are left unclear - nevertheless there was a sense of full circle.. 'hero's journey' about it. But the book has been hard to stick with. Le Carre can write descriptive prose brilliantly but this one rambles. He sounds depressed by the whole long pressure from the usa; as though the details are so close to reality and he is disgusted by it all. There is a lovely description of katya's list of swaps and barters ... and Barley's jazz .. but on the whole i think I'd recommend the film as a more satisfying experience.

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  • Linda
  • 02-12-16

Pointless

I am a Le Carre' fan but this one is such a waste of time. I think the author must have been in a different place. There is no direction and because the text books are bogus, no relevance