cover image The Looking Glass War

The Looking Glass War

John le Carré, read by a full cast, BBC Audio, abridged, two CDs, 2 hrs., $19.95 ISBN 978-160283-859-8

Le Carré's fourth George Smiley novel is handsomely dramatized in this BBC Audio production. Early in the 1960s the cold war is in full swing, and the Department, a holdover from the WWII section of British intelligence, forms an uneasy alliance with its rival agency, the Circus, when it is suspected that Soviet missiles may be in the process of being placed along the West German border. Death, lies, betrayal, secrets, secrets, and more secrets all add up to the kind of rich espionage story fans have come to expect from le Carré. Though this production, by necessity of time, is forced to leave out much of the book on which it's based, the dramatization captures the essence of the material, and the actors expertly brings their characters to life and are supported with excellent production values. (Mar.)