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Author: John le Carré
Editor: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0241976863
File Size: 62,88 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
Read: 741

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PigeonTHE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING MEMOIR OF SPY-WRITING LEGEND JOHN LE CARRÉ 'As recognizable a writer as Dickens or Austen' Financial Times From his years serving in British Intelligence during the Cold War to a career as a writer, John le Carré has lived a unique life. In this, his first memoir, le Carré is as funny as he is incisive - reading into the events he witnesses the same moral ambiguity with which he imbues his novels. Whether he's interviewing a German terrorist in her desert prison or watching Alec Guinness preparing for his role as George Smiley, this book invites us to think anew about events and people we believed we understood. Best of all, le Carré gives us a glimpse of a writer's journey over more than six decades, and his own hunt for the human spark that has given so much life and heart to his fictional characters. 'No other writer has charted - pitilessly for politicians but thrillingly for readers - the public and secret histories of his times' Guardian 'When I was under house arrest I was helped by the books of John le Carré . . . These were the journeys that made me feel that I was not really cut off from the rest of humankind' Aung San Suu Kyi
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Language: en
Pages: 352
Authors: John le Carré
Type: BOOK - Published: 2016-09-08 - Publisher: Penguin UK
THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING MEMOIR OF SPY-WRITING LEGEND JOHN LE CARRÉ 'As recognizable a writer as Dickens or Austen' Financial Times From his years serving in British Intelligence during the Cold War to a career as a writer, John le Carré has lived a unique life. In this,
Language: en
Pages: 352
Authors: John le Carré
Type: BOOK - Published: 2021-03-04 - Publisher: Penguin Classics
The Pigeon Tunnel, John le Carré's memoir and his first work of non-fiction, is a thrilling journey into the worlds of his 'secret sharers' - the men and women who inspired some of his most enthralling novels. From terrifying meetings with Yasser Arafat in war-torn Beirut to brilliantly observed encounters
Language: en
Pages: 384
Authors: John le Carré
Type: BOOK - Published: 2019-10-17 - Publisher: Penguin UK
'The British spy thriller at its unputdownable best' Observer ________________________________ Nat, a veteran of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, thinks his years as an agent runner are over. But MI6 have other plans. To tackle the growing threat from Moscow Centre, Nat is put in charge of The Haven, a defunct
Language: en
Pages: 704
Authors: John le Carré
Type: BOOK - Published: 2018-09-27 - Publisher: Penguin UK
In the second part of John le Carré's Karla Trilogy, the battle of wits between spymaster George Smiley and his Russian adversary takes on an even more dangerous dimension. George Smiley, now acting head of the Circus, must rebuild its shattered reputation after one of the biggest betrayals in its
Language: en
Pages: 368
Authors: John le Carré
Type: BOOK - Published: 2017-09-07 - Publisher: Penguin UK
Chosen as a Book of the Year in The Times Literary Supplement, the Evening Standard, the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, The Times 'A brilliant novel of deception, love and trust to join his supreme cannon' Evening Standard 'Vintage le Carré. Immensely clever, breathtaking. Really, not since The Spy Who Came


Call for the Dead

A Murder of Quality

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

The Looking Glass War

A Small Town in Germany

The Naive and Sentimental Lover

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The Honourable Schoolboy

Smiley's People

The Little Drummer Girl

A Perfect Spy

The Russia House

The Secret Pilgrim

The Night Manager

Our Game

The Tailor of Panama

Single & Single

The Constant Gardener

Absolute Friends

The Mission Song

A Most Wanted Man

Our Kind of Traitor

A Delicate Truth


An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

375 Hudson Street

New York, New York 10014

Copyright © 2016 by David Cornwell

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

The Pigeon Tunnel Pdf Free Download 64 Bit

ISBN: 9780735220775 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780735220799 (ebook)

Penguin is committed to publishing works of quality and integrity. In that spirit, we are proud to offer this book to our readers; however, the story, the experiences, and the words are the author's alone.



There is scarcely a book of mine that didn't have
The Pigeon Tunnel
at some time or another as its working title. Its origin is easily explained. I was in my mid-teens when my father decided to take me on one of his gambling sprees to Monte Carlo. Close by the old casino stood the sporting club, and at its base lay a stretch of lawn and a shooting range looking out to sea. Under the lawn ran small, parallel tunnels that emerged in a row at the sea's edge. Into them were inserted live pigeons that had been hatched and trapped on the casino roof. Their job was to flutter their way along the pitch-dark tunnel until they emerged in the Mediterranean sky as targets for well-lunched sporting gentlemen who were standing or lying in wait with their shotguns. Pigeons who were missed or merely winged then did what pigeons do. They returned to the place of their birth on the casino roof, where the same traps awaited them.

Quite why this image has haunted me for so long is something the reader is perhaps better able to judge than I am.

The Pigeon Tunnel PDF Free Download

John le Carré, January 2016


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I sit at my desk in the basement of the little Swiss chalet that I built with the profits from
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
in a mountain village ninety minutes by train from Bern, the city to which at the age of sixteen I had fled from my English public school and where I had enrolled at Bern University. At weekends a great bunch of us students, boys and girls, mostly Bernese, would flood up to the Oberland, bunk down in mountain huts and ski our hearts out. So far as I ever knew we were the soul of probity: boys one side, girls the other, never the twain shall meet. Or if they did, I was never one of them.

The chalet sits above the village. Through my window, if I take a steep look upwards, I can glimpse the peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, and most beautiful of all, the Silberhorn and the Kleines Silberhorn half a step below it: two sweetly pointed cones of ice that periodically succumb to drabness in the warm south wind called the Föhn, only to reappear days later in all their bridal glory.

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Among our patron saints we have the ubiquitous composer Mendelssohn – follow the arrows for the Mendelssohn walk – the poet Goethe, though he seems to have made it only as far as the waterfalls of the Lauterbrunnental, and the poet Byron, who made it as far as the Wengernalp and hated it, protesting that the sight of our storm-ravaged forests ‘reminded me of myself and my family'.

But the patron saint we most revere is undoubtedly one Ernst Gertsch, who brought fame and fortune to the village by inaugurating the Lauberhorn Ski Race in 1930, in which he himself won the
slalom. I was once mad enough to take part in it and, by a combination of incompetence and naked fear, came the predictable cropper. My researches tell me that, not content to become the father of ski racing, Ernst went on to give us the steel edges to our skis and steel platforms for our bindings, for which we may all be thankful to him.

The month is May, so we get a whole year's weather in one week: yesterday a couple of feet of fresh snow and not a single skier to enjoy it; today an unobstructed scorching sun, and the snow nearly gone again and the spring flowers back in business. And now this evening, thunderclouds of Payne's grey getting ready to march up the Lauterbrunnen valley like Napoleon's Grande Armée.

And probably in their wake, and because for the last days we have been spared a visit, the Föhn will return and sky, meadows and forests will be drained of colour, and the chalet will creak and fidget, and the wood smoke will roll out of the fireplace on to the carpet we paid too much for on that rainy afternoon in Interlaken in the snowless winter of whenever it was, and every clank and honk coming up from the valley will ring out like a sullen call of protest, and all birds will be confined to their nests for the duration, except for the choughs who take orders from no one. In the Föhn, don't drive a car, don't propose marriage. If you've got a headache or an urge to kill your neighbour, be consoled. It's not a hangover, it's the Föhn.

The chalet has a place in my eighty-four years of life that is quite disproportionate to its size. In the years before I built it, I came to this village as a boy, first to ski on skis of ash or hickory, using seal skins to climb uphill and leather bindings to come down again, then to walk the mountains in summer with my wise Oxford mentor, Vivian Green, later Rector of Lincoln College, who gave me by his example the inner life of George Smiley.

It's no coincidence that Smiley like Vivian loved his Swiss Alps, or like Vivian found his consolation in landscape, or like myself had a lifelong, unreconciled relationship with the German muse.

It was Vivian who put up with my maunderings about my
wayward father, Ronnie; Vivian again who, when Ronnie made one of his more spectacular bankruptcies, found the necessary cash and hauled me back to complete my studies.

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In Bern I had got to know the scion of the oldest family of hotel owners in the Oberland. Without his later influence I would never have been allowed to build the chalet in the first place, for then as now no foreigner may own so much as a square foot of village land.

It was also while I was in Bern that I took my first infant steps for British Intelligence, delivering I knew not what to I knew not whom. I spend a lot of odd moments these days wondering what my life would have looked like if I hadn't bolted from my public school, or if I had bolted in a different direction. It strikes me now that everything that happened later in life was the consequence of that one impulsive adolescent decision to get out of England by the fastest available route and embrace the German muse as a substitute mother.

I wasn't a failure at school, far from it: captain of things, winner of school prizes, potential golden boy. And it was a very discreet bolt. I didn't howl and scream. I just said, ‘Father, you may do with me what you will, I won't go back.' And very probably I blamed the school for my woes – and England along with it – when my real motive was to get out from under my father at all costs, which I could hardly say to him. Since then, of course, I have watched my own children do the same, though more elegantly and with a lot less fuss.

But none of that answers the central question of what direction my life might otherwise have taken. Without Bern, would I have been recruited as a teenaged errand boy of British Intelligence, doing what the trade calls
a little of this and that?
I hadn't read Maugham's
by then, but I had certainly read Kipling's
and any number of chauvinistic adventure stories by G. A. Henty and his ilk. Dornford Yates, John Buchan and Rider Haggard could do no wrong.

And of course, a mere four years after the war's end I was the greatest British patriot in the hemisphere. At my preparatory school we boys had become expert at identifying German spies in our ranks,
and I was counted one of our better counter-espionage operatives. At my public school, our jingoistic fervour was unconfined. We did ‘Corps' – military training in full uniform – twice a week. Our young teachers had returned tanned from the war and on Corps days sported their medal ribbons. My German teacher had had a wonderfully mysterious war. Our careers adviser prepared us for a lifetime's service in distant outposts of empire. The Abbey at the heart of our little town was hung with regimental flags shot to shreds in colonial wars in India, South Africa and Sudan, the shreds then restored to glory on fishnet by loving female hands.

It is therefore no sort of surprise when the Great Call came to me in the person of a thirty-something mumsy lady named Wendy from the British Embassy's visa section in Bern, that the seventeen-year-old English schoolboy punching above his weight at a foreign university should have snapped to attention and said, ‘At your service,

More difficult to explain is my wholesale embrace of German literature at a time when for many people the word
was synonymous with unparalleled evil. Yet, like my flight to Bern, that embrace has determined the whole later passage of my life. Without it, I would never have visited Germany in 1949 on the insistence of my Jewish refugee German teacher, never seen the flattened cities of the Ruhr, or lain sick as a dog on an old Wehrmacht mattress in a makeshift German field hospital in the Berlin Underground; or visited the concentration camps of Dachau and Bergen-Belsen while the stench still lingered in the huts, thence to return to the unruffled tranquillity of Bern, to my Thomas Mann and Hermann Hesse. I would certainly never have been assigned to intelligence duties in occupied Austria for my National Service, or studied German literature and language at Oxford, or gone on to teach them at Eton, or been posted to the British Embassy in Bonn with the cover of a junior diplomat, or written novels with German themes.

The legacy of that early immersion in things German is now pretty clear to me. It gave me my own patch of eclectic territory; it
fed my incurable romanticism and my love of lyricism; it instilled in me the notion that a man's journey from cradle to grave was one unending education – hardly an original concept and probably questionable, but nevertheless. And when I came to study the dramas of Goethe, Lenz, Schiller, Kleist and Büchner, I discovered that I related equally to their classic austerity, and to their neurotic excesses. The trick, it seemed to me, was to disguise the one with the other.

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The chalet is pushing fifty years old. Every winter season as the children grew up, they came here to ski, and this was where we had our best times together. Sometimes we did spring as well. It was here too that for four hilarious weeks in, I think, the winter of 1967 I was cloistered with Sydney Pollack, film director of
Out of Africa
and – my favourite – T
hey Shoot Horses, Don't They?
while we thrashed out a screenplay of my novel
A Small Town in Germany.

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The snow that winter was perfect. Sydney had never skied, never been to Switzerland. The sight of happy skiers whizzing nonchalantly past our balcony was simply too much for him. He had to be one of them, and it had to be now. He wanted me to instruct him, but thank Heaven I called up Martin Epp instead: ski teacher, legendary mountain guide and one of a rare breed to have made a solitary ascent of the north face of the Eiger.

The A-list film director from South Bend, Indiana, and the A-list mountaineer from Arosa hit it off at once. Sydney did nothing by halves. Within days, he was a competent skier. He was also seized with a passionate desire to make a movie about Martin Epp, and it soon transcended his desire to make
A Small Town in Germany.
The Eiger would play Destiny. I would write the screenplay, Martin would play himself and Sydney would be harnessed halfway up the Eiger filming him. He called his agent and told him about Martin.
He called his analyst and told him about Martin. The snow remained perfect and took its toll of Sydney's energies. Evenings, after a bath, we decided, were our best times for writing. Whether they were or not, neither movie was ever made.

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Later, somewhat to my surprise, Sydney lent the chalet to Robert Redford for him to reconnoitre his movie
Downhill Racer.
Alas, I never met him, but for years afterwards, wherever I went in the village, I wore the cachet of Robert Redford's friend.

These are true stories told from memory – to which you are entitled to ask, what is truth, and what is memory to a creative writer in what we may delicately call the evening of his life? To the lawyer, truth is facts unadorned. Whether such facts are ever findable is another matter. To the creative writer, fact is raw material, not his taskmaster but his instrument, and his job is to make it sing. Real truth lies, if anywhere, not in facts, but in nuance.

Was there ever such a thing as
memory? I doubt it. Even when we convince ourselves that we're being dispassionate, sticking to the bald facts with no self-serving decorations or omissions, pure memory remains as elusive as a bar of wet soap. Or it does for me, after a lifetime of blending experience with imagination.

The Pigeon Tunnel Pdf

Here and there, where I thought the story merited it, I have lifted bits of conversation or description from newspaper articles I wrote at the time because their freshness appealed to me, and because later memory didn't deliver the same sharpness: for example, my description of Vadim Bakatin, one-time head of the
. In other cases I've left the story pretty much as I wrote it at the time, just tidied it here and there, added the odd grace note to make it clearer or bring it up to date.

I don't wish to presume in my reader a great knowledge of my work – or, for that matter, any knowledge of it at all, hence the odd explanatory passage along the way. But please be assured:
nowhere have I consciously falsified an event or a story. Disguised where necessary, yes. Falsified, emphatically not. And wherever my memory is shaky, I have taken care to say so. A recently published account of my life offers thumbnail versions of one or two of the stories, so it naturally pleases me to reclaim them as my own, tell them in my own voice and invest them as best I can with my own feelings.