Unmasking the master of spy fiction

A look at the life and career of John le Carre

John le Carre is known the world over for his fantastic spy novels that captured the reality of the Cold War and the lives of the intelligence agents who were the hidden front line. His own life is just as interesting though.

Born David Cornwell, le Carre was surrounded by intrigue from a young age. His father made his living lying and using others. When le Carre grew up the world of espionage was a natural fit and he slipped seamlessly into the ranks of MI6.

Surrounded by the realities of the spy world le Carre began to write novels that contradicted the romantic image of spying popularised by Ian Flemming's 007. Over his career le Carre has recast the spy novel and firmly established himself as the king of his genre.

Join Susan Cahill as she talks with Adam Sisman about his amazing and revealing biography of John le Carre.

This week's music to read to,

The show opens with John Lemke's To Let It Go. John also plays us out of part one with his song Walizka before we end the show with Christoph Berg's Quiet Times at the Library.