The Best Le Carre quotes

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Le Carre is a British author, and an ex-spy. He has written many books over his long career, but he is most famous for his book The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. His work would be considered to have a tone of inspiration.

Here are the best phrases from Le Carre.

Here are the deepest Story, Writers, Hand, Books, World quotes from Le Carre, and much more.


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About Le Carre

birth of the author

19 October 1931

death of the author

12 December 2020

occupation of the author

Intelligence Officer

country of the author


education of the author

University Of Bern, Lincoln College, Oxford

genre of the author

Spy Fiction

award of the author

Notable Works:
The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy, Smiley’s People, The Little Drummer Girl, A Perfect Spy And More.


I happen to write by hand. I don’t even type. — John Le Carre

Without a pen in my hand I can’t think. — John Le Carre

I think the greatest single enemy is the misuse of information, the perversion of truth in the hands of terribly skillful people. — John Le Carre

On one hand we go like hell for every terror cell we can find, we penetrate it, we destroy it. On the other hand, there is a much bigger need for a political solution. — John Le Carre

i happen to write by hand i don t even type john Le Carre quote

In the hands of politicians grand designs achieve nothing but new forms of the old misery. — John Le Carre


Thank heaven, though, one of the few mistakes I haven’t made is to talk about the unwritten book. — John Le Carre

Completing a book, it’s a little like having a baby. — John Le Carre

I’ve never been able to write a book without one very strong character in my rucksack. — John Le Carre

I’m really a library man, or second–hand book man. — John Le Carre

completing a book it s a little like having a baby john Le Carre quote

Each my book feels like my last book. And then I think, like a dedicated alcoholic, that one more won’t do me any harm. — John Le Carre

Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes. — John Le Carre

In every operation there is an above the line and a below the line. Above the line is what you do by the book. Below the line is how you do the job. — John Le Carre


A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world. — John Le Carre

For decades to come the spy world will continue to be the collective couch where the subconscious of each nation is confessed. — John Le Carre

a desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world john Le Carre quote

If you see the world as gloomily as I see it, the only thing to do is laugh or shoot yourself. — John Le Carre

Once you’ve lived the inside–out world of espionage, you never shed it. It’s a mentality, a double standard of existence. — John Le Carre

When the world is destroyed, it will be destroyed not by its madmen but by the sanity of its experts and the superior ignorance of its bureaucrats. — John Le Carre

My novels] introduce levels of intelligence … moral doubt [and] self–doubt, which may not pertain [to real–world espionage]. — John Le Carre

Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all–night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen. — John Le Carre


It’s a principle of mine to come into the story as late as possible, and to tell it as fast as you can. — John Le Carre

Redundant Thematics

In Le Carre Statements


When you’re my age and you see a story, you better go for it pretty quickly. I’d just like to get a few more novels under my belt. — John Le Carre

The cat sat on the mat is not a story. The cat sat on the other cat’s mat is a story. — John Le Carre

The world of spying is my genre. My struggle is to demystify, to de–romanticise the spook world, but at the same time harness it as a good story. — John Le Carre

There are some subjects that can only be tackled in fiction. — John Le Carre

the cat sat on the mat is not a story the cat sat on the other cat s mat is a story john Le Carre quote


Every writer knows he is spurious; every fiction writer would rather be credible than authentic. — John Le Carre

I think that all writers feel alienated. … I know that I do. … I still feel, as I think most creative people do, absolutely isolated. — John Le Carre

There is no such thing as a secure writer: every novel is an impossible mountain. — John Le Carre

A good writer can watch a cat pad across the street and know what it is to be pounced upon by a Bengal tiger. — John Le Carre

Remember Graham Green’s dictum that childhood is the bank balance of the writer? I think that all writers feel alienated. Most of us go back to an alienated childhood in some way or another. I know that I do. — John Le Carre

there is no such thing as a secure writer every novel is an impossible mountain john Le Carre quote

A spy, like a writer, lives outside the mainstream population. He steals his experience through bribes and reconstructs it. — John Le Carre

But I think the real tension lies in the relationship between what you might call the pursuer and his quarry, whether it’s the writer or the spy. — John Le Carre

A good writer is an expert on nothing except himself. And on that subject, if he is wise, he holds his tongue. — John Le Carre

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