I happened to be in London at the same time that John le Carré’s latest, Agent Running in the Field, was released. The appearance of his latest book was a much more muted affair than the fanfare over A Legacy of Spies. Whereas Legacy had giant displays in every bookshop window, book release parties and capping it off, a lecture by le Carré himself, Agent had to get by with plentiful copies in every bookstore and a theme appropriate Brexit protest the Saturday after it’s release.
There were also a limited number of signed editions to be found. Various Waterstones outlets didn’t have any signed copies. Perhaps they decided to make their limited stock available via a giveaway they did, 100 copies were sent to customers who preorder. A small quirky bookstore in a college area tweeted out that they had signed copies so I made the slightly out of the way trek to The Word Bookshop located in London in the neighborhood of New Cross. I arrived in time to snap up their last copy.
I, of course, could not resist a celebratory pint.
Stopping in Foyle’s the next day, I saw they had a few signed copies in their window. A salesman was actually climbing over the display to get a copy for someone when I was there so I couldn’t resist him grabbing me a copy as well.
Back in the US, there was no news of a US signed edition. Given collecting signed first editions of le Carré’s UK editions is well out of my price range, I’ve made my goal to collect signed first US editions of all his novels. The thought of no signed copies of Agent available was very disheartening. However, a ray of light shined and my wish was granted when Barnes and Noble announced that they would have signed editions available, similar to their odd “Father’s Day” promotion with signed copies of Legacy nearly a year after it’s release. This makes more sense as it is closer to the initial release date and wrapped up in their Black Friday promotion.
So of course I had to troop out to the nearest Barnes and Noble for a copy, or two, of Agent.
If you are in the US I recommend snapping up a copy, before I buy them all! Check on availability or order online here.
Last, but not least, there is a limited edition release of 100 copies signed that can be found on eBay and various other sites going for an astronomical price. If you’re into limited editions, that might be your only choice.
Whether you collect the book or not, do pick up a copy to read. I found it to be quite enjoyable!