June 26, 2014 5:53 AM EDT

“I had been poor too long, I was drinking a lot, I was beginning to doubt, in the deepest of ways, the wisdom of my choice of job.” That, by his own account, was the state of mind of MI6 officer David Cornwell, a.k.a. John le Carré, when he wrote The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, a book that dominated the summer of 1964 and shaped every depiction of espionage that followed.

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MOVIES

THE RICHARD BURTON VERSION OF THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD

A surprisingly faithful, uncompromising adaptation

SYRIANA

Updates Le Carré’s bleak vision for the oil age

DANIEL CRAIG’S BOND

Borrows some of Le Carré’s grit and realpolitik

Le Carré learned the craft of deception early from his father, a sometime con man

TV

THE AMERICANS

Blends personal relations and international relations

HOMELAND

Season 3’s plot is straight out of the Le Carré playbook

WRITERS

IAN RANKIN

Fond of antiheroes like Le Carré’s Leamas

HENNING MANKELL

Brought Le Carré’s psychological insights to his crime novels

ALAN FURST

Le Carré is “patrician, cold, brilliant”

ROBERT LUDLUM

Shares Le Carré’s vision of amoral bureaucracies

GRAHAM GREENE

Both influenced and learned from Le Carré

STELLA RIMINGTON

MI5 alum to author in Le Carré mode

BEN MACINTYRE

His histories of espionage echo Le Carré’s fiction

This appears in the July 07, 2014 issue of TIME.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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