It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
^ Back to Top
The MI6 Community is unofficial and in no way associated or linked with EON Productions, MGM, Sony Pictures, Activision or Ian Fleming Publications. Any views expressed on this website are of the individual members and do not necessarily reflect those of the Community owners. Any video or images displayed in topics on MI6 Community are embedded by users from third party sites and as such MI6 Community and its owners take no responsibility for this material.
James Bond News • James Bond Articles • James Bond Magazine
Bernie is the business.
Picked up the latest Frederik Forsythe (The Kill List, 2013). I've read 30 pages. It's awesome. His last book, The Cobra, was riveting. I am hooked on these new Forsythes. They are actually the first of his thrillers that I have sampled. Day of the Jackal being his most famous book I guess. Surprisingly he only has 16 titles, so each seems to be published with tender loving care.
Forsythe it seems has developed a bit of the Vince Flynn/Mitch Rapp, Remo Williams attitude. These last two books (Cobra and Kill List) are both about super top-secret unsanctioned USA operations against the bad guys. Cobra takes down drug dealers. Kill List has "The Tracker" going after the worst of Al Queda and the like, and very off-book.
The off-book "Kill List" itself is supposedly based on a real scenario too, according to Forsythe.
I read "I Am Pilgrim" and "Solo" consequtively and it left me feeling very sad for Bond and all my fellow Fleming fans.
I say that because Hayes' book sets today's standard in intelligent thriller writing. When you analyse his style with its restless changing of scenes, far away locations, capacity to describe the high and low life, all built around a plot that is as solid as a rock and which is populated with richly described good and bad guys, there is no doubt that Hayes' style owes a great debt to Fleming. That said he has moved the bar up to a completely new level and with Pilgrim he has given us a protagonist who is every inch today's Bond and leaves me furious that he (Pilgrim) is not British! It is so good that if he doesn't write a sequel - I'll throw myself off a cliff!
"Solo", by comparrison is just a turgid retread that rips out all that was great with Fleming - the guns, girls, glamour and luxury that had us all dreaming and replaced it with a dysfunctionaly plotted story that is as dull as dish water and an alcoholic Bond who should be rushed into rehab!
Hayes to write the next Bond novel? I don't think so - he has Pilgrim, he doesn't need Bond!
Stone supposedly is writing a fifth--Requiem in Prague. Alas, it has been some time since his fourth, so I'm fearing the worst. Perhaps he has passed away.
You can never go wrong with any of his spy novels. Deighton and espionage just go together like gin and tonic, apple pie and vanilla ice, Laurel and Hardy, ...you get the picture. His prose is descriptive ,highly amusing and most of all always make you wonder,what is going on (even when rereading). He shares this quality with my all time greatest Dashiell Hammett which says it all. By the way, to those of you who enjoyed "I AM PILGRIM". If you are a fan of Mr. Hayes book you are likely to become a Deighton fan as well. His style owes a great deal to Hammett,Deighton (and Donald Hamilton as well, I guess). And best of all Deighton makes it incomparably harder to guess about the stories' development ( which so far seems to be Hayes weak point, to me at least).
@Matt_Helm is absolutely correct. Len Deighton is the espionage master.
His best spy books are his first two "Spy with no name" novels( "The Ipcress File" and "Horse Under Water") and the complete Bernard Samson canon.
Deighton's plots tend to be a little convoluted but they are well worth the effort as his writing is so rewarding.
Back in the day, "Ipcress" with its fabulous Raymond Hawkey first edition artwork, was considered to be one of the hippest novels of the swinging '60s. Due in no small part to its working class hero and fabulous irreverent humour.
Personally, other than humour, I don't quite see the connection between Deighton and Hayes. Judged by his only book to date, the fabulous "I Am Pilgrim," I would put him (Hayes) more into the Forsyth school albeit his writing style is more stylised and modern.
If I had to compare Deighton with anybody, it would be with Le Carre.
I'll start with 'Ipcress' and see how I go!
I'd still recommend these. I've just ordered the new one on Amazon and I can't wait.
I must get it then. Thanks!
I was alluding to the fact that it seems he is quite anonymous. ie he uses a fake name and doesn't seem to have any profile, other than the sketchy info associated with his pen-name.
Any suggestions for him?
Where to begin with Graham Greene @Villers53?
Orient Express? Our Man in Havana? The Quiet American?
Itching to get started.
But he's taking a long time to produce this fifth novel. Considerably longer than any of the others. That's what concerns me. I don't think for a second that somebody else will ghost a David Stone novel. He's really not a big enough name for that, I suspect.
I believe there is clearly a unique individual behind the Stone name. I've only read the first two books but the same Flemingish-like attitudes were sprinkled about liberally in both books.
Yes odd if the new book is being held up, but because he hides his identity, its tough to know what's going on.
In the meantime I have his third and 4th books to plough through yet.
He's funny hard on Canadians. He took good shots in both of the first two books. He considers us quite frivolous in our politics and global relevance.
Stone is/was a Vietnam vet, which would put him probably in his late 60s or early 70s. Kind of young to be pushing up daisies, but far from unheard of.
It has been years since I read "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold," but it was a thought-provoking read to say the least. I would love to reread it, which I will, and hopefully since I have grown a lot in the last few years in regards to analyzing fiction, I will like it more. It isn't a long read, so if you ever see it in a bookstore or online, snap it up for a great character study into the main character, Leamas.
Le Carré is a fine writer, but he's not really my cup of tea in comparison to Fleming, Robert Ludlum and Vince Flynn, at least from the books I have dabble in of his. His stuff is extremely grounded, and can be very slow moving. After "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" I read "My Kind of Traitor" which was remarkably unremarkable to say the least, and was extremely predictable. I tried to read "Tinker Tailor" my senior year of high school, but because that year was so stressful and the first part of the book is sloth-like, I had to put it down after a while. It just wasn't the right time to read it, but I will give it and Le Carré a chance another day. Regardless of my opinion on his books, the man is a genius level intellectual who has fascinated me for years. His life story is beyond interesting, and the various documentaries and interviews featuring him on YouTube are well worth checking out just to get a glimpse of the man behind the pen, so to speak.
The film is great:
The Observer has described him as "the best of the new generation of British spy writers who are taking over where John le Carré and Len Deighton left off".
I'm going to pick this one up.
Sorry for the delay, I missed this one.
My favourite Greene books are Brighton Rock and The Quiet American.
They are both amazing and they've encouraged me to walk in Greene's footsteps both in Saigon and the town that has the aura of permanently helping the police with their enquiries - Brighton.
I envy you starting out with him - Greene was one of the twentieth centuries' greats.
When you try him again, go for 'The Honourable Schoolboy' or his latest; 'A Delicate Truth'.
If they don't convert you, I don't know what will — two of the best books I've ever read. Any genre!
And this is stretching the concept of "spy novels", but has anyone read Homer? If you have not read The Illiad or The Odyssey, yoy have missed out on world class Litterature. If you say Shakespeare was the best writer ever, you probably have not read Homer.
The fact that Stone hides his identity is very intriguing. It does give his persona a degree of mystery. You wonder who this guy is. How close was he to events possibly similar to what he chronicles.
He's actually the closest author that I've read to Fleming. His first two efforts are rife with geo-political observations. Nothing remotely pc about his writing. Not even the vaguest lipservice. His narratives are not for sensitive types. He's not as "fancy" as Fleming though. Fleming had a unique flair. But he's every bit as irreverent, if that's even possible.
His hero is much nastier than Bond but still an honorable bloke caught up in a cruel profession.
I am looking forward to tracking down Stone books #'s 3-4. I like that each book continues the very dangerous adventures of highly trained clandestine operative Micah Dalton.
Re Le Carre. I've read his last two books. " A Delicate Truth" is indeed quite good. It's reasonably well paced too. Some day I will visit the back catalogue. What turned me off him originally though was A Perfect Spy.
I slogged all the way through that tome, just to see how it would resolve, but it was an exhausting read. I was afraid to dip toe in that water again.
I've since picked up his recent efforts just to see what he might be all about in the contemporary context, and I must say, the two latest efforts were quite readable.
I know "Schoolboy" is somewhat autobiographical, but I haven't heard much on "A Delicate Truth." After reading "Our Kind of Traitor" and finding it unremarkable I kind of got turned off by Le Carré's more contemporary novels.
I enjoyed 'Restless' too.
What's his writing style? Is he more grounded and focused on reality like Le Carré or Ludlum and Flemingesque, adding some fanaticism and escapism to the mix?