The Book of Spies: An Anthology of Literary Espionageby Alan Furst
Here is an extraordinary collection of work from some of the finest novelists of the twentieth century. Inspired by the politics of tyranny or war, each of these writers chose the base elements of spy fiction—highly evolved spy/b>
An anthology of the world’s best literary espionage, selected by a contemporary master of the genre, Alan Furst.
Here is an extraordinary collection of work from some of the finest novelists of the twentieth century. Inspired by the politics of tyranny or war, each of these writers chose the base elements of spy fiction—highly evolved spy fiction—as the framework for a literary novel. Thus Alan Furst offers a diverse array of selections that combine raw excitement and intellectual sophistication in an expertly guided tour of the dark world of clandestine conflict.
These are not just stories of professional intelligence officers. We meet diplomats, political police, agents provocateurs, secret operatives, resistance fighters, and assassins—players in the Great Game, or victims of the Cold War. The Book of Spies brings us the aristocratic intrigues of The Scarlet Pimpernel, in which French émigrés duel with Robespierre’s secret service; the savage political realities of the 1930s in Eric Ambler’s classic A Coffin for Dimitrios; the ordinary citizens (well, almost) of John le Carré’s The Russia House, who are drawn into Cold War spy games; and the 1950s Vietnam of Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, with its portrait of American idealism and duplicity.
Drawing on acknowledged classics and rediscovered treasures, Alan Furst’s The Book of Spies delivers literate entertainment and excitement on every page.
From the Hardcover edition.
“Spanning nearly three quarters of a century . . . this handy sampler touches on many high points of spy writing. . . . In this case, fiction is more thrilling than truth.”
—Time Out New York
“[A] dazzling anthology . . . The writing—whether displaying the cold clarity of Maugham or the pained lyricism of McCarry—is splendid.”
—The Wall Street Journal
- Random House Publishing Group
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- Random House
- NOOK Book
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- 2 MB
Meet the Author
Alan Furst is widely recognized as the master of the historical spy novel. He is the author of Night Soldiers, Dark Star, The Polish Officer, The World at Night, Red Gold, Kingdom of Shadows, and Blood of Victory, all of which are available as Random House Trade Paperbacks. Born in New York, he has lived for long periods in France, especially Paris. He now lives on Long Island, New York.
From the Hardcover edition.
- Sag Harbor, New York
- Place of Birth:
- New York, New York
- B.A., Oberlin College
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This book is academically stimulating and is rivaled only by its teaching consistency in the art of Spy Novel writing.
If John LeCarre owns the spy world as it is today. Furst illuminates the past with equal mastery.