Spy Fiction Bookshelf Travelling for Insane Times

This meme, originating with Judith, Reader in the Wilderness, has now been taken over by Katrina at Pining for the West.

Spy Fiction Books

Back in the days of the Cold War spy fiction was a big thing. The two main purveyors of the form – in the UK anyway – were my (sur)namesake Len Deighton (although he pronounces the “Deigh” part to rhyme with “day” rather than “die”) and John le Carré. I also have a le Carré omnibus of his early works shelved elsewhere.

These, too, are housed in the garage, below the last of my SF paperbacks (see last week’s post.)

I have read all the books by Deighton here. His book Fighter is not on these shelves because it’s a history of the Battle of Britain but then Blitzkrieg is also a history book and it is here. Winter is not a spy novel but reflects Deighton’s knowledge of Germany (specifically Berlin) in the first half of the twentieth century. Goodbye Mickey Mouse is a novel featuring members of the US Air Force which took part in the campaign in World War 2 in the lead up to the invasion of Normandy. SS-GB is an altered history set in a Britain where a German invasion of the UK in 1940 succeeded.

I’ve not read all the le Carrés. Spy fiction lost a lot of its resonance when the Cold War ended whereupon he moved on to other things. I always meant to get round to his later stuff but life (and other books) got in the way.

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  1. tracybham

    I am sorry I missed this when you first posted it. Len Deighton is my favorite spy fiction author (well, maybe he shares that honor with Charles McCarry), and pretty high on my list overall. I have read all of the Bernard Samson books and Winter, and XPD. Also the first four nameless spy novels, although I did not like those as well. My husband has read SS-GB and Blitzkrieg. And I have a good number of his books on my TBR pile unread. Unfortunately they are all over the place, not well organized like yours.

    My favorite le Carre book is A Perfect Spy. Other than that I think I have only read the Smiley books (not the most recent one). But I have a good number of them unread. I plan to read The Night Manager in October.

    I keep going back to Cold War spy fiction, because I don’t like newer spy fiction as well. But I have found some newer authors of spy fiction I like.

  2. jackdeighton

    I must admit the name Charles McCarry didn’t ring any bells. I don’t recall seeing his books in bookshops in the UK. (I probably will see him everywhere I go, now.) Judging by his Wiki page his work seems more geared to the US market in any case.
    I’ve read very little spy fiction in the years since the Berlin Wall came down. I suppose I just lost interest in it.
    I do have “disorganised” books; kept where they always have been instead of with what might be thought of as their rightful companions. It means I need to remeber where they are though.

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