Monday 28 February 2011

The FT on The Ipcress File cover ...

Funeral in Berlin (with the rare
wrap-around showing Deighton with
Michael Caine and Ian Fleming
Very interesting article in today's FT  - a review by Edwin Heathcote of the famous front cover of Funeral in Berlin by Len Deighton. This is one of a regular series of reviews of outstanding front covers in the newspaper's book section.

The cover, of course, was by Ray Hawkey, Deighton's friend and design school contemporary, who went on to produce the famous Pan paperback covers for the Bond novels.

Heathcote's review is well-written, capturing just why Hawkey's design, in the 'sixties, was revolutionary but, more importantly, illustrative of the new type of espionage character Deighton had introduced ('Harry Palmer' as he would be dubbed) - cocky, a bit chaotic, plagued by his superiors, living off his wits:
"The background is loosely scattered with bullets and paperclips, representing Deighton's particular mix of casual violence and dreary bureaucracy. The cover's ingenuity lies in the way messy details of the everyday appear both mundane and sinister."
The full article is well worth reading.

I'd also encourage blog readers, if they haven't done so, to check out the latest edition of 007 Magazine, which has a special feature on Hawkey's design contribution to the Bond legend, as well as his substantial work embellishing Len Deighton's books with some of the most eye-grabbing covers.

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