Friday, 23 November 2012

Eight and out .....

This blog is sad to report the fictional "demise" of C.O.B.R.A.S. blogger, artist and spy fiction writer Armstrong Sabian, who reported last week that his excellent website - Mister 8 - will soon be no more, as the demands of family and work life take precedence over reporting on and writing spy fiction.

This is a loss, but we wish the pseudonymous Armstrong well. His site carried many fascinating blogposts on the arcana and lost heroes of the espionage fiction world, including many articles on Len Deighton and his arguably most famous creation, Harry Palmer.

Indeed, in 2009, Armstrong started a series of posts called "The Harry Palmer Files" in which he looked at all aspects of the Harry Palmer mythology - the films, the books, the design, the music - with a fine toothed comb.

With Armstrong's permission, I have reproduced below his review of Deighton's first book, The Ipcress File. Thanks for the blogs, Armstrong, and for contributing to the C.O.B.R.A.S.!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Who needs Apple Maps? Kurt Meyer's incredible Ipcress File location hunt ...

Courtesy of the ever-helpful Harry Palmer website, I've come across what must be the most detailed examination ever of the film of The Ipcress File.

Someone called Kurt Meyer has taken what looks like hours of effort in researching and photographing almost every film location from the film, creating in the process a wonderful frame of reference for this classic film.

Check out the website here. It's an incredible effort.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Deighton Dossier exclusive - new Q&A by Len Deighton

All gone now, of course....

After catching up recently with him in London, Len Deighton kindly agreed to do another short Q&A interview, giving fans and blog readers more news and insight on his work and his life. We’re very grateful that he’s chosen to do so, and I hope readers find the interview interesting. It’s split into two parts. 

Part one covers the topic of Berlin, one of the main ‘characters’ if you like in many of Len’s novels. I’ve just returned from there and the city retains it’s special aura, and the Berliner Luft is still present.

The second part is Len answering questions submitted by readers of the blog.


Part 1 - ‘Berlin’

The Deighton Dossier: One of the most memorable phrases from Berlin Game I can recall instantly is this by Bernard Samson: “Did you ever say hello to a girl you almost married long ago? Did she smile the same, captivating smile, and give your arm a hug in a gesture you’d almost forgotten? That’s how I felt about Berlin every time I came back here.”

Alongside Fiona and Gloria, one can almost regard Berlin as the third woman in Bernard’s life, so strong is the pull of the relationship (with Tante Lisl the embodiment of the city, perhaps). What were your impressions of Berlin when you visited it for the first time? How did they change over time?

Len Deighton: At a London film festival I met an East German film director and we became close friends. When I first went to Berlin I was coming from Czechoslovakia in a very old VW and my destination was the East Sector. I came to know the East (communist) sector fairly well and made friends there, before spending any time in the West.