Saturday 13 March 2021

New Disney editions looking very stylish

Last year, it was announced that Penguin had secured the paperback writes to Len Deighton's fiction and non-fiction output, and would publish them under its Penguin Modern Classics imprint. 

The first cover images for the initial releases in the series have been released, and they look mightily impressive, based on those available so far (all the books are available for pre-order, but not all covers have been shared yet).

The overall look and feel has been created by Penguin's Art Director Tony Stoddart, and what is immediately apparently is how his overall feel seems to make passing references to previous Penguin film tie-in editions from the sixties, with the famous covers featuring Michael Caine as Harry Palmer, which were designed by Len Deighton's long-time collaborator, Raymond Hawkey.

Take a look, and see what you think.

Funeral in Berlin 2021, designed by Tony Stoddart

Funeral in Berlin 1966, designed by Ramond Hawkey

The orange chevron in the new edition is a wonderful homage to the famous - and famously successful - three editions of the 'Harry Palmer' novels which were published by Penguin in the 'sixties; they did not, however, have the rights to The Ipcress File.

These new editions will include all Deighton's fiction output, plus many of his historical works too.


  1. Thanks for the heads-up. I'd like to get the "Hook" and "Faith" trilogies with matching artwork. I'll be keeping an eye out for these.

  2. I read the book when it was first published in 1964 with raving reviews. The film with Michael Caine as Harry Palmer and directed by Guy Hamilton was a great success in 1966. Harry Saltzman, the producer was superb in talent spotting, I should add.
    The 1966 Penguin edition came out , no wonder, with that cover.
    The 2021P Penguin edition with the cover shown is more appropriate for a classic novel. However, I would have preferred a more active cover with the Checkpoint Charlie hut with the backdrop of the Berlin Wall. Len Deighton has been the master in depicting West Berlin and East Berlin crossing machinations, and those of us who visited both halves of Berlin later when the Wall standing, were inspired by that thriller, and were amazed by the authenticity of the narrative in that thriller. He was acknowledged then in 1960s, as the best expert on cold war spy game concerning Berlins.



  3. I wanted to comment on this: "Last year, it was announced that Penguin had secured the paperback writes to Len Deighton's fiction and non-fiction output, and would publish them under its Penguin Modern Classics imprint"
    The publishers at last have realised the value of publishing Deighton books under their classic titles. I am hoping that they do have the Berlin wall for their Berlins-based classics to come under Penguin Bernard Samson trilogy titles.
    Deighton's novels in my opinion, were more like treatise of the spy game during the cold war years, with the 2 Berlins-the divided city at their core. Indeed, reading through the 3 -sets of Bernard Samson trilogies, no other author has quantified so exquisitely the cold war intelligence activities in all their facets, as Deighton does. His thrillers are so educative in their narratives of the history, politics and societal trends including the cold war period, not only of Germany but of other countries that for example, Bernhard Samson visits that these Penguin classics should be stocked in all British public libraries, particularly the local libraries.

    1. Interesting comments. Most of the new covers are now visible on Penguin's website, so you can make a judgement as to whether the Samson series meets your expectations. I like them, but other readers will have different perspectives.

  4. Just stumbled across your site and it reminded me that I devoured Berlin Game, Mexico Set and London Match when I found them on my mother's book shelves in the deepest 1980s.

    I'm fairly certain I recognise the cover for Funeral in Berlin as well (the 1966 version I hate to admit).

    You have inspired me to read another.