Saturday 6 July 2019

A Deighton online miscellany round-up

The Internet offers an endless cornucopia of good stuff, if you can find it.

Once in a while, I do a Google search using "Len Deighton" to see what new articles are out there about the author; what rare items and collectables are up for auction in the global market place for rare books; and sometimes, to see frankly if there are interesting snippets of information and opinion I might have missed related to the author and his works.

This post is the result of one such search. It's a trawl with my virtual dragnet of various things Deighton-related which readers of this blog might find interesting. So, here goes.

  • An interesting article from last month in CrimeReads, in which author Timothy Jay Smith compares contemporary Cold War fiction with classics from the genre; he draws no firm conclusions, but rather highlights some top picks readers may not be familiar with
  • An article from 2015 by Len, which I'd not seen before, for the 4th Estate magazine, in which he discusses the creation of his famous cookstrips. He plots a familiar path, but there are some added details here which I'd not read before and which add new wrinkles to understanding this design classic
  • 2014's Eye magazine also ran a feature on the cookstrips - Fry like a Spy - that is pretty comprehensive ... and gives a shout out to the Deighton Dossier which I hadn't seen before!
  • This digitised article from the New York Times archives is from 1981 - it's a short profile of the author, then 52 years old, published on the occasion of the US release of his novel XPD. Perhaps the most interesting element is his recollection of stalled plans for a novel about Vietnam, which ended up as a short story instead in Declarations of War
  • A blog post by British writer Steve Newman, on the Medium website, about The Ipcress File - the 'novel that got away', in which he recounts how his (now valuable) first edition of the novel was taken by a childhood friend .... and never returned! Moral? Never lend your books out without good reason
  • This portrait of the author if from the National Gallery's archives, and is from 1990, right in the middle of his most active period of writing, with the Samson ennealogy
  • A less-than-warm review of Spy Sinker and Spy Line by blogger Sarah Rhiannon Ward
  • From 1987's Washington Post, a thorough but rather luke warm review of Winter, the Samson prequel novel, by reviewer Elizabeth Ward, who mourns that the novel lacks some of the cheeky narrative of Deighton's early novels
  • A review from the Bitter Tea and Mystery blog site from 2012 of the same two novels. Nothing earth shattering, but readers opinions of books are always worth a look, if for nothing else to compare and contrast with one's own
  • A 1985 review of London Match US first edition in the New York Times, in which the reviewer raises concerns that the trilogy plot, concluded in this book, lacked a certain catharsis for the reader
  • A lengthy review of 1996's Charity, the last Samson novel, on the Books & Books blog site
  • A paean to the cookstrips from The Independent in 2009 - on the occasion of the new edition to mark the author's eightieth birthday; this 1997 interview with Len from the same newspaper by Michael Bateman explores in more depth his passion for food and cooking
  • A short piece on Len Deighton's book cover art - which pleasingly links to the relevant page on the Deighton Dossier - from the That's How the Light Gets In blog 

Anyway, have a gander and see if you find something of interest. If you spot any interesting Deighton-book related articles out there on the Internet that blog readers might find interesting, put a link in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. On the BBC website.