Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Book Review: Epitaph for a Spy

Epitaph for a Spy
Epitaph for a Spy by Eric Ambler is credited as one of the first true spy novels. In it he details the fumbling adventures of a teacher caught in a drama of circumstance, which leads to him being accused as a spy. While I felt like I was reading the 1930's equivalent of a Dan Brown novel - quick page turns and a go-go plot - the actual quality of the writing was far superior. No detail was superfluous, and no bit of the story was left unresolved. This provides a sense of satisfaction, as it signifies a level of sophistication that makes it alright to be reading a spy novel, which is often considered literary drivel.

All that being said, in the note at the end, Ambler states of his book "I still like bits of it." So maybe don't take the above as a true literary judgement, but rather a justification for enjoying a fun story. I look forward to picking up some of his other books in due course.

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