Comments: 7
"So it goes." 4 years ago
THIS IS MY FAVORITE SERIES OF BOOKS EVER! I've read it like 5 times. I seriously think I could probably tell the whole story (including the Winter prequel) without needing to look much up, and I adore the wit and fun in these spy stories. What you found lacking will be remedied in the next books. It's dated, though, and part of the dated feel is the insular way the British services behave. I find this in other British spy novels too. Len Deighton is my favorite spy novelist, and I MISS him. I'm jealous of you getting to read it for the first time. These books improve greatly over the three linked trilogies too. Oh, maybe I should get out my Kindle and reread...
BrokenTune 4 years ago
Oh, wow. So, it gets better in the series? That is great. I really want to read them. There was something about the way Deighton wrote the story with not a lot of frills and with a bit of a smirk towards the secret services (of the various countries).

Also, you've read Winter? I have so many questions.
How is it? Does Deighton pull it off? I've read two other authors who tried something similar and both fell into two different traps: one focused on the love life of the characters more than how the characters respond to history, and the other author was Ken Follett. He relied on the use of cliches almost entirely throughout the book, which was frustrating beyond belief.

Deighton wrote in his introduction to Berlin Game that he wanted to write character development that shows how the people react to the circumstances they are faced with. I think he did that really well in BG, but would love to see that in Winter.
Abandoned by user 4 years ago
Spoilers ahead!

So, I was surprised that Deighton actually *went there* and had Fiona as the spy. Even when it was being revealed, I kept thinking no way, no way, no way.

I also loved the ending with Bernard making sure his kids were safe first and foremost. I'm really interested to see how the series progresses in Mexico Set. Let me know when you decide to read on, I'll likely join you!
BrokenTune 4 years ago
Is Mexico set on you Summer of Spies list? If so, let me see if I can get a hold of a copy when I get back to the UK.

I loved the ending. The bit about the kids and how he kept that a secret from his wife, and the whole twist altogether, ... just loved it. I also thought it fitted very well. I grew up in East Germany, and while not involving any plots of international espionage, I remember when the whole Stasi apparatus was in place and people just didn't know whether someone - their neighbour, best friend, family member etc. - was a mole or not. Pretty horrible. So, the fact that Deighton chose the twist he did resonated with me in a weird way.
Abandoned by user 4 years ago
I only added first in series to the summer of spies list, with opening to continue reading the series if I liked the first book. So, I'm totally in. Let me know when you get a hold of a copy. I will be reading it on kindle and can buy it any time.
Abandoned by user 4 years ago
Also, fascinating that you grew up in East Germany. One of the things that I really liked about the book was how it felt so authentic to the time frame. Even though I grew up in the U.S., everything about the setting felt so real to me, and so steeped in Cold War atmosphere.
BrokenTune 4 years ago
The scene with Bernie and Mrs M. in the garden plot - where she talks to the young police man reminded me of a few stories I've heard, too. :) That part really cracked me up.

And yes, it felt like an authentic read ... apart from the fact that I would have expected Bernie to have more interaction with people other than Werner and Dr. M. Most of what happened when he was in Berlin happened within a very small circle of people (either side of the Wall). I would have expected him to have more interactions when in West Berlin.

Oh, and there was one description where he thinks about which route to take - and I think he may have been a bit too optimistic about how long (or short) a distance it would be from Checkpoint Charlie to the Alex ... especially on foot, at night, and trying to evade the police.