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City of Gold [Kindle Edition]

Len Deighton
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

January 1942. Rommel’s seemingly invincible Afrika Korps is at the gates of Egypt – perhaps soon to threaten Cairo itself.

Rommel has a spy in the city – a source so well-informed that the German commander knows in advance every movement of the allied forces.

Amongst the teeming streets and bazaars, the British, led by Major Albert Cutler, must find him. But Cairo is a city of fool’s gold, where nothing and nobody, not even Cutler, can be taken at face value…

This new reissue includes a foreword from the cover designer, Oscar-winning filmmaker Arnold Schwartzman, and a brand new introduction by Len Deighton, which offers a fascinating insight into the writing of the story.



Product Description

Review

‘A superb example of Deighton’s craft’
Robert Harris, Sunday Times

‘Intrigue and suspense… City of Gold is excellent!’ The Times

‘The hallmarks of a Deighton novel are an intricate plot, an easy grasp of detail and a total mastery of storytelling technique’ Sunday Times

‘The pace of the story is compulsive… it is a real pleasure to be swallowed up in Deighton’s description of wartime Cairo’ Daily Telegraph

‘A brilliantly drawn background, a huge cast, and a plot as well-machined as a Bentley's gearbox’ Evening Standard

About the Author

Born in London, Len Deighton served in the RAF before graduating from the Royal College of Art (which recently elected him a Senior Fellow). While in New York City working as a magazine illustrator he began writing his first novel, The Ipcress File, which was published in 1962. He is now the author of more than thirty books of fiction and non-fiction. At present living in Europe, he has, over the years, lived with his family in ten different countries from Austria to Portugal.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 972 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (29 Sept. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GUQYH2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,141 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Born in London, Len Deighton served in the RAF before graduating from the Royal College of Art (which recently elected him a Senior Fellow). While in New York City working as a magazine illustrator he began writing his first novel, The Ipcress File, which was published in 1962. He is now the author of more than thirty books of fiction and non-fiction. At present living in Europe, he has, over the years, lived with his family in ten different countries from Austria to Portugal.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched, non-stop action 16 Nov. 2007
Format:Paperback
As a fan of Len Deighton's books I found it odd that there was no review on Amazon of this particular work - which I would rate as amongst the best.

The story centres on a half dozen or so primary characters - with the main character being a convicted soldier who passes himself off as a policeman assigned as the lead investigator in the search for a German Spy in Cairo in mid-World War II. This mechanism allows the plot to move through all levels of society and a wide variety of locations without stretching the storyline.

The high level of research that Deighton has put into his histories of the period gives the book a high level of credible detail and his story-telling capabilities make the plot development well-paced and strong throughout.

Given the plot (several murders and early forensics), the settings etc this will interest you if you are a fan of crime fiction as well as a fan of espionage thrillers.

Does he find the spy? Is he found out? Come on, that would give the plot away... read it for yourself!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great artwork on the cover; content below par 18 Mar. 2014
By Bookie TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Some years since I read a Deighton so I took the opportunity of a freebie to revisit his work. I loved the intro with explanation of the artwork on the cover. It started at a pace with introduction to the central character under arrest. It settled down with a great feel for Cairo. Some evocative descriptive passages created a real sense of a cosmopolitan city caught in the maelstrom of war. More characters started to take shape, but I found the majority of the plot incredibly dull. It needed to move up a couple of gears to grip. Some of the dialogue, whilst informing plot development, was bordering on turgid.

I wanted the whole book to be more dynamic and although it's well written and I finished it, I'm pleased this wasn't the first book I've read by Deighton. It's uninspired despite successfully creating a wonderful sense of a city between and amidst both sides in WW 2 and he can do so much better than this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story 17 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My second Len Deighton, SS-GB was the first and I found it a good read. It gave a great sense of the mirky world of Egypt during the war. A must for anyone who likes spy / crime stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good WW2 spy read, if not Deighton's best 6 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
City of Gold is set in WW2 Cairo, based around the British search for a German spy feeding vital information to Rommel, who is threatening to overrun Cairo. As the title suggests, the real focus is WW2 Cairo, where the British war efforts, Egyptian histopry and politics, and regional spies and adventurers all came together. The cast includes British army officers and civilians, Egyptian nationalists, an American journalist, a Russian prince, criminals and spies. This all makes for a good read, with plenty of double crossing and a good climax. And all based on real events.

Deighton was fascinated with WW2 Cairo, and this comes across, with plenty of atmosphere. But as a huge fan of his early Cold War spy books (Ipcress File, Horse Under Water etc), I was slightly disappointed. His books are always complex, but there were perhaps too many sub plots and characters, and the writing and central plot not quite as crisp. Perhaps too much a labour of love ?

So definitely worth getting, either as a fun read, or if you like Deighton. But if you want his best WW2 read, perhaps try SS GB ?
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3.0 out of 5 stars Despite it's strengths, overall disappointing 18 Aug. 2014
Format:Paperback
City of Gold read to me like the start of a much longer novel that was suddenly abandoned due to a deadline or the author losing interest. It has a lot of characters and a lot of plot threads are set up. They are then either left as loose ends or resolved perfunctorily in the last couple of chapters.

There is also almost no action and not really much suspense. And it really isn't about the hunt for Rommel's spy in Cairo.

It does however have the strengths of all Deighton's work - great atmosphere and lyrical writing.

Overall: a disappointment, and from one of my favourite authors.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor stuff 26 Feb. 2014
Format:Paperback
Deighton has no bigger fan than me for his Sampson series and a few other novels, which I have recommended everywhere, and rather prefer to Le Carré's. But this is poor poor poor, a novel he seems to have 'phoned in.

The plot is weak, the action minimal, but above all the characterisation is all over the place. We are offered a hero who says little, does less, and can confide in no one; and two largely indistinguishable heroines who clearly fascinate Deighton and occupy far too much of the space, without advancing the action much at all. The baddies are transparently bad, cartoon characters really. Deighton can write very well, especially dialogue, and some of that is here to be enjoyed. But dear me, what a careless, lazy rambling piece of work this is.
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5.0 out of 5 stars City of Gold 10 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good story held you well through out the read .told a great tale of the goings on i Cairo during the war giving you in great detail the different kinds of life in this era
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic 3 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is not a book to set the spine chilling or the heart racing. It is more like hanging out with an old friend. Such is the nostalgic nature of the writing. A good simple yarn set during WW2, almost gossipy and always affectionate. Len Deighton knows his business.
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