- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: The British Library Publishing Division (22 July 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 071235767X
- ISBN-13: 978-0712357678
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 549,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Spy Paramount (British Library Spy Classics) Paperback – 22 Jul 2014
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About the Author
E. Phillips Oppenheim (1866 - 1946) was one of the most popular and successful writers of spy fiction in the early twentieth century, and was known in his time as the Prince of Storytellers.
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Oppenheim was an impressively successful author during his time for the simple reason that he gave the readers what they wanted - very enjoyable tales that moved along at a brisk, entertaining pace. Seldom was there a slow spot because just when everything seems calm, a bullet richochets or a car starts following or a scream is let out. He knew enough to leave out the boring parts.
I greatly enjoyed this re-release of a spy classic. I hope the publishers keep it coming. Oppenheim has been out of print too long.
In 1934. Major Frawley, released from the American Secret Service, is hired by an Italian general (Mussolini) to spy on the French and Germans. Based in Monaco, he encounters beautiful women, who all seem to fall in love with him. He has daring escapes from underground bunkers in the Alps, where he uncovers a secret weapon -a death ray that destroys airplanes in the air. Mix this in with an exploding yacht, numerous assassins, seductive spy bimbos and a royal love interest. Frawley is cool under pressure, more concerned with how his cocktails are mixed, his wines chilled, and his meals prepared, than the politics around him. But wait, something else is going on.
There are excellent descriptions of the hopes and fears of Europe in period when everyone saw another war as inevitable, but no one wanted it. Describing Germany: "His travels in the country during the last few days had already convinced him that great events were looming. A tortured nation was on the point of breaking its bonds. An atmosphere of impending cataclysm was brooding over the place. The worn faces of the people, the continuous stream of processions, the crowded cafes all gave evidence of it." pg 139. The Original title of this book, when published as a serial in Colliers was "The Spy who Saved the World."
One can imagine Flemming reading these as a child and later borrowing the archetype for Bond.