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Yesterday's Spy by [Deighton, Len]
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Yesterday's Spy Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Description

Review

‘Deighton at his best’
Evening Standard

‘Splendid bluffs and lots of pleasing violence’
New Statesman

‘Tough, well-written and extremely readable’
Daily Mail

‘Tremendous… a must read’
Daily Mirror

‘The excitement is exactly rationed, and all the characters beautifully outlined… far better than the best work of almost anyone else’
Daily Telegraph

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: 794 KB
  • Print Length: 323 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reissue edition (7 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006KWALLK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #65,330 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
The title's Yesterday's Spy is Steve Champion, a WW2 hero for work with the French Resistance, now prosperous but apparently up to no good. British Intelligence sends his war era deputy to find out what he is after - and back to the French people and places of their war time past. And off we go...glamorous women, betrayals, gunmen and all.

This book is a break from both Deighton's anonymous hero of his early books (played as Harry Palmer by Michael Caine in the classic films) and their Cold War setting. But it has Deighton's typical twists and turns and sharp dialogue, which are always a pleasure.

As a Deighton fan, I found it not as good as Funeral in Berlin, Horse Under Water etc. The characters were a little cardboard, some plot 70's kitsch, and I missed the Harry Palmer trick of never knowing who was on who's side. But still a good, fun and easy read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a bit of dilemma about this book. Whilst the protagonist's boss is the same as the previous novel (Spy Story), his WW2 back story almost seems to be at odds with what we know about the unnamed spy/Harry Palmer from IPCRESS at all. So whilst I'd like to think that it's the same character, I'm not sure that it really is.

This time round our favourite spy is called upon to invistigate the reappearence of a WW2 French resistance colleage who has started to arouse suspiscion within his old employers. He's up to something, but what it is no-one really knows.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In his intro, Deighton says he tries a new technique in the writing. Sadly, it does not come off and it lacks the classic tautness of his other spy novels. There's a sense of laziness in the writing - was Deighton living in the south of France when he wrote this one. Still worth reading all the same for Deighton fans
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love 1960's-1970's Len Deighton spy novels prior to the Bernard Samson soap opera. Yesterday's Spy is probably one of the weakest. which as all Deighton fans know still makes it 70% better than any other spy novel by someone else. The plot premise is a interesting idea, but never really delivers for me. It lacks the frantic excitement and improvised madness I love Deighton's books for.

It's not that Yesterdays Spy is a bad book it's just no where near as interesting or as cool as the work that preceded it and came after it.
Very much like "An Expensive place to die." It's a B side.
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I love all Deighton's novels and this is almst as good as his later ones. And yet I'm so familiar with his later series, especially the ten novel samson saga that I see in this one the trademarks that he will use much later. Perhaps if I'd read this first it would have been five stars. That said, I have read no finer novelist of this genre than Deighton.
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Format: Paperback
A reasonable plot, which may make a better TV 'screen play' than a novel ; I am a huge Len Deighton fan, and have read some novels several times, but this book did not enthral me in the way some others did.

Narrated in the first person, a technique that works well in Deighton's books, we read about W.O.O.C.(P) operative 'Charlie', who is tasked to investigate the former leader of his WW2 Resistance Cell, now suspected of dealing with 'the opposition'.

The attempt to introduce a new 'boss' (American Colonel Schlegel) alongside, but mainly replacing, Dawlish did not really add anything to the book for me.

The 1970's setting is, again, a refreshing change from all the more modern, 'high-tec', spy novels that we are getting today ; Descriptions of 1970's Nice and Marseilles add an interesting back-drop to the story.

Deighton never made it clear in his early spy novels whether the cunning, but down-to-earth, main character was meant to be the same person ; They all work for the same government department (W.O.O.C.-P), and boss Dawlish features in most, but the character of 'Harry Palmer' played so well by (Sir) Michael Caine in the three films was generally not given a name in the books.

In Yesterday's Spy the main character is referred to as 'Charlie', but it is not clear if this is meant to be his real name, or possibly a WW2 code-name by which he was known while operating in France, and by which the French cast of this book already know him.

Certainly worth reading, especially for readers who are already fans of Len Deighton's novels, but not quite the attention grabber as some of his other books.
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Maybe it is because I returned to Deighton after many years apart and my memories are of the earlier book with engaging plots, sardonic humour and barbed dialogue of the Ipcress file and Funeral in Berlin.
Yesterday's Spy does not hang together as well as previous novels and I was trying to feel and understand the new place that is the world of the nameless Harry Palmer. I struggled to relate to his new context and role and relationships. The plot rather jumped from place to place - I kept saying to myself "mind the gap" in the way of a tube station announcement rather than admiring the seamless flow of the story.
But it is Len Deighton so as a lifelong fan I read, indeed revisited this book and at the end was happy I had not wasted my time and had smiled at some of the pithy one liners and acerbic wit offered up in this book
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