‘The Ipcress File,’ by Len Deighton

Novel, 1962

Cold War spy novel, in which an unnamed operative charges around the world, getting sucked into plots, counter plots and chasing scientists, exotic cuisine, and heavy hints of boredom and sexual intrigue. the book falters between scenes and rapid changes in tempo and the situations of its main character, and is a little distracting. A jovial tone – again, a little distracting – fades but never quite disappears as any moral coherence in the powers that be seems to fall apart. All in all, this gives a disjointed feel to the book, which makes it feel hurried and not altogether thought through at times. Some nice descriptions and language make part amends, but this book’s a little tough going.

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