I have to admit straight off that I’ve never actually read The Ipcress File, which is strange because I’ve now read a lot of Len Deighton’s other books. It was his first book, a big hit that is said to have helped redefine thriller writing in the 1960s. It is a big omission given that I have read other books in Deighton’s “unnamed spy” series such as Horse Under Water, Funeral in Berlin and Billion-Dollar Brain.
I think I have been put off by the film version of the Ipcress File which got a bit too psychedelic in places for my taste.
This BBC Radio 4 adaptation from 2004 is distinctly different to the film so I assume that it is much truer to the overall plot of the book. The casting of Liverpudlian Ian Hart is more authentic to the main character’s supposed birthplace of Lancashire than cockney Londoner Michael Caine in the film.
It is 1 1/2 hours long so there is room for the story to breathe and it is very well done. Highly recommended.
One of these days I’ll read the book…
• Spare Cycles: Len Deighton books
• Spare Cycles: Film: Funeral in Berlin
• Spare Cycles: Mini review: “Billion Dollar Brain” by Len Deighton