Tagged: Espionage

Radio: “The Ipcress File” by Len Deighton (BBC Radio 4 adaptation)


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: Mini review: “Horse Under Water” by Len Deighton (audiobook version)

• Spare Cycles: Film: Funeral in Berlin

• Spare Cycles: Mini review: “Billion Dollar Brain” by Len Deighton

• Spare Cycles: Mini review: “Winter: A Berlin Family 1899-1945” by Len Deighton (audiobook version)


Mini review: “Spy Games” by Adam Brookes (audiobook version)


This is the second book featuring a British journalist getting mixed up with the UK secret service.  I was not a big fan of the first (audio)book, Night Heron, mainly as a result of a rather bland reading by the narrator.

This is much better, with a story that covers a lot of ground – China, Ethiopia, Thailand.  A bitter rivalry between two influential Chinese families has international consequences.

The plot starts off broad, introducing a number of characters, but gradually becomes more focused until the core of the story reveals itself.  The pressure is kept up all the way through the book and the story is well paced.  You do not have to have read the first book.

In relation to the audiobook in particular, there is a different narrator this time and he does a really good job.  He handles accents well, so that each character is an individual and he puts over the tension and emotion of the story.

This is a very good book.  You want to keep reading – it’s addictive stuff.  If you like spy stories this comes highly recommended.



Len Deighton audiobooks coming in 2015…


2014 was a good year for releases of Len Deighton audiobooks, with the arrival of several of the “Spy with no name”/”Harry Palmer” books and the “Game, Set and Match” trilogy.

The next books in the series form the “Hook, Line and Sinker” trilogy and I’m really pleased to see that they will be released as audiobooks in 2015:

Sy Hook: January

Spy Line:  April

Spy Sinker:  June

The “Faith, Hope and Charity” trilogy also starts with Faith coming out in August 2015.  I’m not sure if I will listen to this trilogy as I don’t think it is as strong as the first two, but I may well be sucked in.

It looks like 2015 is going to be a brilliant year for Len Deighton fans who love to listen to their fiction.  The great SS-GB – although not part of the Bernard Samson story – is also coming in January 2015.  I get the impression that I’ll be keeping my Audible subscription active for a while to come…

Also see…

• Spare Cycles: Mini review: “Berlin Game” by Len Deighton (audiobook version)

• Spare Cycles: Mini review: “Mexico Set” by Len Deighton (audiobook version)

• Spare Cycles: Review: London Match (original review of the book)

• Spare Cycles: Len Deighton books

• Harper Collins: Len Deighton audiobooks