Here is an extraordinary collection of the world's best literary espionage, selected by Alan Furst, a contemporary master of the genre. The Book of Spies brings us the aristocratic intrigues of The Scarlet Pimpernel, in which French emigres duel with Robespierre's secret service; the savage political realities of the 1930s in Eric Ambler's classic A Coffin for Dimitrios; the ordinary (well, almost) citizens of John le Carre's The Russia House, who are drawn into Cold War spy games; and the 1950s Vietnam of Graham Greene's The Quiet American, with its portrait of American idealism "and" duplicity. Drawing on acknowledged classics and rediscovered treasures, A Book of Spies delivers literate entertainment and excitement on every page.
About the Author
ALAN FURST is widely recognized as the master of the historical spy novel. He is the author of Night Soldiers, Dark Star, The Polish Officer, The World at Night, Red Gold, Kingdom of Shadows, and Blood of Victory, all of which are available as Random House Trade Paperbacks. Born in New York, he has lived for long periods in France, especially Paris. He now lives on Long Island, New York.
“A master of the form culls from the cream of the cloak-and-dagger crop. . . . Twelve expertly chosen tales of secret operatives: shadowy and elusive, cunningly written and thrillingly fraught with peril.”
“Spanning nearly three quarters of a century . . . this handy sampler touches on many high points of spy writing. . . . In this case, fiction is more thrilling than truth.”
—Time Out New York
“[A] dazzling anthology . . . The writing—whether displaying the cold clarity of Maugham or the pained lyricism of McCarry—is splendid.”
—The Wall Street Journal