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A Fragment of Fear

3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  21 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
FROM THE INTRODUCTION BY JOHN LE CARRÉ "This novel comprises some of the best work of an extremely gifted and perhaps under-regarded British crime novelist.... What gave John Bingham his magic was something we look for in every writer, too often in vain: an absolute command of the internal landscape of his characters, acutely observed by a humane but wonderfully corrosive ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 17th 2007 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1965)
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By day and even by night, the peasant can normally go about his lawful avocations in safety. Yet now and again, as he struggles along the more difficult trails, he may catch a momentary glimpse of eyes in the undergrowth on either side, and hear soft movements and the snapping of twigs ...
This is so close to perfect that it has to be five-starred, in spite of some noticeable quibbles that I can't even remember now.

A master class from the Innocent-Enmeshed-In-Grand-Plot school of suspense, wit
Mar 01, 2010 Tony rated it liked it
Bingham, John. A FRAGMENT OF FEAR. (1965; this edition 2000). ***. John Bingham – aka Lord Clanmorris, aka Michael Ward – was a prolific writer of suspense and crime novels in the 1950s and 1960s, and was a relatively popular author. This edition of one of his early novels has an introduction by John LeCarre (aka David Ccornwell), a protege of Bingham’s. LeCarre’s character, Smiley, was based in large part on Bingham himself. The two men both worked for MI5 and at one time were good friends. The ...more
Aug 27, 2015 Stephen rated it liked it
This is a very well-plotted roman noir. I kept thinking it would make a wonderful film (it reminded me quite a lot of Double Indemnity). The premise—a man is threatened and finds no one believes him—is so simple and yet so effective at creating a sensation of dread without relying on any trickery or dramatic revelations.

Nevertheless, I'm not a fan of Bingham's writing. Though it sometimes skilfully evokes a particular mid-century Englishness, I found its tone stilted and even affected. I dislike
Titus G
Apr 17, 2016 Titus G rated it really liked it
Although stilted because of the dated attitudes and manners, this was also a strength with great descriptions of characters and background. Well written. A simple plot with the protagonist constantly outwitted based on the theme that in the modern jungle, an individual may still face danger. In an old fashioned and dated era of formality and manners, institutions eventually come to the rescue. I read this book out of curiosity because of the review, (introduction), by Le Carre.
Feb 21, 2009 Gerald rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: spy thriller fans
Recommended to Gerald by: John Le Carré
I needed some diversion from the chores of book promotion for [Book:Rubber Babes]. Frankly, I'd much rather be reading or writing than talking about doing either. Anyhow, I've always been partial to spy thrillers, even though I've never written one, and I was intrigued to learn that John Le Carré had recommended Bingham as an underrated craftsman of the genre. I had no other reason for picking up this vintage 1965 book, but, as it happens, its similarities to some themes in Rubber Babes are rema ...more
Sep 29, 2013 Joanne rated it it was ok
Meh. True-crime writer is intrigued by a murder which happens while he's on vacation, and tries to solve it. Mysterious forces intervene. Is he paranoid, or is someone really threatening him?

Not very interesting after a while.
Sep 03, 2011 Terry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
it was okay. Read it mostly because of le carre's introduction and because of the author's name and because it was short.
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John Michael Ward Bingham - who became the seventh Lord Clanmorris - was born in Haywards Heath on 3 November 1908.

He was educated at Cheltenham College and became an art editor for the 'Sunday Dispatch'. He married Madeleine Mary Ebel on 28 July 1934.

During the Second World War he served with the Royal Engineers and was attached to the General Staff. He also worked for MI5 and was supposedly the
More about John Bingham...

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