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Xpd

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,446 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
It is 1979. A stolen World War II document kept secret since then is about to surface, propelling the most ruthless secret agents of Great Britain, America, Germany, and the Soviet Union into a desperate battle of wits and violence. Anyone who learns of the paper must die, his file stamped Expedient Demise, or . . . XPD.
Mass Market Paperback, 1st U.S. Paperback Edition, 377 pages
Published April 12th 1982 by Ballantine Books (first published March 12th 1981)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,011)
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Alain Dewitt
Sep 27, 2011 Alain Dewitt rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
This was a suspense thriller that was almost completely lacking in action and suspense. The characters are a melange of good guys (British SIS (aka MI-6) and CIA) and bad guys (Nazis and Russians) but the plot is never really fleshed out. The book concerns some Nazi documents that are hidden at the end of the war (along with a cache of Nazi gold) that have damning evidence of how Churchill tried to sue for peace in the dark days of May 1940. And while this would be an embarrassing admission, it' ...more
CD
I had read this book, who knows how long ago. It finally became very familiar about 75 pages or so in to the story.

One of those many WWII/Nazi/Occupied France spy thriller that so dominated the popular fiction market for years. A reasonably well done, though improbable, story line even in the face of various true tales that have emerged as time has passed. Another attempt to play on the real Rudolf Hess story in one way or another.

This is only a quick review from a genre that I spent many hours
...more
Simon Mcleish
Feb 16, 2013 Simon Mcleish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in July 2004.

The second of an (otherwise unrelated) trio of Deighton novels concerned with the Second World War, XPD is actually set in 1979, contemporary with its writing. It is close as Deighton has got to the idea driven thrillers of Frederick Forsyth, and has many similarities to The Odessa File, published almost a decade earlier. It deals with a plot by a group of former SS officers to sieze power in Germany. Their plans are based around the publication
...more
Robert Dunlap
Jan 21, 2015 Robert Dunlap rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reminds me how much I need to get back to him.

It's not just the action, or the story, which is almost secondary at times but the themes which he keeps returning to, which are always correct, and very dear to me. Bureaucracy; political infighting; snobbery; disdain for systems contrived to make others fail; cynicism about the modern world; a dim look on many present personalities one is likely to encounter - yet this book is 30 years old. So there's prescience, too.

That said, the story - stolen N
...more
Matthew
Apr 17, 2016 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of Deighton's "third person" novels written in the early 1980s before the first Samson Trilogy (Game, Set and Match). I call it a third person novel because it's not a perspective that Deighton uses often-the other exceptions being SS-GB and Bomber. The basic premise of the novel is this: a group of US Army vets discovered untold Nazi riches hidden in a mine in central Germany, along with a secret document that proves Winston Churchill entertained the possibility of a negotiated peac ...more
Ravi
Jan 04, 2016 Ravi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book on the 31st of December '15 and it took me some time to finish.

This is my first book of 2016 and I must say that the plot was well thought out but it lacked a hero.

The author clearly stated that he has written this as a third person book with no hero, but it means that this is like a ship with no rudder.

It takes us over the course of a great plot but it seems that we are going really fast and enjoying the ride but we have no clue where the end is.

I felt there were too many, a
...more
Howard
Oct 09, 2014 Howard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this 2009 edition at a second-hand book stall somewhere in the UK for some airplane reading, realising that I had probably read it some 30 years ago when it was first published. It's still a ripping spy thriller, although the basic premise of the plot -- that public knowledge of a clandestine wartime meeting between Churchill and Hitler would somehow bring Britain crumbling to its knees -- is rather less believable in 2014 than it might have been in 1981. Not Deighton's best in my vi ...more
Kelanth
Feb 02, 2016 Kelanth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spionaggio
Xpd, è un romanzo di spionaggio del 1981, dell'autore inglese Len Deighton. Questo libro venne anche trasmesso radiofonicamente a puntate dalla BBC nel 1985. La sua produzione letteraria spazia dai romanzi di spionaggio e di suspense, ai libri di cucina e ai saggi storici. È il creatore del personaggio Harry Palmer, una spia britannica protagonista di una serie di romanzi e di film interpretati da Michael Caine. Tutti gli appassionati di spy-stories ricordano la figura di Michael Caine con gli o ...more
Tim
Oct 13, 2015 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mixture of two interests of Deighton, the world of agents and the world of film.
Much of it has possible factual basis from published reports and memoirs, mainly places, dates and principal characters.
I'm not sure this book quite does it for me, interesting but not his best.
Deightons interests in film resulted in his novel about a fading Hollywood star and he also wrote the screenplay for ' Oh What a Lovely War ' although he had his name removed from the credits due to disagreements.

This book a
...more
Speesh
Feb 23, 2013 Speesh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spies
I would imagine, if you are like me of a certain age, and you have done a Michael Caine impression, you have probably done him as either his character from Zulu, or one of his early spy films. And they, The Ipcress File, Funeral In Berlin, etc, were written by one of the masters of the genre, Len Deighton.

Deighton along with le Carré, defined the later Cold War, spy-era, nipping back and forth over/under the Berlin Wall, novel. Deighton, for me, always felt a little more working class in his foc
...more
rabbitprincess
Jun 24, 2012 rabbitprincess rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: established Deighton fans
"XPD": n., also v., stands for "Expedient Demise". Happens to those who find out information that the intelligence community does not want them to know.

In this Len Deighton novel, the information that causes XPD orders to be issued is the existence of the so-called "Hitler Minutes" -- reports of a meeting between Churchill and Hitler in 1940 that involved peace negotiations of a nature that would be abhorrent to the Allies. The story follows MI6 agent Boyd Stuart as he works to prevent the docum
...more
Louis Shalako
I've read some of the criticisms of the book, and I can see below that some people give it five stars. I had just read another thriller, and was pleasantly surprised...at first. That other book had some holes in the logic. But when Boyd Stuart drives away from the farmhouse, the place blows up, and he goes back, finding the old man's body and a wall safe, and removes some documents, where is the old lady? Didn't she go off to milk the cows? Where exactly did she go? The protag seems to miss this ...more
David
Aug 02, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read some of Deighton's books many years ago, but other than "The Ipcress File", I don't recall any of them, though as I begin to read his books again, some of which I'm quite sure will be re-reads, I'm happy that his rediscovery. The story "XPD" had many side stories that come together creating that wonderful climax that I so desire. Mr. Deighton is a superb writer. His detailed description of car crash in this novel is splendid.
Steve
Nov 18, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Len Deighton book and I found it an easy light read for this genre of book. Maybe old fashioned for todays world, even James Bond has altererd beyond recognition, but none the less for someone's first dip into spy novels it worth a try. The storyline is a good one and the plot not hard to follow, and yes some characters do seem wooden, maybe they are in that world. Boyd Stewart is the experienced spy sent to track down some damning war time papers about Churchill and Hitler and ...more
Philip
Jun 08, 2012 Philip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: espionage
XPD is one of my favorite Len Deighton stories. I'm sure of that because I've read it at least three times, now. It has among the best plot twists of Deighton's novels, but I think the appeal of this one is, atypically, the characters at the center who aren't spies, just poor schlubs who are caught in the middle but who have a fascinating intertwined history and some strength of character and sense of morality. Particularly, and again atypically, the American character Charles Stein, whose girth ...more
Richard Nessfield
It's a spy thriller written by Len Deighton. Normally that would make for a great read (at least for me). But for some reason this work never really clicked, and I can't really give it a high rating. Having said that it did pick up a little towards the end. For Deighton completionists, this would be a good read.
Muzza
Feb 18, 2015 Muzza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First time I picked up a Len Deighton in over 20 years. It feels a bit dated in 2015 but nether the less entertaining. Written in and about a previous age. English in every way with private school spies, ageing Nazi baddies and Hollywood players even thrown in. He sure can spin a yarn.
Hereswhatsgoingon
Apr 07, 2014 Hereswhatsgoingon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
XPD is a classic Deighton Cold War spy story, based on the premise that Churchhill and Hitler had secret meetings in the war, something MI6 of the 1970s is desperate to keep secret. I liked the characters and enjoyed watching the tale unfold.
Brenda Leavy
Jan 19, 2015 Brenda Leavy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardcore fans of Deighton
Shelves: novels
I am a huge Deighton fan, but cannot find anything to recommend about this book. It was filled with possibilities..secret meetings between Churchill and Hitler...Hollywood film making in the 70's....spy vs spy...double agents...and a trip around Europe. But alas, it all fell flat. Character development was lacking, action scenes were dull. Who was I supposed to be rooting for? Did anyone win?
Donnacha Foley
Jul 27, 2015 Donnacha Foley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had to put it down half way through. It was so boring I couldn't read another page.
Scott
Apr 04, 2015 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put it down after I started it!
Cheryl
Apr 26, 2015 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the spy caper
Veeral
A story where nothing major happens for most of the plot. This could have been better if given the plot, Deighton could have made it more intense.

Anyways, I read this quite a while ago and the only thing I remember about it is that I was bored most of the time while reading it. But as it was written by Len Deighton, I persisted. I wouldn't say I was happy with the book in the end, but it was not that bad either.

But read this only if you have more time on your hands.
Cdh0061
This book is espionage fiction. However, twenty years has dated the work into a place between spy caper and historical fiction, automatically demoting it to a three. There is not enough actual fact to carry it into long term respectability. The plot extended itself into an almost uncomfortable burden to finish. Learned a lot about British prime ministers of the 60s and 70s though. Education in its own way.
Marilyn
XPD means...Expedient Demise. This is a spy story (Russia, Great Britain, USA)...but copyrighted in 1981 so...rather old. I found it very hard to follow. Had to reread lots of pages to figure out what was actually going on. I had to finish it...but...I it took me forever to read because it was hard going all the way. Wouldn't recommend.
Fredrick Danysh
Dec 15, 2013 Fredrick Danysh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this novel, a "XPD" stamp on a personnel file is a death warrant. In 1944 Churchill and Hitler to discuss surrendering the British army. Now the secret documents are starting to surface and everyone wants them
Ian Carey
Really wanted to like this one, but it just never pulled me in the way other spy novels (Le Carre, Stenhauer) have. (Also his Americans sound British.)
Andrew Salmon
Slow, plodding and I hate to say it, boring. This is no my first Deighton and won't be my last but I expected more from this author. Next!
Kjt
May 10, 2015 Kjt marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
DNF
James
Jul 18, 2010 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, fiction
Ok i guess somewhat clunky plot and not half as good as his other books
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Deighton was born in Marylebone, London, in 1929. His father was a chauffeur and mechanic, and his mother was a part-time cook.After leaving school, Deighton worked as a railway clerk before performing his National Service, which he spent as a photographer for the Royal Air Force's Special Investigation Branch. After discharge from the RAF, he studied at St Martin's School of Art in London in 1949 ...more
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