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Blackout In Gretley

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  29 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Published (first published 1942)
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May 28, 2010 khashayar rated it liked it
One of those interesting spy stories which is written in 1942 and the good thing about it is that it is not a cliche about the cold war. It pivots on Nazi activities in a Midlands town in England and how a guy named Humphrey Neyland from department of counter espionage is about to stop them. Humphrey has lucid ideas about the society in which he lives and is not a mere playboy playing 007, so no james bond stuff!

Priestley was a progressive who cared about the society and his hopes for a better
Mar 05, 2011 Eric rated it liked it
It surprises me when I discover a new book by an author I know, and I'm familiar with Priestley. This is an exciting read, shades of Buchan's Mr. Standfast and Graham Greene's Ministry of Fear. A briskly written WWII thriller, full of interesting types, English settings, adventures, crisp dialogue. Clever set pieces not unlike those in Hitchcock's The 39 Steps. Atmosphere that reminds me of Launder & Gilliat's Green for Danger. I'm halfway through, so it may lose some of its snap before the ...more
Humphrey Neyland, a Canadian civil engineer, is doing counter-espionage work for the British government in the midst of World War II. He doesn't have much to live for when he comes to the small industrial town of Gretley, where information is leaking to the Germans. Among the people he meets are several beautiful women, but Neyland is not interested in how beautiful they are, just in how suspicious. As he wades in to find the mastermind who had one of his contacts killed, he also finds that ...more
Oct 11, 2011 Neil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Priestley subtitled this "A story of-and-for wartime." The story centres around and is told in first person by a spy catcher in a small northern industrial town. The story is rather downbeat, the darkness of the blackout pervading the whole story. Although there are some laughs along the way this is all pretty serious by Priestley's standards we really do feel that the Nazi menace can be found almost anywhere.
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Recommends it for: Radio 4 listeners
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John Boynton Priestley, the son of a schoolmaster, was born in Bradford in September 1894, and after schooling he worked for a time in the local wool trade. Following the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, Priestley joined the British Army, and was sent to France --in 1915 taking part in the Battle of Loos. After being wounded in 1917 Priestley returned to England for six months; then, after going ...more
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