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message 1: by Gamal (new)

Gamal Hennessy | 154 comments I think I read spy thrillers because I never got accepted into the FB I or the. CIA. John Le Carré, Barry Eisler and Greg Rucka are some of my favorites, but I'm always looking for the next great spy novel to fuel my imagination of all the things I might have missed.


message 2: by Marie-Jo (last edited Aug 24, 2015 02:06PM) (new)

Marie-Jo Fortis | 118 comments So what you're saying is that you're projecting yourself into what could have been. Fiction becomes part of your (inner) reality. Interesting. I read Le Carré once in a while when I am writing, when I need structure and control, a certain mystery within the prose itself.


message 3: by Bill, Co-Moderator (new)

Bill | 5392 comments Mod
Welcome to the group, Gamal. If you like historical spy novels, you might like to try Alan Furst.


message 4: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8558 comments Mod
Hi, Gamal. I'm a Huge LeCarre fan myself.


message 5: by Geza (new)

Geza Tatrallyay | 43 comments Philip Kerr is a fun writer. I love his Bernie Gunther detective series which takes place in Berlin, before during and after WWII.


message 6: by Gamal (new)

Gamal Hennessy | 154 comments Marie-Jo wrote: "So what you're saying is that you're projecting yourself into what could have been. Fiction becomes part of your (inner) reality. Interesting. I read Le Carré once in a while when I am writing, whe..."

I think on a certain level I used to project myself into the role of a spy, then I realized I wasn't patient or cunning as a spy needs to be, so I don't do that anymore. ;-)

I try to emulate Le Carre in terms of moving the narrative and having the protagonist solve problems without killing, violence, or even a lot of special abilities. Books like Tinker, Tailor and The Secret Pilgrim fascinated me for the level of tension he could build under a mundane facade. I'm not there yet, but I'm working on it.


message 7: by Gamal (new)

Gamal Hennessy | 154 comments Bill wrote: "Welcome to the group, Gamal. If you like historical spy novels, you might like to try Alan Furst."

Bill, thank you for the welcome. It has been hard for me to relate to the historical spy novels. I've read several non-fiction books about historical spies, but when I go for a story, it's hard for me to reach back farther than the Cold War.


message 8: by Gamal (new)

Gamal Hennessy | 154 comments Nancy wrote: "Hi, Gamal. I'm a Huge LeCarre fan myself."

Hi, Nancy. Which one is your favorite?


message 9: by Gamal (new)

Gamal Hennessy | 154 comments Geza wrote: "Philip Kerr is a fun writer. I love his Bernie Gunther detective series which takes place in Berlin, before during and after WWII."

Thanks Geza. Are all of Kerr's books historical, or does he venture into the modern era at all?


message 10: by Geza (new)

Geza Tatrallyay | 43 comments The ones I have read are, and I have read most. Besides the Bernie Gunther series he has a wonderful novel, DARK MATTER, (again based on solid research and historical fact) that has Sir Isaac Newton solve a murder mystery when he is the head of the Royal Mint in London. But you will get hooked on the Bernie Gunther series though which many wartime figures especially Nazi Germans parade and come to life. Some of the books reach into the 60s.

I model my writing a bit on Kerr, with two tenets: 1. provide excitement, titillation, suspense 2. provide some learning for the reader by basing the story in some aspect of current or historical reality which is not well known to the public.

Best to you, Geza


message 11: by Prakash (new)

Prakash Khanchandani | 52 comments I read his Gridiron after which i lost interest in Kerr.


message 12: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (last edited Aug 29, 2015 05:22AM) (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8558 comments Mod
Gamal wrote: "Nancy wrote: "Hi, Gamal. I'm a Huge LeCarre fan myself."

Hi, Nancy. Which one is your favorite?"


Hard to pinpoint just one, really, but I love the Smiley novels. I also think his A Perfect Spy is one of his absolute best books. I will never ever forget Magnus Pym -- such a tragic character.


message 13: by Gamal (new)

Gamal Hennessy | 154 comments Nancy wrote: "Gamal wrote: "Nancy wrote: "Hi, Gamal. I'm a Huge LeCarre fan myself."

Hi, Nancy. Which one is your favorite?"

Hard to pinpoint just one, really, but I love the Smiley novels. I also think his..."


I haven't read A Perfect Spy yet, but I agree with you on the Smiley novels. Tinker, Tailor is one of my favorite books of all time. I also think The Secret Pilgrim is an underappreciated book in his collection. Have you read that one?


message 14: by Gamal (new)

Gamal Hennessy | 154 comments Geza wrote: "The ones I have read are, and I have read most. Besides the Bernie Gunther series he has a wonderful novel, DARK MATTER, (again based on solid research and historical fact) that has Sir Isaac Newto..."

Thank you, sir. I'll look into it. :-)


message 15: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8558 comments Mod
Gamal wrote: "Nancy wrote: "Gamal wrote: "Nancy wrote: "Hi, Gamal. I'm a Huge LeCarre fan myself."

Hi, Nancy. Which one is your favorite?"

Hard to pinpoint just one, really, but I love the Smiley novels. I ..."


Not yet, Gamal. A Perfect Spy is one that left me just emotionally laid out on the floor. It is up there among the saddest books I've ever read.


message 16: by Gamal (new)

Gamal Hennessy | 154 comments Nancy wrote: "Gamal wrote: "Nancy wrote: "Gamal wrote: "Nancy wrote: "Hi, Gamal. I'm a Huge LeCarre fan myself."

Hi, Nancy. Which one is your favorite?"

Hard to pinpoint just one, really, but I love the Smile..."


Le Carre knows how to ramp up the sadness. It's bad for his characters, but good for us. :-)


message 17: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8558 comments Mod
Read the book, and afterwards, if you can find the BBC miniseries, it's a pretty accurate representation.


message 18: by Gamal (new)

Gamal Hennessy | 154 comments Really? I normally try to avoid films based on his books. There's so much internal conflict and atmosphere woven into the prose that can't be replicated on the screen. His books seem too understated for television.


message 19: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8558 comments Mod
Gamal wrote: "Really? I normally try to avoid films based on his books. There's so much internal conflict and atmosphere woven into the prose that can't be replicated on the screen. His books seem too understate..."

You have to trust me on this one. I actually just took my DVD set out to watch next week.


message 20: by Gamal (new)

Gamal Hennessy | 154 comments Nancy wrote: "Gamal wrote: "Really? I normally try to avoid films based on his books. There's so much internal conflict and atmosphere woven into the prose that can't be replicated on the screen. His books seem ..."

You seem to have a good head for this sort of thing. I suppose I can take a risk just this once. ;-)


message 21: by Susan (new)

Susan Well, Happy Birthday. You are still a baby in my 62 year old eyes.


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