Espionage Aficionados discussion

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NonFic & Reality > Would you want to be a spy?

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message 1: by Judith (last edited Feb 13, 2010 01:20PM) (new)

Judith I always wanted to be a spy (OSS, CIA, NSA, DOD, etc.) but never had the skills or guts (or opportunity). I think my passion for reading spy books allows me to be that spy for a time. Plus, I like some of the ideas you pick up along the way. Some of the writers are better than others at "teaching" you tricks-of-the-trade. I think the main thing I have learned is not to trust anyone. Which authors have you learned from the most?


message 2: by Magnus (new)

Magnus (magnuspym) | 9 comments John Le Carre, Len Deighton, Early Forsyth. In respect of Tradecraft and one or two life lessons. I trust but with extreme caution. Le Carre taught me about the many layers of betrayal. Oh and that just because a man is running an important section does not mean he can run his own life. That is Man or Woman.


message 3: by Judith (new)

Judith Yes, that contrast between espionage skills and personal life skills as reflected in the writing of the authors you mention is missing from much of today's work by popular spy writers. Perhaps it is like the difference in ability between craftsmen and laborers. Or maybe today's readers just demand constant action. The Cold War era provided worthy intelligence opponents, not jihadists. Complex thinking and long term plotting was required. Stress was inevitable so personalities were battered. Or maybe one dimensional people were drawn to the intelligence business.

Doesn't technology drive today's intelligence world rather than humint?

(Are my age and lack of trust showing through in this response?)


message 4: by Magnus (new)

Magnus (magnuspym) | 9 comments Age? Possibly, Lack of Trust may be initiated by what you have read but more likely to be the result of life experience. In Tinker Tailor, the characters of Jumbo and Jim were so brilliantly aligned, In Jumbo Jim recognised both the Loner and the Watcher Thus in Jim did Jumbo find affinity. Ma


message 5: by Magnus (new)

Magnus (magnuspym) | 9 comments Post by mistake! Maybe that is what drew me to TTSS so much, recognition of myself in Jumbo, Jim and Smiley. Ever a watcher ever a loner, even in company) A Perfect Spy was so close to home as to be frightening. I adore the labyrinthine nature of Le C and Deighton. The villains are so close to the Heros, like a fraction of an inch drove one to the dark side and the other to "Our" side. I really enjoyed "A Spy in Waiting" and chose it as my blog name LOL!


message 6: by Mustafa-Jafar (new)

Mustafa-Jafar (mustafajafar41) | 1 comments Le Carre seems to be a favourite common denominator but I'd say Forsyth. The Day of the Jackal covers assassination, and The Dogs of War covers military coups. I'm currenty in the midst of Le Carre's Absolute Friends, and hope it doesn't slow down too much like The Night Manager did. Nevertheless, Forsyth (in my opinion) provides much better insight into tradecraft.


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