Thursday, 12 November 2015

ESPIONAGE READING CHALLENGE - COMPLETED



I put some challenges up on my sidebar about two years ago, in an effort to stimulate my reading in certain previously neglected areas, the spy book being one of them. The fact that something was intended to be there for a year ended up taking two to complete and in the case of the others has been arbitrarily extended to include next year anyway, shows that I perhaps haven't been too successful.

2014/2015/2016 READING CHALLENGE - ESPIONAGE/SPY







Well I got there in the end with this one and looking back I enjoyed all the books. Olen Steinhauer is an obvious favourite - his two recent novels scored top marks and his shorter novellas slightly less. Jamie Mason and Mick Herron are two authors I'll definitely look to read more from in the future.




Of the 12 - 9 are from this decade, 2 are 70s and old school Cold War themed, 1 is a 100 year old classic.

If I had to choose a favourite, today it might be Freemantle's Charlie M - a book and a protagonist that I still think of on and off nearly two years after reading. Tomorrow it might be Mick Herron and Friday Mr Steinhauer.

I will read more in this genre in the future. Authors on the shelves that were ignored for this on/off challenge include......... Charles McCarry, Robert Littell, John Le Carre, Len Deighton, Stella Rimington, Ian Fleming, Alan Furst, Eric Ambler, Graham Greene, Robert Ludlum, Victor Canning, Anthony Price......that's 12 for starters - enough to set myself another challenge!

I'd quite like to read my way through a series or two a book a month - a proper Cold War series like Smiley or Charlie M. Something to think about at least....

10 comments:

  1. Well done on completing the challenge, Col. I'm glad, too, that you found some real winners. And as far as lengths of time? We all move at our own pace; doesn't matter how long it all ends up taking, so long as you get there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Margot. Completing it and pulling together the post, does allow me time to reflect that this is definitely an area I want to try and increase my reading in, going forward. I will endeavour though to be more of a hare and less of a tortoise - if I can!

      Delete
  2. Just what I need, Col, a list of espionage fiction to look into. I know I have seen all your reviews on these before, but some have slipped my mind. (Too many books out there.) I do like Steinhauer and Herron a lot, and definitely the Charlie Muffin books are in my plans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha......I know you rate Charles McCarry so I will have to try one of them soon'ish!

      Delete
  3. Tracy said exactly what I thought, Col, I feel inspired by this to read more spy fiction, and it is a great list. And I think you kindly sent me Charlie Muffin...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought I passed CHARLIE M onto a good home - have you not read it yet?
      I should do a series on a one a month basis, as I'd like to read more myself. I do get easily distracted though!

      Delete
  4. Col, well done on the espionage reading challenge! I like the spy authors you are going to read in future. Some of those names are on my unofficial/undisclosed reading list too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Congrats on completing your self-imposed challenge! Odd the way that a few decades ago spy novels were all the rage and now they've become a sort of niche genre: they're still quite popular but you have to, as it were, look around for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John thanks. I do enjoy one now and again but should force myself to read more. About the only advantage of a new Cold War with Russia might be a resurgence in espionage fiction. Maybe I'll stick to my old books rather than wish for that!

      Delete