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The Ipcress File

The Ipcress File by Len Deighton
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Len Deighton’s classic first novel, whose protagonist is a nameless spy – later christened Harry Palmer and made famous worldwide in the iconic 1960s film starring Michael Caine.

The Ipcress File was not only Len Deighton’s first novel, it was his first bestseller and the book that broke the mould of thriller writing.

For the working class narrator, an apparently straightforward mission to find a missing biochemist becomes a journey to the heart of a dark and deadly conspiracy.

The film of The Ipcress File gave Michael Caine one of his first and still most celebrated starring roles, while the novel itself has become a classic.

HarperCollins Publishers; October 2009
288 pages; ISBN 9780007343027
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Title: The Ipcress File
Author: Len Deighton
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Ipcress file dated
Not surprinsgly the Ipcress file is dated (It was written in the early 1960s). Whether that should affect a reader in 2016 I am not sure. However, I find the text slow and found myself wanting to see some action. I was in my late teens when Deighton wrote this, his first book. Around us was the Cold War warming up with USSR and the Cuban missile crisis affecting us all in Europe. That background would have been in the minds of readers of the Ipcress File. Impending nuclear war?

I have not completed reading the book, but I do recommended it to get this flavour of espionage as it was then. No personal computers, poor telephone technology for example. This is how it was as portrayed by characters like Dalby and his cohort.