Monday, June 04, 2012

The Ipcress File


By Len Deighton

This was certainly not the book I was expecting from my memories of the film adaptation. For a start, the scale of the story was much greater and included an extended scene which took place on an American nuclear weapons testing site in the South Pacific which I do not recall from the film. I'm guessing the film adaptation was constrained by a budget that didn't extended to shooting on the far side of the world.

The story was initially interesting in that it didn't seem to conform to a standard plot, but this turned out to be an illusion caused by the authors manner of writing, and whilst hindsight provided a view of a fairly mundane story, it was not so common place whilst I was reading it. I suppose this ought to be a boon for the reader, but in truth I found it quite difficult to engage in the novel due to many contemporary anachromisms which peppered the pages and left them almost unpalatable.

As a Cold War novel, the book succeeded in that it managed to generate a feeling of isolation and paranoia, but it failed in being interesting enough to generate any enthusiasm in me. I finished the book and felt grateful it was over with.


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