Thanks to the one-three punch of Casino Royale, MI-5/Spooks, and a re-read of Tim Powers' Declare, I am now obsessed with spies, secret agents, moles, and all things deceptive and paranoid. Recommend me some good books (fiction or non), movies, TV shows, or other media about spies.

I already have Sandbaggers in my Netflix queue, and have read (but not really understood) Stoppard's Hapgood. I have never read John LeCarre or any of the other spying classics (so recs of specific books rather than general recs of an author would be good.) I am particularly taken by the angst of spying, the paranoia, the confusion between persona and identity, and the possibility of agents becoming so doubled, tripled, or quadrupled that no one really knows what side they're on, including themselves.

I've read enough about the Enigma machine to be interested, but is there a book about it that isn't incomprehensibly technical?

Finally, is there any good history on early spying, like pre-twentieth century?

ETA: During a recent visit to Costco, during which Dad used his wife's card since he didn't have his own with him (which you're not supposed to do there), he confessed that while he was living at the ashram, a combination of boredom and LeCarre had gotten him so obsessed with spies that he used to pretend to be one and see how far he could sneak through low-level security without actually displaying his ID. Damn, I wish I'd known that two years ago; I would have definitely mentioned it in All the Fishes Come Home to Roost. My father, the secret agent, slipping undetected through life.
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From: [identity profile] coffeeandink.livejournal.com


Read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy first of LeCarre; or second, [livejournal.com profile] em_h is probably right about The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, although I don't like it much. (Declare is the best LeCarre novel LeCarre never wrote.)

I do like Alan Furst, although I'd recommend NOT starting with the ones about the director in Occupied France, as they were weaker than the others I've tried. There's also Anthony Price; I recommend starting with Tomorrow's Ghost.

That may have used up my entire stock of thriller recs. Oh, wait, I've made you read Tracy Grant's Daughter of the Game already, right? Because if not, you should.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Curiously enough, I just obtained Daughter from Book Munch, and was planning to start it today.

Do you have any particular recommendations on Furst?

From: [identity profile] loligo.livejournal.com


I believe I have the sequel to Daughter sitting around somewhere. If you like the first one, let me know and I'll go digging in the basement.
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