Title: The Spy’s Beside Book
Author: Hugh Greene and Graham Greene
Page Count/Review Word Count: 240
If you ever want to become a spy or a secret agent then boy, is this the book for you. Written by Graham Greene, a man who gained international renown as a writer and who also happens to have dabbled with espionage, and his brother Hugh, it’s also introduced by Stella Rimington, the former head of MI5. So convincing is it, in fact, that the anthology was originally bought in bulk by East German intelligence, and there’s also a form at the back offering trade prices to members of the secret services of other foreign nations.
The most interesting thing here, though, is the range of talent that’s featured in this compilation of short stories about espionage – Ian Fleming and John Buchan are here, but so are William Blake, D. H. Lawrence and Thomas Mann. Combine that with the fantastic story-lines and the special details that the authors included, like the way that the agents code their messages and avoid deception, and you’re on to a winner.
This collection won’t necessarily cater to everyone, but it will at least cater to most – whether you’re a fan of one of the authors inside, whether you’re a fan of Graham Greene and you trust his judgement or whether you’re just an espionage aficionado, you’ll be happy.