The Spy's Bedside Book
Publication Date: August 26, 2008
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For everyone who’s ever wondered what it really takes to be a spy, legendary author Graham Greene (The Third Man, The Quiet American) and his brother Hugh have compiled this irresistible selection of fiction, memoir, and tricks of the trade straight from the all-time masters of espionage. Here is a perfectly safe way to discover the dangerous secrets many spies have died to learn.
Want to know how to hide a map of an enemy fort in a butterfly sketch? Wonder why James Bond himself advises always drinking vodka with pepper?
Who hasn’t fantasized about being a secret agent or been captivated by the mysterious lore of spycraft? From the words of William Blake, D. H. Lawrence, and Thomas Mann—all suspected of spying in three great wars—to classic espionage stories by Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Eric Ambler, Ian Fleming, and Graham Greene himself, this fascinating compendium of all things spy makes the perfect companion for the armchair agent in all of us. If this book divulged any more secrets, it would’ve had to be written with invisible ink. (Find out how to make your own inside!)
Graham Greene was born in 1904. While at Balliol College, Oxford, he published his first book of verse. He continues to write throughout his lifetime, and is the author of The Third Man, Our Man in Havana, The Quiet American, and The End of the Affair, in addition to many other novels, short story collections, plays, essays, travel books, and film scripts. During World War II he served with the British Secret Intelligence Service. He died in 1991.
Hugh Greene was born in 1910. He came to prominence as a journalist when he was made a chief correspondent in Nazi Berlin. During World War II he served in the RAF. Greene went on to join the BBC and was made Director-General in 1960. He died in 1987.
“A charming curiosity….[The Spy's Bedside Book] serves not simply as a companion to espionage fiction, but as a kind of spy's how-to, right down to tips on secreting messages in boiled eggs and how to disguise maps in diagrams of butterfly wings (thanks to Sir Robert Baden-Powell, who actually did that).”—Los Angeles Times
“This compendium of memoir, fiction, aphorism and historical accounts of espionage through the centuries is the literary equivalent of a triple agent at a dead drop: You never know what you'll get, but it's always intriguing.”–News & Observer, Raleigh“
Many of the early masters of spy fiction—from John Buchan to Ian Fleming—are represented in this quirky anthology, along with surprise guests, including W.H. Auden and Colette.”—Wall Street Journal