Len Deighton, Hope


“The poet of the spy novel” (to use Julian Symons phrase) Len Deighton produced three trilogies with Bernard Sampson between 1983 to 1995; this is the middle volume in the last trilogy, “Faith”, “Hope” and “Charity”. This signed limited contains an appreciation by Ted Allbeury.

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Len Deighton is the modern master of cool anti-Establishment thrillers. He started with The Ipcress File in 1962 and had a sequence of best-selling spy thrillers. A trilogy of thrillers, including Funeral in Berlin was filmed with Michael Caine as the secret agent. Deighton also had the talent to publish non-fiction including the London Dossier, and several well received war histories (Fighter, Blitzkrieg) and a literary tour de force with the fictional account of a bombing raid on Germany. His occasional short stories also show he has other material to offer the reader than the powerplays of the Cold War. Indeed, those that have read Len’s work as literature rather than the product of a formulaic genre (such as Anthony Price, Julian Symons and H R F Keating) have expressed the view that his Cold War books developed the iconography of espionage into a critique of the state of Britain. Deighton’s Bernard Samson trilogies, full of in-depth research of place and time take the reader back to the rise of the Nazi party in the 1930s and paints a vivid picture of angst and betrayal, where loyalties are stretched and deception is everywhere.

Here is the plotline of the ninth installment, called simply Hope:As the Berlin Wall Begins to crumble, Bernard Samson is caught up in an ever – changing situation and the devious squabbles that infest the service. And as cold – war loyalties shift in the freezing wind, Samson is forced back into the “game” he longs to leave, this time without the certainty that evil lurks only on the “other” side. Caught between his job and his ethics, his past and his future, and the two women he loves, trapped in a maze of deception and danger where nothing is what it seems any longer, Samson undertakes his most dazzling mission yet – one that leads him from the seeming innocence of rural Poland, to the dubious heart of civilization that is London Central. In the end, he has only himself to depend on, only hope to keep him from harm”.

This edition of only 99 numbered and signed copies in a special binding was published in 1995 with an appreciation by Len’s late old friend and colleague Ted Allbeury.

5.00 out of 5

2 reviews for Len Deighton, Hope

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rating by review on Amazon on April 12, 2012 :

    Review on Amazon: “You might think that all that could possibly be said about the Bernard Samson saga had been covered by the first two trilogies, “Game, Set and Match”, and “Hook, Line and Sinker”. Not so however. As with the first two trilogies, Deighton manages to convey a tremendous sense of both place and time, as well as portraying its main protagonist as a man haunted by his Berlin childhood. It reminds us just how much of the political and social structure of modern Europe has its roots in German National Socialism and the consequent Second World War. Few people can surpass Deighton for complexity of plot, and added to this there is a deeply cynical sense of betrayal when the background behind the espionage “sting” is revealed. Although now a little dated, this trilogy (especially when read, as it should be, after the first two) brings to a close, some of the very finest espionage writing there has ever been – in my humble opinion”.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rating by Ted Allbeury on May 21, 2012 :

    Extract from the Appreciation by Ted Allbeury

    “It’s quite a time since I last met Len Deighton. He’s a natural globe- trotter and I’ve got to the stage where a trip to Bexhill is enough. But he’s a man who stays in your mind. Incredibly modest about his talents and achievements, and a man who is all of a piece. I’ve not noticed any change in his attitude to life and people since I first met him many years ago. With a wide circle of talented friends from one creative field or another you become aware of his talents not only as a writer of novels and short stories but a writer for films and TV, a graphic artist and a man who actually listens, even at a party, when he’s talking with you. And like the words of that old song – ‘where never is heard a discouraging word’. I guess many of us have wondered what it would be like if we won the big lottery prize, and swear that it would make no difference to our lives. Len Deighton is living proof that great success doesn’t have to change your personality or outlook on life. He must be the least publicised of any of our best-selling authors. So to the works. Inevitably, The Ipcress File set a new standard in the writing of spy stories and for once the film did justice to the book. What makes a classic film? For me it’s a film that I can happily watch again and again and each time see something I hadn’t noticed before. And the casting of Michael Caine was a stroke of genius. But for me it will always be Funeral in Berlin that takes the prize. I’ve seen it a dozen times and it wears extremely well”.

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