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Epitaph for a Spy

Epitaph for a Spy

Scritto da Eric Ambler

Narrato da Alexander Spencer


Epitaph for a Spy

Scritto da Eric Ambler

Narrato da Alexander Spencer

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (13 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
6 ore
Pubblicato:
Jan 1, 1982
ISBN:
9781440702914
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

Vadassy was just another name on the guest list at the seedy Mediterranean Hotel until he was accused of spying. Then, suddenly, he was on everybody’s list.
Pubblicato:
Jan 1, 1982
ISBN:
9781440702914
Formato:
Audiolibro


Informazioni sull'autore

Eric Ambler was born into a family of entertainers and in his early years helped out as a puppeteer. However, he initially chose engineering as a full time career, although this quickly gave way to writing. In World War II he entered the army and looked likely to fight in the line, but was soon after commissioned and ended the war as assistant director of the army film unit and a Lieutenant-Colonel. This experience translated into civilian life and Ambler had a very successful career as a screen writer, receiving an Academy Award for his work on 'The Cruel Sea' by Nicolas Monsarrat in 1953. Many of his own works have been filmed, the most famous probably being 'Light of Day', filmed as 'Topkapi' under which title it is now published. He established a reputation as a thriller writer of extraordinary depth and originality and received many accolades during his lifetime, including two Edgar Awards from The Mystery Writers of America (best novel for 'Topkapi' and best biographical work for 'Here Lies Eric Ambler'), and two Gold Dagger Awards from the Crime Writer's Association ('Passage of Arms' and 'The Levanter'). Often credited as being the inventor of the modern political thriller, John Le Carre once described Ambler as 'the source on which we all draw'. A recurring theme in Ambler's works is the success of the well meaning yet somewhat bungling amateur who triumphs in the face of both adversity and hardened professionals. He wrote under his own name and also during the 1950's a series of novels as Eliot Reed, with Charles Rhodda. These are now published under the 'Ambler' umbrella.

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4.5
13 valutazioni / 8 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    I have a fondness for this sub-genre of spy novels - the type in which an innocent person gets caught up in some way with espionage and tries to muddle things out while unsure whom to trust. Ambler is one of the creators (if not the creator) of this sub-genre & the excellence of his books is witnessed by the number of authors who have followed in his footsteps. This novel, though published in the 1950s, is set during the 1930s. Thus tensions are high in Europe & an accusation of espionage is no light matter, especially for state-less Josef Vadassy with no embassy or consul to act on his behalf. One aspect I liked about this book is that while Vadassy tries to comply with the instructions he has been given by French Naval Intelligence, since it is his only hope of escape out this tangle, he is hopelessly inept at it! And he realizes that...
  • (5/5)
    Another gem by this author. If you like a coffin for Dimitrios, you’ll love this one as well.
  • (5/5)
    Meet Josef Vadassy. He was born in Hungary but after the last changes in Europe, his birth place is now part of Yugoslavia. Hungary refuses to issue him a passport (as he is not really Hungarian); Yugoslavia will not renew his expired one (this unfortunate circumstance has a lot to do with his family getting into troubles and being shot). So as a man of no land, he is trying to live in Europe - and at the time the novel opens, he had found himself a place as a teacher of languages in Paris. Except that it is the vacation so he is away from the capital - in Nice and Toulon. His most prized possession is a camera and when he arrives in the nice cozy hotel where he had decided to spend the last few days of his vacation, he brings his film to be developed at the chemist. And suddenly he is arrested for espionage - because of some pictures on his film - pictures he knows he had not made. The police gives him a choice and a few hours later, our hero is back at the hotel, trying to help the police to figure out how the pictures ended up on his film. And this is where the fun begins. Knowing that he is innocent but never done any detecting before (or even thought of doing it), Vadassy makes a mistake after a mistake and manages to walk from one comical situation into another - mainly because he does not understand why the police asks him to do some things and decides to be... creative. Somewhere along the lines, he gets attacked, a lot of people tell him their life stories and the reality of the pre-war Europe is starting to show up. This is where Ambler's strong suit is - he is a keen observer of the times and a lot of what he predicts in his novels actually happens in a few years. "Epitaph for a Spy" does not have as many observations on the state of affairs as "The Mask of Dimitrios" but considering that it is written before 1939, some of these observations are chilling. And the people that are staying at the hotel cannot be more different from each other - an English couple, American brother and sister, a Swiss Family, a German man and a few French guys (we are in France after all). Slowly, very slowly, secrets start getting revealed and the real stories start emerging. Our poor Vadassy start getting more and more confused - and this leads to even more interesting situations. The book is amusing and a spy is involved (so it is technically a spy book) - in a way the spy is a main character. But it is mainly about a man that has nothing left being faced with the possibility to be thrown in jail for something he had not done... and deciding to do anything needed to make sure that this does not happen. At the end of the novel, when the police puts their cards on the table, the whole story becomes even funnier - because Ambler had played masterfully on misunderstandings that lead to unexpected results and acts based on the partial information that a character had at the time.
  • (5/5)
    As in his other spy novels, Ambler places a naive man in the way of espionage and spies. Josef Vadassy, a stateless language teacher, is on holiday at a small hotel in the Riviera. THe police threaten him with deportation if he doesn't cooperate and help them find the spy. Vadassy decides the police request is stupid, and attempts his own investigation.He discovers the many stories that the guests at the Réserve, the small hotel where he is staying, but in the end the police ' arrest' him again and take him with them to make the arrest of the real spy.His coperation may earn him French citizenship.A good read.
  • (4/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Ambler is a master of the spy novel, even arguably it's originator. Not as notable a success as his iconic "A Coffin for Demetrios," in this book Ambler still delivers a thrilling "wrongly-suspected man" story (a favorite sub-genre of mine!) in a very spare less-than-300 pages. Unlike so many over long, current-day works that desperately need an editor with a few sharp red pencils, Ambler tells here a remarkably exciting, deeply atmospheric and engaging story without a lot of filler. It's very evocative of Alan Furst's best work; I suspect Furst must consider Ambler an influence.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (4/5)
    This is set in Ambler's classic milieu, Europe just before the second world war, and it is about spies. It is, however, spy fiction at one remove -- the hapless protagonist, a stateless translator, is dragooned into espionage by the French police with the threat of deportation. His activities are set in a Riviera resort, not in the alleys of exotic capitals, and he is not good at what he does. It is (of course) wonderfully written, but I can't like it as much as I ought. The hero is easy to pity but hard to identify with, and the whole operation seems meaningless.
  • (5/5)
    As in his other spy novels, Ambler places a naive man in the way of espionage and spies. Josef Vadassy, a stateless language teacher, is on holiday at a small hotel in the Riviera. THe police threaten him with deportation if he doesn't cooperate and help them find the spy. Vadassy decides the police request is stupid, and attempts his own investigation.He discovers the many stories that the guests at the Réserve, the small hotel where he is staying, but in the end the police ' arrest' him again and take him with them to make the arrest of the real spy.His coperation may earn him French citizenship.A good read.
  • (4/5)
    Written just before the 2nd world war and playing with spy conventions at the time, Eric Ambler has written a great tale of paranoia and mystery. Instead of a suave, sophisticated thriller we have a shy, introverted language teacher who is mistaken for a spy and thrust into a game of cat and mouse. It is this main character that sells the book, he is wonderfully portrayed and you really squirm along with him as he bumbles along trying to catch the spy. Of course you can join in too, every character has a secret so its fun to guess who as well. Ok it is not a book for lovers of the high octane thriller but it has that old world charm and a deep menace that a book in written in the 1930s brings.