May 27, 2016

Review: The Ipcress File

The Ipcress File The Ipcress File by Len Deighton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I might have read some pages of Ipcress File when I was 14 years old, some of the chapters gave me a Deja vu. Coming to the novel I am not able to get the name of the protagonist of the story did I missed that part? The story is first person narrative.

The author Len Deighton has thrown lot of characters in, some I can remember is Dalby the villain, Jean the hero's assistant, Alice another girl working along with him, Ross, Murray, Cavendish, Jay, Waterman the detective, Kublai khan or K.K.. If I am right only some chapters have no new character introduction.

Six bio chemist goes missing in couple of weeks in England and the intelligence looks at the matter seriously. The Hero who had come from the Military Intelligence is asked to work with Dalby one of big guy in Intelligence. Subsequently they were able to save one bio chemist called Raven by the intelligence. Then the story drags it is like day to day life of a spy explained with what dress he wears, what he eats what he does in office etc. After 60% of the book the story speeds up revealing who is Jay, how they were able to arrest the person responsible for the abduction.

The author has written with a dash of humour which is enjoyable. Below are some of the humours I like to quote.

1. but I knew we had more footage on Jay than MGM have on Ben Hur.

2. I have so many unsolved crimes on my hands that I have become the unsolved crime expert - anyone with an unsolved crime on their hands they send for me?
And you solve it
No only file it.

3. You may as well go in said a tall, bespectacled city gent behind us, opening the door with a key. We went in, partly because it was convenient for us, partly because there were two more city gents behind us, and partly because they were all holding small 9 mm Italian Mod 34 Beretta automatic pistols.

Below some dialogs by Jay and Hero.

4. Money is to espionage what petrol is to a motor car.
5. (Jay) if brain washing had come to the world before the trail of Joan of Arc she would have lived to a happy old age.

The real meaning of IPCRESS is Induction of Psycho-neuroses by Conditioned Reflex with Stress.
I give 4 stars since many had given 5 stars I think I should read again to grasp the novel.

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  1. Roop,
    Your critque of this book was really good.
    Loved that you included some of the humor
    I found myself smiling as well.