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I'm a big fan of WWII spy novels. Right now, I'm reading "Eye of the Needle", "The Unlikely Spy", "Enigma", and two novels by Alan Furst, "Red Gold" and "Dark Star" (I also just read his "Kingdom of Shadows"). I'm going to start reading "The Eagle Has Landed" soon. Then there's Eric Ambler, who wrote quite a few novels set in Europe during and before WWII. There's also a related series by Phillip Kerr, about a PI in pre-war Nazi Germany and post-war Austria that have been collected in one volume, "Berlin Noir", that I haven't started reading yet. All in all, those'll keep me busy for a while.

Erik
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I've read several Eric Ambler short stories and enjoyed them. Have you tried Alistair MacLean yet? You also might like Hans Helmut Kirst (if you can find him).

Thuvia
disgraced herself by sobbing helplessly
when reading HMS Ulysses while traveling
on a boat from North Island to South Island, New Zealand

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Alistair MacLean kicks ass. "The Guns of Navarone" is I guess the most well known one, terrific book.

I finally finished "Cryptonomicon" which is primarily a WWII spy novel, it is really good but 1140 pages so not for the faint of heart. Arguably it could use some pretty serious editing, but on the other hand some of the extraneous stuff is what I liked best (like the three pages on the optimal method of eating Cap'n Crunch cereal). I'm looking forward to Stephenson's next book, so far the two I have read "Snow Crash" and "Crypto" have been really good.

I am just finishing up Styron's "The Confessions of Nat Turner," and I think it goes beyond "good" to the "exceptional" category (it won a Pulitzer for him). I liked it much, much more than "Sophie's Choice," which was a good novel but not in the same category, imo. The events in the book actually took place in 1830, a rebellion of slaves led by Nat Turner slaughtered 55 or so men, women and children. The really masterful thing about the book is Styron manages to turn Turner into a sympathetic character.

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Alistair MacLean kicks ass. "The Guns of Navarone" is I guess the most well known one, terrific book.

Thanks for the suggestion. I've decided to kill two Alistair birds at once, and have placed holds on The Guns of Navarone and Alistair MacLeod's Island: The Complete Stories at my local library.

Current reading: W.G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn. Next in the queue: Nabokov, Pale Fire.

Will post mini-reviews of all of these as time permits.

sydsydsyd
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but on the other hand some of the extraneous stuff is what I liked best (like the three pages on the optimal method of eating Cap'n Crunch cereal).

Come on Gator, don't leave us hanging. What's the optimal method?

Thuvia
loves Cap'n Crunch
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You'll just have to read the 1140 pages to find that secret.
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Considering that I've spent this Thanksgiving holiday rereading the Harry Potter books, ignoring my huge stack of unread books, I'd have to venture a guess that it ain't gonna happen. Wouldn't care to take some pity on me would you?

Thuvia
hopeful
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"Berlin Noir" is excellent. Before you read the last book, be sure to rent
and watch the movie "The Third Man" with Orson Welles, if you have never
seen it.

It's Kerr's best stuff. I've been disappointed in his later books. Seemed like he just churned them out for the money and hoping for movie deals. But you can really see a lot of research coming out in the Berlin books.
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Have you tried Alistair MacLean yet?

I haven't read anything by him, but I paged through "Where Eagles Dare" today. He seems to use a lot of Swifties (can't think of the correct name for it off the top of my head). ("I will kill you now," Joe screamed murderously.) But, as I like the genre, I will probably read his books eventually.

BTW, Follett has a new one coming out set during WWII that looks pretty good. (I still haven't read "Jackdaws" yet.)

Erik
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"Berlin Noir" is excellent. Before you read the last book, be sure to rent
and watch the movie "The Third Man" with Orson Welles, if you have never
seen it.


"Third Man" is one of my favorites. I'll have to watch it again, and read the book too.

Erik
PS: While we're on Greene, I picked up his "The Quiet American" today. Hopefully I'll read it before the movie, which I'm very much looking forward to, comes out.
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Unfortunately I didn't dog ear the page and finding those three pages amongst 1140 would be difficult.

The gist of it is the soggy Cap'n Crunch problem, and keeping the cereal and the milk seperate until the moment you eat them.
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I finally finished "Cryptonomicon" which is primarily a WWII spy novel, it is really good but 1140 pages so not for the faint of heart. Arguably it could use some pretty serious editing, but on the other hand some of the extraneous stuff is what I liked best (like the three pages on the optimal method of eating Cap'n Crunch cereal). I'm looking forward to Stephenson's next book, so far the two I have read "Snow Crash" and "Crypto" have been really good.

I am about 200 pages into Cryptonomicon and so far it is very good. He does go into math a bit heavy, but I'm a math nerd so that is ok. I just put the book down and read Redwall but I think I will be picking the book up again. (Redwall took me a day to read)

I'll keep an eye out for the Captain Crunch references.

Ford

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PS: While we're on Greene, I picked up his "The Quiet American" today. Hopefully I'll read it before the movie, which I'm very much looking forward to, comes out.

I don't know if I mentioned it here that I read that a couple of weeks ago. It's a quick read, really, and especially I think for those of us born during the Vietnam War, it's very interesting. I liked it on a number of levels, but particularly the historical political context.

Between this and the way Anthony Bourdain talks up Vietnam in A Cook's Tour, I'm really thinking about a trip there.

6
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I just saw the movie but never read the book. By most accounts, this movie is closer to the book than the earlier movie, which was twisted around into a pro-America thing.
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"
I haven't read anything by him, but I paged through "Where Eagles Dare" today. He seems to use a lot of Swifties (can't think of the correct name for it off the top of my head). ("I will kill you now," Joe screamed murderously"

"Alistair?" she said condescendingly.....

"McLean", he said thinly.
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"Alistair?" she said condescendingly.....

"McLean", he said thinly.


That sounds about right. :-)

Erik
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There's also a related series by Phillip Kerr, about a PI in pre-war Nazi Germany and post-war Austria that have been collected in one volume, "Berlin Noir", that I haven't started reading yet.

Okay, so I started reading "Berlin Noir" (I'm about 170 pages into March Violets), and since then, I've completely ignored the other books on my list. It's that good. (Although, the 400 similes in every paragraph are about as annoying as a squirrel chattering outside your bedroom window at six AM. ;-)).

Erik
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