Sunday, November 12, 2017

Ten top Cold War noir novels

At Literary Hub, John Lawton tagged ten top Cold War noir novels, including:
Graham Greene, Our Man in Havana (1958)

The tale of Wormold, a man strapped for cash who reluctantly agrees to spy for the British in Cuba, where he runs an electrical goods shop. Greene called many of his books ‘entertainments’ —that doesn’t mean they do not end in darkness. Wormold invents a spy network, and passes off drawings of vacuum cleaner motors as plans for weapons bases. I rather think le CarrĂ© has read this. His The Tailor of Panama reads like an homage to Greene. The film? Alec Guinness at his best.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Our Man in Havana also made John Sweeney's top ten list of books on corruption, Francesca Kay's top ten list of books about the Cold War, Jesse Armstrong's top ten list of comic war novels, Allegra Frazier's top five list of books to remind you of warmer climes, Pico Iyer's list of four essential novels by Graham Greene and Alan Furst's five best list of spy books; it is one of Stella Rimington's six favorite secret agent novels.

--Marshal Zeringue