I posted brief reviews of three espionage books by Robert Littell on my main site today. The books are The Company, The Defection of A. J. Lewinter and The Visiting Professor. Murder is never far away in that world. Obviously, The Company was just a big TV miniseries (which I thought was quite good, if very depressing). Hope you find them useful. The books paint a detailed picture of the CIA and the Cold War, using the approaches of historical fiction, biting satire and humor (nice breadth for an author). After discussing Littell, I briefly mentioned Ross Thomas, who wrote so well on the cold war and other subjects, but doesn't get much attention as far as I can tell.

Any thoughts on these topics? Is the CIA, during or after the cold war, good background for more novels, or is there enough written already, leading us to look elsewhere?

Or, stated more broadly,

What effects do the recent glut of books, movies and TV shows on CIA revelations, "real" even if fictionalized, have on people's thoughts about whether the subject is overexposed for now?

Jim, nearlynothingbutnovels.blogspot.com

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Another Littell fan - excellent

I was fortunate to meet and interview this reclusive writer and he has lived a very interesting life, in writing, reading, politics and of course in the alice-thru-the-looking-glass world of CIA and covert operations


Thanks for the link! I've never seen anything on Littell before. I will link to it on my main site (nothingbutnovels.blogspot.com) if that is OK (I don't copy anything, just add the link).

I call the book/author commentaries I write on the site "impressionistic reviews" because do them from memory: I don't have the book in hand and check all the characters names, etc. I talk more about tone and success in creating a world that engages me.

One reason for this style- I give away or lend many of my favorite books, and I can't find anything in my house (too many books, CD's and guitars).

Best wishes, Jim
I just finished reading your interview. That is a great interview!

I, too, am a chemist, by the way.

I like the idea of a count-down clock for the administration. How is it I didn't know about such things? I guess we are too far from the pulse where I live, in the Midwestern US. We do have clocks, though.

Cheers, Jim
Hi Jim -

I spent a few years in the mid-west back in the 1980's - anyway glad you liked the Littell peice, I was very flattered that he agreed to meet me and record the peice - a true exclusive, and he only agreed as we're both chess players -




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