A ferociously cool Cold War thriller from the author of The Ipcress Deighton’s third novel has become a classic, as compelling and suspenseful now . (Editor’s note: This is the ninth installment in our ongoing Friday blog series highlighting great but forgotten books. Today’s selection comes. Funeral in Berlin, UK first edition now – see photo) on the first editions has a photo of Len Deighton and Michael Caine from The Ipcress File movie shoot.

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Berlinn many diversions, including an induced LSD trip, he is ordered to hand over US nuclear secrets to a Chinese scientist, with a view to emphasising to the Chinese just how destructive a nuclear war would be and therefore discouraging them from even contemplating one.

There were no suicide vests or improvised explosive devices aimed at innocent civilians. If anyone has some info on why movie producers decided to alter the storyline please do share. Unlike James Bond, our unnamed protagonist goes home to make his tea.

Funeral in Berlin by Len Deighton

Spy fictions went from a minority genre to le big business in books, films and TV in the early s, so that by the late s TV schedules were full of special agents and the cinemas bulged with Bond lookalikes. It must have still been in a warehouse when the lawsuit was decided, and was made sellable by manually removing the company name.

There are all those lovely girls, and Felix Leiter of the Lrn appears as a supporting hero in several of the novels. Jul 24, Jason added it. Avevo visto dei film tratti dai romanzi di Leighton, ma non mi aspettavo che fosse un romanziere completo. The humour works better and the disconnected, angular style is, initially at least, less impenetrable than in The Ipcress File.


The most sympathetic character, as far as Palmer is concerned, is a Russian KGB colonel; for him, the distinction in the espionage business is between professionals and amateurs, rather than between friends and enemies. It actually features remarkably rarely in his other novels, particularly considering its unique position during the Cold War as a bastion of the West surrounded by the Soviet bloc.

The whole of this novel, like Deighton’s first two, revolves around things not being quite what they seem, right up to the ending with its particularly surprising revelations. The cocktail cabinet was in the corner.

Other books in the series. Deightkn first read it when I was twelve and fell in love with Deighton’s light touch, and the narration is wonderfully wry.

Funeral in Berlin

A clever plot that unfolds nicely. However, after the Narrator and Vulkan open the coffin and discover it contains no Russian scientist, they argue deibhton fight.

Dec 09, Simon rated it it was amazing. Looking back, the Communists were a worthy enemy. Dawlish gently packed tobacco into the bowl of his pipe with a match.

Vulkan chuckled and glanced at the major. I leave for Germany, including five nights in Berlin, day after tomorrow.

Bottom line, this is a cerebral spy thriller–not really a lot of action. The protagonist, who is unnamed, travels to Berlin to arrange the defection of a Soviet scientist [1] named Semitsa, this being brokered by Johnny Vulkan of the Berlin intelligence community. How anyone adapted the Caine film from this muddled mess is the real mystery here.


John Le’ Cuneral, here I come again! Kingston Pierce at 7: The final impression is of a harrowing world where everyone is deceiving everyone else, on multiple levels. Here, the two female characters are good looking young women, one Palmer’s secretary and lover who does most of the routine work assigned to him, and the other a rather naive agent for some other power, whose seduction of Palmer seems to have slipped out of a James Bond story.

In the novel, Colonel Stok boasts to the unnamed spy that he is one of the best chess players in Berlin.

The Deighton Dossier: The reissues (8) – Funeral in Berlin

I enjoyed it immensely and I think this book has brought me back full circle to my old love for historically accurate and inspired genre novels. Alternate book cover 5 10 Aug 09, Jan 25, Sairam Krishnan rated it really liked it. Therefore the entire scientist-smuggling operation was, for Vulkan, purely a pretext to get his hands on a set of British government-authenticated identity papers in the name of Brouma.

Don’t expect glamorous ‘James Bond’ type spy adventure here. How do you take your spies?