Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: The Boom in British Thrillers from Casino Royale to The Eagle Has Landed

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: The Boom in British Thrillers from Casino Royale to The Eagle Has Landed
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WINNER OF THE HRF KEATING AWARD FOR BEST NON-FICTION CRIME BOOK 2018An entertaining history of British thrillers from Casino Royale to The Eagle Has Landed, in which award-winning crime writer Mike Ripley reveals that, though Britain may have lost an empire, her thrillers helped save the world. With a foreword by Lee Child.When Ian Fleming dismissed his books in a 1956 letter to Raymond Chandler as ‘straight pillow fantasies of the bang-bang, kiss-kiss variety’ he was being typically immodest. In three short years, his James Bond novels were already spearheading a boom in thriller fiction that would dominate the bestseller lists, not just in Britain, but internationally.The decade following World War II had seen Britain lose an Empire, demoted in terms of global power and status and economically crippled by debt; yet its fictional spies, secret agents, soldiers, sailors and even (occasionally) journalists were now saving the world on a regular basis.From Ian Fleming and Alistair MacLean in the 1950s through Desmond Bagley, Dick Francis, Len Deighton and John Le Carré in the 1960s, to Frederick Forsyth and Jack Higgins in the 1970s.Many have been labelled ‘boys’ books’ written by men who probably never grew up but, as award-winning writer and critic Mike Ripley recounts, the thrillers of this period provided the reader with thrills, adventure and escapism, usually in exotic settings, or as today’s leading thriller writer Lee Child puts it in his Foreword: ‘the thrill of immersion in a fast and gaudy world.’In Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Ripley examines the rise of the thriller from the austere 1950s through the boom time of the Swinging Sixties and early 1970s, examining some 150 British authors (plus a few notable South Africans). Drawing upon conversations with many of the authors mentioned in the book, he shows how British writers, working very much in the shadow of World War II, came to dominate the field of adventure thrillers and the two types of spy story – spy fantasy (as epitomised by Ian Fleming’s James Bond) and the more realistic spy fiction created by Deighton, Le Carré and Ted Allbeury, plus the many variations (and imitators) in between.

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Mike Ripley. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: The Boom in British Thrillers from Casino Royale to The Eagle Has Landed

Copyright

Dedication

SPOILER ALERT

THRILLERS

FOREWORD

PREFACE

Chapter 1: A QUESTION OF EMPHASIS

Chapter 2: THE LAND BEFORE BOND

Chapter 3: DO MENTION THE WAR

Chapter 4: TINKERS, TAILORS, SOLDIERS, SPIES. BUT MOSTLY JOURNALISTS

Chapter 5: END OF EMPIRE

Chapter 6: TRAVEL BROADENING THE MIND

1960s

1970s

Chapter 7: CLASS OF ’62

Chapter 8: THE SPIES HAVE IT, 1963–70

Spy Fever

The heirs to James Bond

HUGO BARON

JOHN CRAIG

DR JASON LOVE

CHARLES HOOD

BOYSIE OAKES

QUILLER

MODESTY BLAISE

ANNA ZORDAN

JONAS WILDE

MICHAEL JAGGER

PHILIP MCALPINE

The Man Himself

The Passengers

Chapter 9. THE ADVENTURERS, 1963–70

Chapter 10. THE STORM JACKAL HAS LANDED – THE SEVENTIES

The Veterans

The Sixties’ Graduates (Adventurers)

Graduates of the Spy School(s)

Chapter 11. THE NEW INTAKE

Chapter 12. ENDGAME

Appendix I. THE LEADING PLAYERS. DESMOND BAGLEY

FRANCIS CLIFFORD

LIONEL DAVIDSON

LEN DEIGHTON

IAN FLEMING

FREDERICK FORSYTH

DICK FRANCIS

ADAM HALL

JACK HIGGINS

HAMMOND INNES

JOHN LE CARRÉ

GAVIN LYALL

ALISTAIR MACLEAN

BERKELY MATHER

WILBUR SMITH

ALAN WILLIAMS

Appendix II. THE SUPPORTING CAST

JAMES ALDRIDGE

PATRICK ALEXANDER

TED ALLBEURY

EVELYN ANTHONY

WILLIAM ASH

W. HOWARD BAKER

BRIAN BALL

KENNETH BENTON

JOHN BINGHAM

GAVIN BLACK

IAN STUART BLACK

JOHN BLACKBURN

JOHN BRAINE

JOHN MICHAEL BRETT

DAVID BRIERLEY

ANTHONY BURGESS

JOHN BURKE

JON BURMEISTER

LESLIE BUTLER

ALAN CAILLOU

BRIAN CALLISON

VICTOR CANNING

ELLIOTT CANNON

YOUNGMAN CARTER

ROBERT CHARLES

JON CLEARY

BRIAN CLEEVE

DESMOND CORY

PATRICK COSGRAVE

STEPHEN COULTER

DAVID CRAIG

GEOFFREY DAVISON

ADAM DIMENT

MICHAEL DINES

IVOR DRUMMOND

JAMES EASTWOOD

CLIVE EGLETON

NICHOL FLEMING

PETER FLEMING

ALFRED FLETT

JAMES FOLLETT

KEN FOLLETT

COLIN FORBES

STEPHEN FRANCES

JOHN FREDMAN

BRIAN FREEMANTLE

REG GADNEY

ALAN GARDNER

JOHN GARDNER

ANDREW GARVE

WINSTON GRAHAM

JOHN GRIFFIN

WILLIAM HAGGARD

PALMA HARCOURT

JOHN HARRIS

DUFF HART-DAVIS

SIMON HARVESTER

RAYMOND HAWKEY

JOSEPH HONE

GEOFFREY HOUSEHOLD

HARTLEY HOWARD

GEOFFREY JENKINS

RONALD JOHNSTON

BRADSHAW JONES

DEREK LAMBERT

CHRISTOPHER LANDON

BOB LANGLEY

JAMES LEASOR

EDWIN LEATHER

BRIAN LECOMBER

ANTHONY LEJEUNE

TOM LILLEY

RICHARD LLEWELLYN

PATRICK LONG

DESMOND LOWDEN

NICHOLAS LUARD

GEORGE MACBETH

CHARLES MACHARDY

GEORGE B. MAIR

GEORGE MARKSTEIN

DEREK MARLOWE

JAMES MAYO

PHILIP McCUTCHAN

HUGH McLEAVE

ANTONY MELVILLE-ROSS

JAMES MITCHELL

JAMES MOFFATT

STANLEY MORGAN

JAMES MUNRO

FREDERICK NOLAN

DOUGLAS ORGILL

GEOFFREY OSBORNE

JOHN PALMER

JAMES PATTINSON

LAURENCE PAYNE

RITCHIE PERRY

CHAPMAN PINCHER

JOYCE PORTER

ANTHONY PRICE

PHILIP PURSER

COLIN ROBERTSON

MANNING K. ROBERTSON

GEOFFREY ROSE

ANGUS ROSS

JOHN ROSSITER

H. T. ROTHWELL

KENNETH ROYCE

DOUGLAS RUTHERFORD

K. ALLEN SADDLER

JOHN SANDERS

JIMMY SANGSTER

DONALD SEAMAN

OWEN SELA

GITTA SERENY

GERALD SEYMOUR

GERALD SINSTADT

DESMOND SKIRROW

RALPH STEPHENSON

DOMINIC TORR

NIGEL TRANTER

JAMES TREVOR

ANTONY TREW

WARREN TUTE

PETER VAN GREENAWAY

CONRAD VOSS BARK

MARTIN WADDELL

PETER WAY

NOAH WEBSTER

DENNIS WHEATLEY

JAMES DILLON WHITE

TED WILLIS

DIANA WINSOR

JON WINTERS

THOMAS WISEMAN

MARTIN WOODHOUSE

MICHAEL WOODMAN

JAMES YARDLEY

ANDREW YORK

NOTES & REFERENCES. Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Appendix I: The Leading Players. Desmond Bagley

Francis Clifford

Lionel Davidson

Len Deighton

Ian Fleming

Frederick Forsyth

Dick Francis

Adam Hall

Jack Higgins

Hammond Innes

John Le Carré

Gavin Lyall

Alistair MacLean

Berkely Mather

Wilbur Smith

Alan Williams

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS & BIBLIOGRAPHY

Published Sources:

INDEX

Also by Mike Ripley

About the Publisher

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For Len Deighton,

who has a lot to answer for.

.....

That debut novel of Lionel Davidson is as good a punctuation point as any. The 1950s had well and truly ended and the Swinging (and Spying) Sixties were upon us.

Lots of things, especially thriller-writing, were about to change.

.....

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