Spybrary Spy Fans Personnel Files

Spybrary is more than a podcast, we are a global community of spy book and movie fans from around the world.

Let us introduce you to your fellow spy book fans from around the world. In Meet The Spybrarians we share our debriefs with our fellow Spybrary Spy Podcast listeners and readers.

The Spybrary Podcast has spawned a thriving community where spy book and spy movies fans share their thoughts, observations, and insights on the world of spies. We occasionally host in-person meet-ups. Do consider joining our Spybrary community today.

Karl Gunnar Oen - Spy fan

Karl Gunnar Øen - Station O

Full debrief here

My favourite spy author is…

I have several favourites and several favourite books, too. And I’ve had different favourites at different times. I started out as a thriller fan, Maclean, Bagley, Forsyth and Higgins were all early favourites. I read the odd Bond book, but didn’t really ‘get’ it, it wasn’t the Bond I heard about from elder cousins.

I struggled with le Carré, too. Language seemed too dense. Too little action for my taste. Then SS-GB came along. I remembered the name of the author from a book I read at fourteen. A truly shocking book of a WW2 bombing mission going horribly wrong. I read a nonfiction book by the same author when I was doing my military service, and an observant mate told me that he wrote spy books too and that they were really good.

I was heavily into Science Fiction at the time, but got hold of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Spy which I enjoyed, but it didn’t knock me out. It wasn’t till I came across Funeral in Berlin a bit later, that I was really intrigued.

When I came across a book with an almost similar title, Berlin Game I was hooked. And have been ever since.

So it’s Len Deighton for me, no doubt. Len Deighton was also the reason I found the Spybrary Podcast and this group of like-minded people. I was lucky enough to listen in from that first episode. I enjoy a lot of other authors, McCarry, Anthony Price, Eric Ambler and the younger generation, Cumming, Herron, Duns and Steinhauer, but I’m always returning to Len Deighton.

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Andy Onyx Author

Andy Onyx - London Station

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My favourite spy author is…

Ian Fleming, for the overall cultural impact of his creation of the James Bond novels. All are massively progressive in their themes and characters. Sheer entertainment and escapism on the page, taking in luxurious living, travel, sexuality, violence, politics, style, and ethnicity. All the basis for EON to kick on into the 60s and beyond. As important as any other aspect of the 60s arts and counter-culture boom.

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Jason King

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11. You are hosting a spy dinner, you can invite anyone living or dead, a real-life spy, an author, a spy character, an actor from a spy movie/tv show – which 6 guests are you inviting?

Ian Fleming, Len Deighton, Peter O’Donnell, Alfred Hitchcock, Terence Young and John Barry.
Greats from the golden era of the page and screen who have all made phenomenal contributions to our genre – I think the conversation would be scintillating.

I have deliberately left out Le Carre because he’d probably think himself above it all.
I just want us to have fun.

I’ll have Len do the cooking with a recipe from his ‘Ou Est Le Garlic’ cookbook but as I know John Barry is a very plain eater I’ll ask him to bring his own fish and chips.

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Ian Douglas - Hildebrand Section

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6. Which spy book could you not finish and why?

I can only think of two that this applies to, both will see me flayed alive by a certain Spybrarian.

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Ian Sanders Cold War

Ian Sanders - Station M - Cold War Conversations

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6. Which spy book are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Abel by Vin Arthey which is a biography of Rudolf Abel the Soviet spy who featured in the Steven Spielberg “Bridge of Spies” film about the Gary Powers/Abel exchange. Mark Rylance played Abel’s role in the film.

Lesser know is that Abel or his real name Willie Fisher was a UK citizen born in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK.

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