Today’s guest finds himself embedded deep in Communist-controlled East Berlin, and has asked his handler to leave him 5 of his favorite spy books at their Dead Drop location in Friedrichshain Park. What will he choose to help him cope with life undercover?
Author, Spy Fan and Political Editor of the Sunday Times, Tim Shipman, joins Shane for an epic edition of Dead Drop 5. Tim has been a national newspaper journalist since 1997, and in that time has covered two wars, an historic presidential election, and was the Sunday Telegraph’s Washington, DC correspondent. Shortlisted three years in a row (2015-2017) for Political Journalist of the Year at the National Press Awards (UK), Tim Shipman has covered movers and shakers all over the globe.
Now Shane gets to turn the tables and interview this veteran journalist. Tim’s 2000-book library in his London home is dominated by spy books.
But a spy must travel light: how will he carve it down to just 5?
…this is DEAD DROP FIVE on the Spybrary Spy Podcast.
Tim’s Dead Drop 5 picks are:
The Quest for Karla – John le Carré: Tim cunningly choosing a 3-book George Smiley anthology!
Epitaph for a Spy – Eric Ambler: pre-WWII writing that inspired Graham Greene, Ian Fleming, and more.
The Soul of Viktor Tronko – David Quammen: Tim calls it the American version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
A Firing Offense – David Ignatius: with a Journalist as protagonist, how could Tim not have picked this one!
Listen to episode 42 of the Spybrary Podcast to discover why Tim picked these 5 books to be stashed in his dead drop!
- Find out how Tim’s parents sparked his love of reading, and what he found on their shelves that began his journey into spy-fandom.
- Hear about Tim’s recent visit to Cambodia & Vietnam and his bar tour of hangouts popular with journalists during the Khmer Rouge and Vietnam War.
- What would Tim ask John le Carré if he were lucky enough to meet him someday?
- Tim got to meet Mick Herron recently, find out how their encounter went!
- And finally, a not-so-Quick-Fire round will have you laughing along with Tim and Shane
Dead Drop 6, 7, 8, & beyond: Other titles & films mentioned in this episode:
Ian Serraillier – There’s No Escape: the book that introduced Tim to wartime drama, and eventually, the spy genre
John le Carré – A Legacy of Spies: Read this one then check out Spybrary's deep dive on the latest le Carre novel.
Len Deighton – Berlin Game, Mexico Set, London Match: classic books and hard-to-find TV series.
Jason Matthews – Red Sparrow: Excellent Spycraft and a strong female protagonist, as well as a recent Hollywood blockbuster.
Henry Porter – A Spy’s Life
Mick Herron – The Jackson Lamb Series
If you enjoyed todays’s conversation on the Spybrary Spy Podcast with Tim Shipman and Shane Whaley , you are going to love the discussions and debates we have over on our Spybrary Listeners Discussion group – join here