I’ve got spy thrillers on the brain, as I pick the three books our Lunch Time Book Club will read this winter.
We’ve been taking a tour of popular fiction genres, reading three iconic or representative novels from a given genre each season. We read romances in summer, and are finishing up Westerns next week. We’ll take a break and meet again January 3rd, 2012, to discuss the first of our three Spy Thrillers! We’ve had a lot of fun with this ‘tour’, it has brought new people to our group, and we’re all reading a few books that are definitely out of our respective reading boxes.
I’ve done some googling, and learned that the Spy Thriller, as a genre, began to develop in the late 1800s, with a few suspense and mystery novels veering toward the espionage side of the tracks, with books like Kipling’s Kim, and then later by authors like James Fenimore Cooper. WWI and the Russian Revolution also spurred a number of spy novels, including The 39 Steps by John Buchan, and works by Joseph Conrad.
Later, during WWII, Helen MacInness and other writers revived the genre, which had languished a bit between the wars, but it was after the war was over, and the Cold War went into full swing, that Spy Thrillers really got going. I have chosen to focus on titles written since this florescence, and have compiled a list of best-of-the-best Spy Thrillers for your feedback.
At our last meeting, I told our book club members that I would ask for input (I’m having a hard time choosing), so I’ve made a poll (see below) to allow you to vote for your top three favorites. We are looking for those three Spy novels that are the best of the best and classics of the genre, or the best of one of the crucial authors in the genre.
So please, help me, vote for your TOP 3 Spy Thrillers from the list below.