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

Mike Ripley; Lee Child / Johnathan Keeble
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.Ripley's autobiography-like approach to the subject brings a personal touch to the literary criticism. His analysis of the top figures in the genre from Fleming to Le Carré provides a comprehensive reference for anyone interested in detective and mystery literature.

  • Published by HarperCollins UK
  • Fiction/Non-FictionFiction
  • Target Audience Adult
  • Released 18th May 2017
  • Duration 12 Hrs. 54 Mins.