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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > May 2017 > LEN DEIGHTON


With a new audience revelling in the BBC adaptation of SS-GB, Tony Rossiter looks at the work of an author who created a new type of spy


Len Deighton’s first novel was an instant bestseller – perhaps because it was so different from any previous spy story. The hero defies conventions about loyalty and obeying orders, and he has a spiky relationship with his superiors. Some saw him as an anti-hero, but for Deighton he was a romantic, incorruptible figure.

Publication of The Ipcress File in 1962 coincided with the first James Bond film, and Deighton said that ‘critics [who disliked the Bond books] used me as a blunt instrument to beat Ian Fleming over the head.’

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Want to make sure your readers are hooked from the start? In this month's Writing Magazine, learn how to grab your readers' attention and keep it all the way to the end. • Have you completed a first draft? We show you how to polish it to perfection. • Would your life make a good story? We show you how to transform your inspiring ideas into writing material. • Read how our star interview, Lisa McInerney, went from blogger to bestseller. • Find out about the latest writing opportunities and win £51,579 in writing prizes!

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