Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Recommendation Tuesday - Espionage Edition

For obvious reasons, I’ve had spying on the brain lately. Most of what I was going to rec for you today was intelligence related anyway, so I decided to just run with that. Here you go—recommendations for the spy-on-the-go:


John le Carre’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Okay, so the Cold War is over. But it really was the ultimate espionage setting, wasn’t it? Revisit ultra-scary dictators, Soviet double agents who are not Irina Derevko, and cutting-edge technology like transistor radios and microfilm in Le Carre’s classic story of the search for a Soviet mole in MI-5. Bonus fact: If the action seems realistic, that’s because it is. Le Carre was an operations agent for British intelligence.

Listen to:

Evans Blue’s “The Melody and the Energetic Nature of Volume”

Today’s spies aren’t so much hiding microfilm in tuna fish cans as using high-tech devices to capture information via computer. Clearly, they need a kick-ass soundtrack to back them up. This album’s goth rock-ish lyrics and licks are just the thing. Check out the cover of Sarah McLachlan’s “Possession” and see how long it takes you to realize that yes, you do know this song.



This British intelligence drama is a little like Alias, only it exists in something approximating reality. The spies on this show confront terrorist threats that could actually happen, and use their brains instead of goofy gadgets and lots of improbable martial arts fighting. At the same time, they’re dealing with very real personal issues including, “How do I tell my girlfriend that I’ve been lying to her since the day I met her?” and “Why do these government jobs pay so lousy?” Also, Matthew McFayden? HOTT. I’m just saying. If you’re not quite ready to commit, Netflix has all three seasons available for rent.


Blogger Jana J. Hanson said...

I've been on a Regency-esque reading kick, and I highly recommend Kathryn Caskie.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Jana J. Hanson said...

Kathryn Caskie and Regencies are totally not espionage related, I know.

Um...does Prison Break count?

Lots of secrets, double entendres, spying and stealth-like activity going on there....

1:00 PM  
Blogger Nephele Tempest said...

My spy-book rec is The Untouchable by John Banville (who just won the Booker Prize for his latest novel). It's not exactly your typical genre espionage book, but a fascinating look into the life of Victor Maskell, a British double agent, who actually retires from espionage and seems to get away with his actions until he's suddenly revealed when he's in his 70s and no longer any threat. The book is based on the true case of a group of Cambridge grads who spied during the mid-20th century.

Oh, and Mel? Your links aren't working. It looks like your own site address is prefacing the link addy.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Melanie Hayden said...

Jana, I think Prison Break counts. There's a multinational conspiracy, right? And Michael is hot and sneaky enough to be a spy.

Neph, thanks for the rec. I'll have to check that one out. Thanks for the catch on the links, too. Apparently Blogger doesn't like it when you write your own HTML anymore. *sigh*

8:12 PM  

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