Eric Ambler is widely regarded as one of the most important thriller writers of the twentieth century. In the 1930s he set out to give respectability to a genre that he rightly recognized to be in desperate need from its status as pulp fiction. With six novels published between 1936 and 1940, Ambler laid the foundations for the postwar generation of writers who have raised the spy novel to a form of literature. Like Graham Greene, Ambler has used thriller ingredients to create a series of novels that investigates many aspects of modern life, from totalitarian political regimes to white-collar crime.
This book by Edgar Allan Poe Award-winning author Peter Lewis is the first full-length study of Amber's life and work. In it, we get to the heart of the grand master of intrigue through insightful discussions of such popular novels as Epitaph for a Spy, A Coffin for Dimitrios, The Light of Day (on which the well-known film Topkapi is based), and The Siege of the Villa Lipp among many others.
Through a book-by-book explication of Amber's major themes and methods we come to see how his work has changed while remaining always topical. As this book cogently argues, no novelist has done more to dissolve the boundaries that have separated "popular" from "serious" fiction.
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Transforming the Genre
Prelude to War
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Able Criminal adventure agent Ambler's novel American Arbil assassination attempt Background to Danger Barstow Brand and Jost British career Castillo Cator and Bliss Cause for Alarm chapter Coffin for Dimitrios comic Communist coup crime Dark Frontier death detective detective fiction Dimitrios's Dirty Story Doctor Frigo Epitaph Eric Ambler especially Europe European fascist film Firman French German Ghaled Girija Graham Greg Haki Halliday Howell intelligence Intercom Conspiracy interest interview involved Ixania Journey into Fear Judgment on Deltchev Kenton killed Kind of Anger Knopf Krom Krom's Latimer Latimer's Lech Levanter Light of Day London Lucia Maas Marlow Mask of Dimitrios moral murder narrative narrator Nazi novelist Palestinian Pan-Eurasian Pashik Passage of Arms plot police political postwar reader Sanusi's Saridza Schimler Schirmer Inheritance secret Sestri Levante Siege Simpson spy fiction Suparto thriller tion trial Ugazi Vadassy Vadassy's Vagas Villa Lipp Vukashin writing Zaleshoff Zander