Eric Ambler

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Continuum, 1990 - Biography & Autobiography - 216 pages
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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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Contents

An Introduction
7
Transforming the Genre
23
Prelude to War
62
Copyright

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