What’s on the Bookshelf? Vol. 14

Up to 14 already? And I don’t even review every book I read (though it sure seems like it!)

The Irregulars by Jennet Conant is a remarkable story. Its the story of the British spy ring in WWII Washington, and focuses specifically on Roald Dahl (yes, he of James and the Giant Peach).

While I found Conant’s writing a bit prone to cliches (or at least over familiar turns of phrase) at times, the story line is absolutely fascinating. Truth really is more interesting than fiction. The characters are larger than life, but at the same time, real. Dahl, the charismatic RAF pilot. David Ogilvy, the polling genius. William Stephensen, the Canadian head of the BSC. And, of course, Ian Fleming.

There are some real laugh-out loud moments (intentional, I’m sure), as these amatuer spies are quite spirited.

I’d wanted to read this book since Entertainment Weekly reviewed it last year…and my roommate had me read some of Dahl’s adult short stories (including “Genesis and Catastrophe” which I urge everyone to read).

This book is really what got me thinking that my WIP should be set during WWII. I was half way there already. I just needed the proper encouragement.

And somehow, in one photograph and a paragraph, I got on a Leslie Howard kick. Must update my Netflix queue.

Recommended for any one who has an interest in WWII espionage or Roald Dahl.

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3 thoughts on “What’s on the Bookshelf? Vol. 14

  1. Oooh! I just bought a collection of Roald Dahl short stories. I loved him as a kid (BFG, The Witches, especially) and literally just read my first adult short…hm, Wednesday morning 🙂

    Fascinating little teaser you’ve posted now… 🙂

  2. His adult shorts are so wonderfully twisted. “Lamb to the Slaughter” is very good (and was made into an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which you can find on hulu).

    I’m on a bit of a Roald Dahl kick.

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