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Authors: The Spy's Bedside Book

Tags: #Fiction, #General, #Spy Stories; English, #Spy Stories; American, #Anthologies (Multiple Authors), #True Crime, #Spy Stories, #Espionage

Graham Greene

BOOK: Graham Greene
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A Bantam Book

A Bantam trade paperback/September 2008
First published in Great Britain by Rupert Hart-Davis 1957
Published by Hutchinson in 2007

Published by
Bantam Dell
A Division of Random House, Inc.
New York, New York

All rights reserved
Copyright © Verdant SA and the Estate of Hugh Greene 1957
Introduction © Stella Rimington
Introduction by Stella Rimington first published by The Folio Society in 2006

Bantam Books and the rooster colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The spy's bedside book / edited by Graham Greene and Hugh Greene.
p. cm.
Originally published: London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1957.
eISBN: 978-0-307-77948-9
1. Spy stories, English. 2. Spy stories, American. 3. Spy stories. I. Greene, Graham, 1904—1991.
II. Greene, Hugh, 1910—1987.

PR1309.S7S79 2008



The new British army aeroplane rough sketch drawn by Lieut. Karl Straus of the German Secret Service

The trade of a spy is a very fine one, when the spy is working on his own account. Is it not in fact enjoying the excitements of a thief, while still retaining the character of an honest citizen? But a man who undertakes this trade must make up his mind to simmer with wrath, to fret with impatience, to stand about in the mud with his feet freezing, to be chilled or to be scorched, and to be deceived by false hopes. He must be ready, on the faith of a mere indication, to work up to an unknown goal; he must bear the disappointment of failing in his aim; he must be prepared to run, to be motionless, to remain for hours watching a window; to invent a thousand theories of action … The only excitement which can compare with it is that of the life of a gambler.

Hanaré de Balzac


escartes once wrote, ‘Nothing so strange and so little credible can be imagined but that some philosopher has asserted it.' And so it is with spy writers and spy stories. They rank, with ghost stories and fishing and golfing tales, in a special class of literature in which the real and the imaginary can be mixed in any proportion, so long as both are present. The strangest spy yarn may be to some extent true—Graham Greene's wholly disingenuous introduction to this anthology says as much: ‘Does Cicero's visit to the German Embassy in Ankara seem more or less fictional than Hannay's to the headquarters of the British Secret Service?' After all, the espionage world has attracted some of the oddest characters who ever got involved in serious matters. Take Captain Cumming, the first head of MI6. He wore a gold-rimmed monocle, wrote only in green ink, and it is said, possibly apocryphally, that after he lost a leg in an accident he used to get round the corridors by putting his wooden one on a child's scooter and propelling himself along with the other. Visitors to MI6 are reported to have been intimidated by his habit of stabbing his wooden leg with his paper-knife in order to drive home the point of an argument. With such nonfictional material at hand, one may question the need for invention.

BOOK: Graham Greene
5.98Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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