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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Now a new six-part ITV drama starring Joe Cole, as iconic spy Harry Palmer, Lucy Boynton and Tom Hollander. 

A high-ranking scientist has been kidnapped. A secret British intelligence agency must find out why. But as the quarry is pursued from grimy Soho to the other side of the world, what seemed a straightforward mission turns into something far more sinister. With its sardonic, cool, working-class hero, Len Deighton's sensational debut The IPCRESS File rewrote the spy thriller and became the defining novel of 1960s London.

©1962 Len Deighton (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"A stone-cold Cold War classic." (Toby Litt, Guardian)

"Changed the shape of the espionage thriller...there is an infectious energy about this book which makes it a joy to read." (Daily Telegraph)

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What listeners say about The IPCRESS File

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good version of a classic story

I first read this story as a teenager, and enjoyed reading all this series over the years. It's interesting now to realise how different Britain was in 1962 from the one around us today.
Good narration by James Lailey, who isn't quite imitating Michael Caine! Given the character's own reference to going to school in Blackburn, it might have been interesting to hear it narrated with a suitable accent.

2 people found this helpful

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An amazing listen

When you have seen the now icon film starring Michael Cane it's hard to believe that an audio book of the same story can be as gripping and as ground breaking as this one is. The pace, style and sheer coolness of this reading is more than equal to its ceiloid counterpart. James Lailey reading is immaculate as is the quality of the recording. This is a hugely entertaining and enjoyable book, I can't wait to hear more from Len Deightonn and James Lailey.

1 person found this helpful

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  • 28-05-22

Childish

I've just read all 9 of the Bernard Sampson books (Game, Set etc) and thought they were wonderful. Wonderful characters who seemed real and a good storyline which remained interesting over about 100 hours of reading. in contrast this iconic book seems childish. I would have found the main character unpleasant if for one moment I had believed in him. No idea what the plot was - something about scientists disappearing - but at no point did I remotely care. Len Deighton is a superb writer - I just need to find more books like Game, Set....

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Very, very good and extremely well narrated.

Very, very good and extremely well narrated. different from the story told in the film version and TV version so well worth a read. charecterisation and plot are wonderful and the sense of time and place beautifully created.

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Difficult to Read, 2D characters

The #IPCRESSFile by Len Deighton. The audiobook 🎶 captured the South East London accent perfectly and rang true to home. However, the story was difficult to grasp. The plot veered into the realm of ludicrous and the characters were too wet for my taste. 📚 3/5 ⭐ #BookReview

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Still awesome after 60 years. Great narration

Great book after having been written 60 years ago. Great narration by James Lawley.

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Magnificent

Just magnificent in every way. This has to be an essential read (or listen, if consumed as an audiobook.