Len Deighton: The Ipcress File

(2602 words)

The Ipcress File (1962), the first novel by Len Deighton (b. 1929), was hailed as a new kind of spy thriller that broke away from the romanticism of the James Bond series of novels by Ian Fleming (1908-64). Deighton’s unnamed first-person narrator, whom Edward Milward-Oliver (1987, 164) dubbed “Ipcress Man”, but who will be called “I.” in this entry for the sake of brevity, has a streetwise, hardboiled style – owing something to Philip Marlowe in the novels of Raymond Chandler (1888-1959), an influence Deighton acknowledged – and a chip on his shoulder when he encounters men who have been educated at public schools and assimilated an English upper-class manner. He himself comes from Burnley and has presumably been …

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Tredell, Nicolas. "The Ipcress File". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 October 2013
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=492, accessed 01 October 2016.]