- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins - GB (22 April 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007487185
- ISBN-13: 978-0007487189
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 381 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Typhoon Paperback – 22 Apr 2014
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Praise for Typhoon:
‘Gripping, cleverly plotted, meticulously researched’ Mail on Sunday
‘Cumming gives us complex characters and a world-weariness that owe more to Smiley than Bond and mark him out as in the first rank of the new generation of espionage writers’ The Times – Top 10 Thrillers of 2008
‘If you read one spy novel this year, make it Typhoon’ The London Paper
‘A wholly compelling and sophisticated spy novel - vivid and disturbing - immaculately researched and full of harrowing contemporary relevance’ William Boyd
Praise for A Foreign Country:
‘We are in Smiley country, but with extra 21st century nuance … Cumming has an exquisite touch and we should treasure him’ Daily Mail
‘A thriller that has everything you could ask for – a twisty, sexy plot, topical themes, memorable characters and plentiful spy lore’ Sunday Times, Books of the Year
‘Refreshing, plausible and effective … Best of all is the sheer pace of the narrative’ Spectator
‘You are likely to be up for most of the night to find out how this novel ends. It grips from the first page … A fast-moving treat’ The Scotsman
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Charles Cumming. 'Typhoon'.
Spies lie, cheat, steal, and occasionally kill. Yet we ascribe considerable moral stature to them, particularly (but not exclusively) in wartime.
Joe Lennox is recruited by SIS, which used to be MI6 when I was in short pants and reading Buchan. He covers a lot of ground between Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing uncovering and then trying to disable a CIA 'loose cannon' team's plot to exploit western China's Muslim unrest. His friend and nemesis is Miles Coolidge, amoral but realistic as his CIA counterpart. There's lots of midnight meetings, coded messages, and quite believable fieldcraft. Not to mention bangs, blood and guts along the way. And cynicism and stiff upper lips.
Widely tipped as 'The New LeCarre', Cumming's undeniable appeal is perhaps a little different. His main focus seems to be what it means to be living a lie, what kind of person do you have to be to be 'an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country', to mildly distort Henry Wotton's phrase.
It's perhaps a sign of Cunningham's success in doing this that he ultimately fails to convince. It's hard for us to understand just how spies do live with themselves? Joe worries about this (well, a little bit); Miles doesn't. But Coolidge is ultimately the more interesting character: and just possibly the more noble.
Cumming has written six books; I've already read four. He's good; don't miss him!
His knowledge of landmarks in Shanghai and Beijing demonstrate this fact.
I felt that the characters were superficial and one-dimensional types commonly found in the spy novel genre.