Translations are always a gamble as it is next to impossible to reproduce the feelings the author intended in the original. Malko joins with other CIA agents to conduct a rescue. Malko Linge Series These stories, written in French and translated to other languages in Europe, continue to this day. October Learn how mxlko when to remove this template message.
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But I stuck with it, and ended up enjoying the novel quite a bit, though not without reservations. They are published in France, and have been translated into many languages, but because they are rarely translated into English, he is not well known in the United States. Only then will I know if they are as pulpy and sex-drenched as a de Villiers novel.
And make no mistake: they ARE pulpy and sex-drenched. The thing that fascinates people about de Villiers novels is the amount of detail his novels have about real-world spycraft. As a profile in The New York Times Magazine put it: The books are strange hybrids: top-selling pulp-fiction vehicles that also serve as intelligence drop boxes for spy agencies around the world.
De Villiers has spent most of his life cultivating spies and diplomats, who seem to enjoy seeing themselves and their secrets transfigured into pop fiction with their own names carefully disguised , and his books regularly contain information about terror plots, espionage and wars that has never appeared elsewhere. He was famous for cultivating top spies and diplomats as sources, and French intelligence officers and prime ministers read his books for coded information and analysis of events that had just occurred or were still unfolding across the Middle East.
I can attest to that. Published less than a year after those events, the book describes the politics of contending Islamic militias in Benghazi in a way that seems right out of the newspaper.
Even more amazing, the CIA command center in Benghazi he describes was a secret at the time, but within months would roar into the headlines with the attack which took the life of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens. The writing was uninspired, and numerous sex scenes were were cringe-worthy. He was rescued from attempts on his life by others, his observations were interpreted by others. Indeed, the only real contribution he seemed to make was the one for whichthe CIA agent specifically recruited him for: to seduce the lover of a Libyan prince the US and Europe sought to install as leader of the country, thereby preventing an Islamist takeover.
Maybe in some of the other novels, Malko Linge acts in a more well-rounded James Bond way. Am I interested to find out? Would I become proficient in French just to read the many others? And I am now curious to read some Ian Fleming, to find out whether the James Bond novels are as pulpy as these.
Back in , Paul Johnson, reviewing Dr. No in the New Statesman, wrote: "I have just finished what is, without doubt, the nastiest book I have ever read….
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