Monday, 8 August 2011


By Richard Jay Parker

It's not very often I use the word 'rollicking' but I'm currently reading a book that can only be descibed as a rollicking good read.

As with most good reads it was passed on to me by a friend.  The book in question is AGENT ZIGZAG by Ben Macintyre.  It's the biography of World War 2 double agent Eddie Chapman.  I'm devouring it in hungry chunks.

Having added the book to my TBR pile and virtual Shelfari shelf I was pleased to get a message from another member saying thank you for putting it there and that they'd read it from cover to cover in a weekend.  It prompted me to move it to the top of my stack!

What strikes me about this biog - and most others I've read - is that it's the sort of book readers wouldn't accept if it were fiction.  This is something reflected in the review of the book written by MI5.  There are so many bizarre episodes that it would seem too far fetched if it had been the product of a writer's mind.

It's often the case that thriller writers have to present a sensible reality and aren't allowed to stray into the sort of outlandish territory that real life characters often find themselves stranded in.

It's why I enjoy an exhaustively researched and engagingly written biog like this one.  In fiction, anything can happen, in reality it seems to with even more regularity.

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