Readersforum's Blog

May 10, 2013

CIA agents use pseudonyms to review spy fiction

Crime master writer John le Carré will make his debut at the Telegraph Hay Festival 2013 it was announced this week

Crime master writer John le Carré will make his debut at the Telegraph Hay Festival 2013 it was announced this week

CIA spooks regularly review spy fiction for a classified in-house journal, rating John le Carré above American writers for his veracity, reports Jon Stock.

The novels of John le Carré, the British spy writer, have been given the thumbs up by CIA officers, who use pseudonyms to review espionage books for Studies in Intelligence, an Agency in-house journal.

Le Carré is considered to portray the world of espionage far more accurately than American writers, although his later books are criticised for their shrill anti-US tone.

Writing in the introduction to a special reviews edition of the journal, John McLaughlin says: “…what the public sees and reads is with rare exception fantasy mixed with a few kernels of truth. This is particularly true when it comes to American authors… We have not yet produced an espionage novelist with the maturity and perfect pitch so frequently found in the work of British masters such as John le Carré – although writers such as Charles McCarry and David Ignatius are edging into that circle.”

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