Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The Spying Game

The Spy Who Changed the World by Mike Rossiter

Book supplied through the programme.

A good non fiction book can read like a novel, and with a topic such as spying fact is often more far fetched than fiction can ever be. This is something I kept thinking about while reading this book.

It was a quick read that held my interest from the start, as with the best non fiction books the details of the topic covered - in this case nuclear power and nuclear weapons - were given with the right amount of information.  Science and mathematics are important to the book but Rossiter never forgets that the reader is more than likely not going to be an expert in these fields.

The intricacies of spying were also kept clear throughout the narrative and at all times I could keep the protagonists clear in my mind even with all of the code names, which is again a bonus as a non expert.

However I am not sure if it is because a lot of the information is still classified or if it is because the book was just aimed a little too much at a lay man that I found it very slightly unsatisfying.  I know it seems odd to praise a book for being accessible and then to criticise it for lack of detail but to me it just felt a little slight when compared to Ben MacIntyre's books in the same genre.

There were lots of reasons that I enjoyed the book, and it complemented another advance copy I'd read in the past few months, The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan, but it has left me wanting to find the time to read a more in depth biography of Fuchs and his antics.

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