A Coffin for Dimitrios

A Coffin for Dimitrios #2020

A Coffin for Dimitrios A chance encounter with a Turkish colonel with a penchant for British crime novels leads Charles Latimer himself the author of a handful of successful mysteries into a world of sinister political an
  • Title: A Coffin for Dimitrios
  • Author: Eric Ambler
  • ISBN: 9780345316950
  • Page: 298
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • A chance encounter with a Turkish colonel with a penchant for British crime novels leads Charles Latimer, himself the author of a handful of successful mysteries, into a world of sinister political and criminal maneuvers throughout the Balkans in the years between the world wars At first merely curious to reconstruct the career of the notorious Dimitrios, whose body has bA chance encounter with a Turkish colonel with a penchant for British crime novels leads Charles Latimer, himself the author of a handful of successful mysteries, into a world of sinister political and criminal maneuvers throughout the Balkans in the years between the world wars At first merely curious to reconstruct the career of the notorious Dimitrios, whose body has been identified in an Istanbul morgue, Latimer soon finds himself caught up in a shadowy web of assassination, espionage, drugs, and treachery.
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      Posted by:Eric Ambler
      Published :2020-02-03T03:58:25+00:00

    987 Comment

    When I first heard ISIL substituted for ISIS, I thought What the heck does the L stand for Somebody told me it stood for the Levant, and I immediately thought of A Coffin for Dimitrios, my favorite novel of international intrigue.What is the Levant It is the once fashionable term for the countries of the eastern Mediterranean rim, comprising ancient Canaan and Asia Minor Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey Add to this the Levant s primary areas of influence Cyprus,Greece, the Balka [...]

    This was a fun read According to the jacket this was the first novel in which an everyman is caught in a web of international intrigue It is very reminiscent of the 39 Steps One could see Sydney Greenstreet, for example, in the role of Mister Peters Or, as it turns out, one did, and forgot that he had Oops Greenstreet as Peters in The Mask of DimitriosThe protagonist, Mister Latimer, is an economist turned mystery writer who meets a Turkish head of Secret Police in Istanbul He comes along with h [...]

    A man s features, the bone structure and the tissue which covers it, are the product of a biological process but his face he creates for himself It is a statement of his habitual emotional attitude the attitude which his desires need for their fulfilment and which his fears demand for their protection from prying eyes He wears it like a devil mask a device to evoke in others the emotions complementary to his own If he is afraid, then he must be feared, if he desires, then he must be desired It i [...]

    Sometimes digging around in the past is just a bad idea, and for British crime writer Charles Latimer he certainly ends up way out of his league, after befriending an inspector from the Turkish police while staying in Istanbul he learns that master criminal Dimitrios Makropoulos has just been fished out the water, killed by an apparent knife to the back Latimer takes an interest in this mysterious Dimitrios and decides to try and delve into his history to write a true crime novel rather one of f [...]

    If I d read this in 1939, I m sure I would have been breathless with astonishment But I ve read John Le Carre and Alan Furst, I know too much about the ugliness of World War II, and in our day and age, we all know about the hypocrisy and duplicity and self interest of nations But Eric Ambler invented this genre, political mystery thrillers raw with realistic criminals and spies, describing the brilliance, decadence, shabbiness and ambiguity of the secret world Enter Charles Latimer A retired aca [...]

    Set and written in the late 1930s, Charles Latimer is an English mystery novelist who learns about the roguish life of Dimitrios after he s taken to view his corpse in the morgue Murder, slavery, drugs, gambling, prostitutes Dimitrios had his fingers in a lot of pies Latimer becomes obsessed with the man s life and decides to write a biography of the chap, following in his footsteps as he meets Dimitrios former criminal associates to build up a portrait of the complex figure But Latimer s journe [...]

    But it was useless to try to explain him in terms of Good and Evil They were no than baroque abstractions Good Business and Bad Business were the elements of the new theology Eric Ambler, A Coffin for DimitriosIt is hard not to like Eric Ambler s amateur spies They aren t reluctant, rather lucky and persistent They seem to have seeded an entire generation of suspense novelists Reading Ambler I see exactly what inspired le Carre, Furst, Steinhauer, etc Ambler has a voice and style which are matc [...]

    The Good So much tension This is very well written and had me second guessing everyone The settings are gorgeous, illustrating the magic and paranoia of interbellum Europe And Mr Peters is one of the most fascinating characters I ve ever read.The Bad view spoiler After building up to a big reveal I was horrified to find that Dimitrios was not Colonel Haki of the Turkish secret police hide spoiler The protagonist was also a bit dull, obviously written to appeal to the target audience of the time [...]

    One night, I went out with a friend, who also reads, and met up with some of his friends, most of whom also read I sat across from this guy who worked at a local Barnes Noble with my friend, and this guy and I started talking books I mentioned that I had just read my first book by Alan Furst, and that I loved how he set an espionage story in Europe on the eve of World War II I haven t read Furst, he said, but I really like Eric Ambler Right there, that little literary alarm went off in my head, [...]

    You can smell Orson Welles off the pages or maybe it s Graham Greene Nevetheless it s the start of the war years in Europe circ late 1930 s and there is the innocent bystander who is drawn into a world that he truly doesn t understand In other words welcome to the world of Eric Amber.The classic suspense writer and this is a great classic thriller And back to Welles, it reminds me of The Third Man not in plotting, but just the feel of dread in Europe at the time But wait Third Man takes place af [...]

    Went into this mystery thriller with certain expectations I did enjoy the period and the setting of the novel but I did have an inkling early on how the mystery thriller component would turn out There weren t a lot of surprises in store.My favourite characters were the shady Peters and Colonel Haki whose presence was quite minute unfortunately Charles Latimer was a likeable enough main character but his presence was often overshadowed by the other characters.

    I give this one five stars because I ve heard that it was the first of its kind international espionage thriller and because it was one of those books I hated to end Eric Ambler was a first writerP.S I prefer the title given to it in the UK, Mask of Dimitrios , which I think was the also title of the Hollywood movie.

    Anything that is published by Penguin Modern Classics is instantly alluring in my mind and, given I d heard positive things about Eric Ambler, I was keen to sample his work I d heard that The Mask of Dimitrios 1939 aka A Coffin for Dimitrios was one of his very best Charles Latimer, an English crime novelist, is in Istanbul where he meets Colonel Haki of the Turkish secret police Haki tells Latimer about Dimitrios Makropolous, a murderer, drug dealer, assassin and general rogue, whose body has j [...]

    Most of the crime mystery books that I ve read usually have a background of England This book was an interesting tour of many countries, including Turkey and Greece and France Eric Ambler very skilfully painted the pictures for the different countries, all the places and people are vividly clear and distinguishable in my mind Many detective authors try and make their stories sound realistic by saying things in their book like If this was a book it would have been easy, but this is real life and [...]

    I found this novel to be meandering, and it had too much first person narrative for my liking A writer is taken to see the remains of Dimitrios, who has a checkered past The writer then decides to look into his life, and discovers much than is known by the police who found the body I did not realize until reading the afterword that this book was written in the 1930s.

    So of the things I know about myself is that I m not a big thriller or spy novel fan There have been exceptions over the years For instance, I went through a tiny phase of reading James Bond books and I m very fond of Pierce Brosnan as Bond in film of course, I m fond of Pierce Brosnan in just about anything And I like the less serious Avengers with Steed and Emma Peel television version, please I love the Maltese Falcon with Bogart In fact, you might say that I prefer my thrillers and spy novel [...]

    Not only is this novel THE masterpiece thriller, but it is THE original, departing from the crime fiction traditions of Doyle, Simenon, and Hammett The dramatic value of adventure comes when the unadventurous man is inserted into the world of commerce and becomes involved in desperate matters through no fault of his own It is not a world of good and evil Ambler writes, They were no than baroque abstractions Good business and Bad Business were the elements in the new theology Dimitrios was not e [...]

    A good read It s held up amazingly well, and though the locations deadly power games played by Dimitrios have shifted in today s world, you can t help recognise techniques for fomenting discord.The central plot device naive mystery writer sets out to satisfy curiosity seems pretty shaky to me, and some of the tools used to advance the narrative are clunky the letters that Latimer writes to the Turkish policeman to bring him up to date, for instance I m surprised I hadn t read it before, glad I h [...]

    Charles Latimer, former lecture of political economy, quits the academic world and becomes a writer of crime fiction, with such titles to his credit as A Bloody Shovel, I, Said the Fly, and Murder s Arms He does all right as a novelist, and decides one day that he needs a change of scene Off he goes on vacation to Istanbul, where he meets a Turkish secret policeman, a Col Haki Haki contrives some reason to speak to Latimer, then invites him to view a corpse which has recently washed up onto shor [...]

    A Frenchman named Chamfort, who should have known better, once said that chance was a nickname for Providence.Well what can I say apart from that this didn t gel for me 17 5 2013 Re visit via radio bbc programmes b01shstw

    Written in the late 1930s, this one must have made a big impact.It covers the massacre of Greeks in Smyrna by the Turks in 1922, drug trafficking, the sex trade and the ill gotten gains of a shady bank.The hero Charles Latimer seems to represent all things British, albeit he is a bit dry There are plenty of juicy characters in the form of the master spy Grodek, the mysterious Mr Peters and villainous Dimitrios, a classic red herring, some black mailing, a shot out and an ending that explains all [...]

    Bestselling spy novelist Charles Cumming has chosen to discuss A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler on FiveBooks as one of the top five on his subject Espionage, saying that Eric Ambler is the grandfather of the serious spy novel Ambler was the same generation as Graham Greene, and he was, like a lot of educated people at that time, a kind of proto Marxist, a socialist He believed that he could use the thriller not only to entertain but also as a political tool, to say something about the state [...]

    A solid archetypal thriller from one of the originators of the genre A little too talkie though, with not quite enough action Interesting premise, of a mystery author who accidentally meets up with a detective who shows him a body of a well known criminal Dimitrios He becomes swept up in the quest to find info on this master criminal and soon things get out of hand.Written in the 30s, it is a reminder of just how long this ridiculous War on Drugs has been fought and how many trillions of dollar [...]

    Classic noir with some great passages by Ambler I saw the movie on tv many years ago and while I don t really remember it, it s very possible that I subconsciously remembered enough to anticipate the main plot twistd enough to realize that Sydney Greenstreet was PERFECTLY cast as Peters I ll have to revisit the movie to know about the rest of the casting This book has all the atmospheric ingredients to make it a heady brew of espionage, drug dealing, assumed idententies you know ALL the things t [...]

    My least favourite of his so far but he writes so evocatively of a vanished time and place he s hard to put down

    Classic spy thriller The professional criminal, Dimitrios, and the circumstances of his mysterious death will enthrall you One of the best espionage murder mystery plots I have read.

    Why are the Brits so good at sophisticated, literary thrillers Whether it s due to their being a bit reserved and thus the patience to unravel a story at a slow and measured pace or due to their rich literary history that just might be woven into their DNA, Brits rise above the typical confines of a genre to offer the most suspenseful and well crafted espionage thrillers that includes stalwarts such as Graham Greene and Eric Ambler Although I haven t read all of Ambler s work, A Coffin for Dimit [...]

    When I first sat down to read The Mask of Dimitrios, I though a crime thriller would be just the type of easy reading I needed after the heavier philosophical notions going through my head after reading Siddhartha and Barabbas last month Taking a little over a week to finish though, the novel was of a slow burn rather than a quick paced thriller It is, in essence, a detective novel, though not in the whodunit sense It is the piecing together a puzzle of the man Dimitrios Those pieces are given [...]

    Unfortunately there is nowadays only limited interest in Ambler Five of his early books are considered to be classic thrillers, and The Mask of Dimitrios 1939 originally named A Coffin for Dimitrios is the best known of these It was much applauded from the outset, and the film rights earned Ambler 20,000 dollars The book is well crafted and well researched, and both the dialogues and the descriptions which can be savoured on a second reading are brilliant Some of the issues such as his account [...]

    A COFFIN FOR DIMITRIOS 1939 Eric Ambler 1 2.After working my way through several of Ambler s suspense novels, I felt it was only fitting to go back and reread this one As best as I can remember, I first read this novel about fifty years ago I also remember seeing the movie as a later rental and enjoying it So far, I believe that this novel was Ambler s best It was extremely well plotted, and all of the characters well rounded Top of the list was the character of Dimitrios himself We first meet h [...]

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