book cover of Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
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Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

(2017)
A non fiction book by

 
 
WINNER OF THE HRF KEATING AWARD FOR BEST NON-FICTION CRIME BOOK 2018
An entertaining history of British thrillers from Casino Royale to The Eagle Has Landed, in which award-winning crime writer Mike Ripley reveals that, though Britain may have lost an empire, her thrillers helped save the world. With a foreword by Lee Child.

When Ian Fleming dismissed his books in a 1956 letter to Raymond Chandler as ‘straight pillow fantasies of the bang-bang, kiss-kiss variety’ he was being typically immodest. In three short years, his James Bond novels were already spearheading a boom in thriller fiction that would dominate the bestseller lists, not just in Britain, but internationally.

The decade following World War II had seen Britain lose an Empire, demoted in terms of global power and status and economically crippled by debt; yet its fictional spies, secret agents, soldiers, sailors and even (occasionally) journalists were now saving the world on a regular basis.

From Ian Fleming and Alistair MacLean in the 1950s through Desmond Bagley, Dick Francis, Len Deighton and John Le Carré in the 1960s, to Frederick Forsyth and Jack Higgins in the 1970s.

Many have been labelled ‘boys’ books’ written by men who probably never grew up but, as award-winning writer and critic Mike Ripley recounts, the thrillers of this period provided the reader with thrills, adventure and escapism, usually in exotic settings, or as today’s leading thriller writer Lee Child puts it in his Foreword: ‘the thrill of immersion in a fast and gaudy world.’

In Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Ripley examines the rise of the thriller from the austere 1950s through the boom time of the Swinging Sixties and early 1970s, examining some 150 British authors (plus a few notable South Africans). Drawing upon conversations with many of the authors mentioned in the book, he shows how British writers, working very much in the shadow of World War II, came to dominate the field of adventure thrillers and the two types of spy story – spy fantasy (as epitomised by Ian Fleming’s James Bond) and the more realistic spy fiction created by Deighton, Le Carré and Ted Allbeury, plus the many variations (and imitators) in between.



Used availability for Mike Ripley's Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

Hardback Editions

May 2017 : UK Hardback
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Title: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: The Boom in British Thrillers from Casino Royale to The Eagle Has Landed
Author(s): Mike Ripley
ISBN: 0-00-817223-4 / 978-0-00-817223-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

March 2019 : UK Paperback
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Title: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: The Boom in British Thrillers from Casino Royale to The Eagle Has Landed
Author(s): Mike Ripley
ISBN: 0-00-817225-0 / 978-0-00-817225-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

May 2017 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: The Boom in British Thrillers from Casino Royale to The Eagle Has Landed
Author(s): Mike Ripley, Lee Child - foreword
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Availability: Amazon   


May 2017 : Australia Audio edition
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Title: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: The Boom in British Thrillers from Casino Royale to The Eagle Has Landed
Author(s): Mike Ripley, Lee Child - foreword
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Availability: Amazon AU   


May 2017 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: The Boom in British Thrillers from Casino Royale to The Eagle Has Landed
Author(s): Mike Ripley, Lee Child - foreword
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Availability: Amazon CA   


May 2017 : UK Audio edition
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Title: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: The Boom in British Thrillers from Casino Royale to The Eagle Has Landed
Author(s): Mike Ripley, Lee Child - foreword
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

May 2017 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: The Boom in British Thrillers from Casino Royale to The Eagle Has Landed
Author(s): Mike Ripley
Publisher: HarperCollins
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU