Nigel Jones

The Odd Couple

Claude and Madeleine: A True Story of Love, War and Espionage

By

Picador 322pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

Sixty years after the Second World War ended, the global cataclysm is still throwing up extraordinary stories of human courage, tragedy, and – as in this book – sheer weirdness.

Edward Marriott has reconstructed, insofar as the incomplete sources allow, a remarkable tale from the shady borderlands of espionage and secret warfare, where bluster, exaggeration and downright lies meet. What emerges is a colourful fresco with large areas missing. Sometimes Marriott admits the lacunae in his narrative. Then he attempts to paper over the gaps with the broad brushstrokes of the imaginative novelist – in fairness, probably the only way that this odyssey could have been smoothed into the coherent and gripping voyage through an amazing life that he presents.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,