Friday, June 28, 2013
June 28 - Eric Ambler
Eric Ambler, British author of innovative spy novels, was born on June 28, 1909, in London, to a family of entertainers. Though he studied engineering, he was working as a fantasy-prone advertising copywriter when he started writing a new kind of spy thriller in the 1930s, featuring ordinary but appealing characters who suddenly find themselves enmeshed in sinister situations. A Coffin for Dimitrios(1939) was made into a film noir classic in 1944. Five earlier novels were The Dark Frontier (1936), which foresaw the atomic bomb; Background to Danger (1937); Cause for Alarm (1938); Epitaph for a Spy (1938); and Journey into Fear (1940), also made into a movie. He wrote the screenplay for the movie version of “A Night to Remember” (1958), and his 1962 thriller, The Light of Day, was filmed as the movie “Topkapi.” Considered a master of surprising tales of international intrigue and espionage, Ambler was a major influence on John le Carré and Graham Greene, who called him the greatest writer of suspense novels.