A Spy by Nature

A Spy by Nature This is what they told me a long time ago Only make contact in the event of an emergency Only telephone if you believe that your position has been fatally compromised Under no circumstances are you to
  • Title: A Spy by Nature
  • Author: Charles Cumming
  • ISBN: 9780312366353
  • Page: 404
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A Spy by Nature
    This is what they told me a long time ago.Only make contact in the event of an emergency.Only telephone if you believe that your position has been fatally compromised.Under no circumstances are you to approach us unless it is absolutely necessary in order to preserve the security of the operation.This is the number.Alec Milius is young, smart, and ambitious He also has aThis is what they told me a long time ago.Only make contact in the event of an emergency.Only telephone if you believe that your position has been fatally compromised.Under no circumstances are you to approach us unless it is absolutely necessary in order to preserve the security of the operation.This is the number.Alec Milius is young, smart, and ambitious He also has a talent for deception He is working in a dead end job when a chance encounter leads him to MI6, the elite British Secret Intelligence Service, handing him an opportunity to play center stage in a dangerous game of espionage.In his new line of work, Alec finds that the difference between the truth and a lie can mean the difference between life and death and he is having trouble telling them apart Isolated and exposed, he must play a role in which the slightest glance or casual remark can seem heavy with unintended menace Caught between British and American Intelligence, Alec finds himself threatened and alone, unable to confide in even his closest friend His life as a spy begins to exact a terrible price, both on himself and on those around him.Richly atmospheric and chillingly plausible, A Spy By Nature announces the arrival of British author Charles Cumming as heir apparent to masters like John le Carr and Len Deighton A bestseller in England, it s the gripping story of a young man driven by ruthless ambition who finds himself chasing no
    A Spy by Nature By Charles Cumming,

    Spy A Novel Steel, Danielle Spy follows Alex s extraordinary adventures in World War II and afterward in India, Pakistan, Morocco, Hong Kong, Moscow, and Washington, D.C when her husband, Richard, enters the foreign service The Spy TV Mini Series Sep , Created by Gideon Raff With Sacha Baron Cohen, Hadar Ratzon Rotem, Yael Eitan, Noah Emmerich Based on the life of the Israeli spy, Eli Cohen. Android Spy Mobile Surveillance Android Spy is a monitoring software for mobile devices with the operating system Android, specially designed for parents who want to control their children The app records a variety of activities The A Spy Novel Review by David Vineyard ROBERT ARELLANO Sep , Responses to A Spy Novel Review by David Vineyard ROBERT ARELLANO Havana Libre Steve Says September th, at pm Noting that this book was published The Housewife Who Was a Spy The New York Times Sep , AGENT SONYA Moscow s Most Daring Wartime Spy By Ben Macintyre We have at last, in Ben Macintyre s Agent Sonya, the tale of a fully fleshed out female spy Not a femme fatale with a A Spy by Nature A Novel Alec Milius Nov , About the Author CHARLES CUMMING is the author of the Alec Milius books and the Thomas Kell books, A Foreign Country, A Colder War, and A Divided Spy, as well as the New York

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    About " Charles Cumming "

  • Charles Cumming

    Charles Cumming is British writer of spy fiction His international bestselling thrillers including A Spy By Nature, The Spanish Game, Typhoon and The Trinity Six A former British Secret Service recruit, he is a contributing editor of The Week magazine and lives in Londonarlescumming

  • 387 Comments

  • The Dumbest Spy in the WorldCummings, C 2001 A Spy By Nature New York St MartinsThe protagonist is a recent college graduate in London who works in a dead end telemarketing job and feels his life drifting He applies for a job as a spy and apparently does well in the application, but is ultimately rejected without explanation Or is he really A retired MI5 acquaintance mysteriously invites him to join his international oil firm as a clerk, with a covert mission to spy on a competing American oil c [...]


  • I read this book after two of the author s other books Had I read this one first, I wouldn t have read another It s not often I get to the end of a book and want to scream, but this book has an ending that makes no sense to me In addition, the main character is completely unlikeable.


  • A Spy by Nature, Charles Cumming s first novel, is the semi autobiographical precursor several subsequent espionage stories that have caught the attention of reviewers and the reading public alike The Trinity Six, the most recent, was a deft and ingenious reimagining of the familiar story of the five aristocratic Cambridge graduates whose greatest fame came when they defected to the Soviet Union after many years of undercover work in Britain.In A Spy by Nature, Cumming tells a version of his own [...]


  • Milius is stuck in a dead end job He had been hoping for better things having graduated from the London School of Economics, but is getting bored in a dead end job When a family friend offers him the opportunity to work for MI6 he jumps at the chance and starts the arduous selection process He is not quite up to the standard, so does not make it through, so the same family friend finds him another position with a British oil company who have extensive interests in the Caspian It is suggested, th [...]


  • I had mixed feelings about this novel as I found it difficult to read quickly I just couldn t get into a rhythm with the story The characters were OK The plot was OK But the language was.mething Eloquent Beautiful Not sure what the correct word is to describe it After a few chapters, after getting over the fact that I couldn t rip through the book, I started to become very impressed that the language was ensnaring me, not allowing me to bludgeon through it I started looking forward to reading my [...]


  • One of the worst endings since Russo s Empire Falls The protagonist is unlikable, inconsistent and quite frankly an egotistical pansy, if that combo can exist There are a few moments of articulate insight into young career angst, but not enough to save this or sell it.


  • This is an ironic tale which asks the reader to believe a purportedly honest account by a perpetual liar Alec Milius recounts his experience as a young man compelled to lie who ultimately ends up in an occupation that makes the most of this natural inclination He s bright but unformed, and while spying for a British oil company he sinks into a quagmire where everyone s a liar and nothing is quite what he expected Due to his naivete, he finds himself in and precarious circumstances until all th [...]


  • This novel follows Alec Milius, a young man of 24, through a period of three years The book is divided into three parts, labelled simply 1995, 1996 and 1997 When we first meet Alec, he is stuck in a dead end job, has lost his long time girlfriend and is filled with a burning desire to make something of himself His fortunes seeem to take a complete 180 when an acquaintance of his mother recommends him for a job with MI6 or SIS, the Secret Intelligence Service And this is the true beginning of th [...]


  • I worry that sometimes I m reading a completely different book to the one that a lot of other people have reviewedIf this book is, as the cover promises, taughtly written, cleverly plotted then either the contents of my copy had been cunningly replaced by a windy, over long and largely drama free doppelganger or my understanding of taught and clever needs some serious work Aside from the fact that the leading character is so unremittingly unlikeable that I ended up sincerely hoping the CIA would [...]


  • This was my third Charles Cumming book, but the first he wrote which is probably why I was disappointed with it I d read ok, listened to Typhoon, which was terrific Then the Trinity 6, which was good, but not as good as Typhoon So going back to his first book is like watching a great cyclist back when he was still using training wheels The book is dull, frankly It s very much a straight forward narrative with few twists and turns, and really, it s mostly a series of somewhat tedious conversation [...]


  • Alec Milius is a 20 something graduate of the London School of Economics, living in Shepherd s Bush and coasting along with no real goals, marking time at a dead end job when he s recruited by MI6 and offered the chance to make something of his life What happens next seems like it will be the story of the classic naif who steps into something much bigger than he can ever imagine But Milius is cynical, and perhaps self deluded than the reader at first believes And the story s trajectory takes s [...]


  • A Spy by Nature 2001 tells the story of Alec Milius, a young college graduate working at a dead end job for a small London company selling ads to Central and Eastern European businesses When Alex is recruited by British intelligence MI 6 he is sure his life has finally turned around But MI 6 rejects him Alec is then offered an assignment as a support agent with a British oil company, tasked with selling false information to American agents working for an American oil company Loosely based on Cum [...]


  • I wanted to like this book, really I did, because certain reviews had mentioned a similarity with books by Le Carr which I enjoy But unfortunately, I found it tedious and just plain boring There s no need to repeat the general plot as others have already done so And, while I respect others opinions, I must take issue with those who have referred to this as a mystery Unless you ve never read a spy book before, there s only one way this story was going, Spoiler Alert except perhaps for the death o [...]


  • I actually picked up this book by mistake, originally thinking it was a Charles McCarry novel If only The main character is such a moronic and pathetic character, that several times, I almost gave up on the whole thing, but I held out unfounded hope that somehow the story would turn around It s difficult to imagine that any espionage agency would ever let him serve He s dishonest from the very beginning to the very end and doesn t seem to think or care what repercussions his actions might have, [...]


  • My introductory Charles Cumming s first spy thriller novel concerned me a little that I just might be wasting my money Au contraire I found the writing style refreshingly conversational a very clear, albeit rather detailed account, as though the writer Cumming as the protagonist, Alec Milius were leading the reader, as something of a confidant, through a timeline in his professional spying career, albeit with spying than thrilling Good story line, entertaining, engaging and compelling, right to [...]


  • This is the 2nd novel I have read by Charles Cumming, and his first novel I had read The Trinity Six his latest and enjoyed it Although spy novels are not my thing , I find Cumming s writing style very accessible and engaging In A Spy by Nature, the plotting is not as good as his latest novel, so he has clearly evolved from then to now But reading this shows me what a good writer he was and the raw material is there to turn him into the even better one he is today I would read him again.


  • Great spy book illustrating how espionage has moved in to the industrial sector since the cold war I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the clever story line, he flawed characters and the general setting in London all lent themselves to my imagination Cummings really is the only author that has emulated Le Carre in the true sense of the word in recent years Go out buy this book and settle down for a good read.


  • I almost never re read a book, but as I have acquired the rest of the series, I thought I needed to go back to the start I enjoyed this 9 years ago and I enjoyed it again I will need to rad The Spanish Game soon, because I cannot imagine how our hero Alec Milius can begin to rehabilitate himself after this one Like any good spy book, there are echoes of Le Carre, but that is no bad thing Taut plotting and crisp dialogue make this an excellent read.


  • I can t say there was anything wrong with this book, it was just very slow I didn t engauge with the main character, though I rather liked that he was of normal ability not super talented , and clearly quite deluded about his own nature, not seeing himself as others do I guess the slow plot development may be realistic, but it made it less than thrilling.


  • I m always looking for a fun spy thriller, and this one fit the bill Alex Milius really, really wants to be a spy With all the double crosses pretending that s going on, it s not always clear who is isn t a spy Which is as it should be.


  • Set during the run up to Blair s election as Prime Minister this was a fairly tepid espionage thriller The plot just did not do a lot for me and the main character annoyed Listened to the audio version read by Simon Vance who was the best part of the whole endeavor.


  • Eh This was an impulse library book and it didnt really do it for me I read the first few chapters and then gave up on it It wasn t that it was bad it just wasn t great I d give it another try at some point but with so much else out there, I doubt I ll get the chance.


  • Alec Milius is an impossibly naive 24 year old with no set goals in life Seemingly out of the blue, his mother s friend suggests he try to enter the Secret Intelligence Service, SIS or MI6 Alec undergoes three months of rigorous training, psychological testing and exams He was rejected in spite of the fact that he thought himself superior to the other hopeful inductees Was this a clever ploy on the part of SIS to feed on his latent feelings of resentment Who better to position as a possible recr [...]


  • Apparently, Cummings was approached by MI6 after he had left university with the aim to recruit him Whether that is true or not, he seems to know what he is talking about As spy novels go, this was rather believable I particularly liked that the central character was not an all conquering hero but a failure in almost every respect, betrayed by his own all too human flaws and his employer The first person point of view paired with present tense and Cumming s economic writing style make for a very [...]


  • I wanted to like this, to have found a series I d enjoy But the main character is an idiot To begin with, there s a bunch of lead in, and then he becomes an industrial spy And all of a sudden two years pass And he s as dumb as he was at the start I don t even want to be a spy and I d be smarter than he is in that regard I gave it a 2 rather than a 1 because I was able to finish it in 3 days, but I said moron out loud than once.


  • This is the 1st in the Alec Milius spy novel s by Cumming It tells the story how Alec was recruited by MI 6 and how he was relieved of his duties over a botched spy operation As well, his former girlfriend, Kate and her boyfriend were killed suspiciously, perhaps as collateral damage by the damm Americans Nice story on how Alec Milius started his spy life.


  • 3.5 stars The stark ending was a disappointment, but I ve now learned there are sequels, so not surprising that there are loose ends, I guess It s discomforting that the protagonist is is a whiny poser Will have to find the sequel to see if I can learn to care about him enough to continue to seek out his company.




  • This is the only Cumming s novel I had not read Again I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, the manner in which he writes and how the whole book hangs together.


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