Rare Books

Len Deighton's 'London Dossier' Penguin 1967

Len Deighton's London Dossier was first published in the UK in 1967 simultaneously by Jonathan Cape - in hardcover - and Penguin - in paperback.

I say "first published", but in fact that should really be "first and only", because those two editions represent the only appearance of the book, which has been out of print for decades.

Consequently, London Dossier is in very short supply in either edition.

And it is worth getting hold of, not least for the terrific cover, which was designed by Len Deighton's friend, Raymond Hawkey.

It's actually a double-cover, comprising an outer front cover with a die-cut keyhole, and an inner cover bearing a photo of famed model Twiggy's face, whose left eye peeps through the keyhole.

As to the book itself, it's a collection of essays by Deighton and others on London - a kind of tourist guide, if you will. Deighton provides an opening general guide to London and another dozen or so short pieces, sprinkled in amongst essays by the likes of journalist Daniel Farson, photographer Adrian Flowers and thriller author Eric Clark.

The essays are fascinating, idiosyncratic and often hugely entertaining.

Len Deighton

Penguin Books

1 available