Spy Novel The Increment probes the conflict between fact and fiction

May 19th, 2009 - 8:17 pm ICT by GD  

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius’ seventh novel The Increment is on the stands now. Ignatius’ interests continues to be the conflict between fact and fiction, as he himself says, and that largely explains his continuing enthusiasm about foreign affairs, an issue he deals with in the Washington Post, and the subject of espionage, the theme of his creative writing.

The novel is centered in a favorite subject of many Americans: the prospect of an attack on the United States . This time the danger seems to be emanating from Iran. Thus at the very beginning of the novel we have a situation where an Iranian nuclear scientist mails the CIA that Iran has once more launched its weapons agenda. Ignatius makes it clear that the story is certainly fiction, no matter how realistic the setting and backdrop may be. He has said that the “characters are fiction and the story is imagined, from playing with the question, ‘What if?’ ”

The protagonist of the novel is Harry Pappus, a disillusioned CIA agent, frustrated by the war in Iran. The novel follows his attempt to unravel what is real and what is not. Ignatius has taken the title of his novel from a real British Intelligence unit. He has reportedly said that he would love to see the role of Pappus being portrayed on screen by none other than George Clooney himself. The novel which has been priced at $ 26.95, has been published by Norton, and is certainly an engaging reading material.

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