The '60s sitcom was often a one-joke affair; the film's starry-eyed geek has room for nuance. You can make a case for both Maxes, but critic David Edelstein misses the tube's lovable boob. Anne Hathaway's Agent 99, now ... that's another matter.
Norman Mailer once wrote that before he was 17, he'd formed the desire to be a major writer. That wish certainly came true. One political campaign, two Pulitzer Prizes and an unprecedented level of controversy later, he became a literary grandee unlike any other. This interview originally aired on Oct. 8, 1991.
Alan Furst's best-selling spy thrillers (Kingdom of Shadows, Night Shadows, The Polish Officer) play out in the brooding, tumultuous Europe of the pre-World War II years, offering an intimate, insider portrait of an escalating crisis in which the players can't always see the implications of the game. Critic-at-large John Powers explains why he's a fan.
Alan Furst has a new historical spy novel called The Foreign Correspondent. His first one, Night Soldiers, came out in 1988, and he's written eight more since then. Critic at large John Powers, who says he always snaps up a new one, explains Furst's appeal.
Milt Bearden spent 30 years in the CIA. He ran the CIA covert operations in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion, and helped train the Afghan freedom fighters. Bearden also was station chief in Pakistan, Moscow, and Khartoum. He received the CIA highest honor, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. Since the Sept. 11th attacks, Bearden has been a frequent commentator on TV and in print. He is also the author of the novel, The Black Tulip: A Novel of War in Afghanistan (paperback, Random House).
Spy novelist John Le Carre. His novels, almost every one of which is considered a masterpiece of the genre, include "The Spy Who Came In From the Cold," "A Small Town in Germany," "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and "The Little Drummer Girl." Several of his works have been made into movies. The new film "The Tailor of Panama" is based on his book.
His string of bestsellers, such as The Bourne Identity, The Osterman Weekend, and The Icarus Agenda, established him as one of literature's most successful espionage novelists. Ludlum died yesterday of a heart attack. He was 74 years old.