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Cambridge University Library



7PM to 8PM

Open to all. Hosted online using Zoom Meetings. 

Tickets: Free, booking required.

Accessibility: Live subtitles are available using Zoom's Live Transcript function.

Book your free ticket here

The Really Popular Book Club is Cambridge University Libraries' book group. Everyone is welcome to come and discuss a really popular book with the group, library staff, and an expert on the novel. Hosted on Zoom, the book club is completely free and open to everyone, people attend from all over the world. 

The Really Popular Book Club celebrates the huge range of books at Cambridge University Library. We have more than 8 million books and as a legal deposit library we keep a copy of every book published in the UK, and have done since 1710.

Len Deighton's first spy novel The IPCRESS File cemented the author as a major force in the thriller genre. This gripping novel involves brain washing and nuclear weapons. Professor Peter Mandler (University of Cambridge) joins us to discuss one of the first 'airport novels'.

To aide the conversation, we have prepared three 'thinking points' to consider when reading The IPCRESS File:

1. The IPCRESS File came out at when tensions between the east and west were at their height. Why do you think the public were so drawn to novels about the Cold War when the real thing was so chilling?

2. The novel was published in 1962 the same year as the first Bond film was released. How does The IPCRESS File avowedly working-class character compare to Bond?

3. The IPCRESS File came out at when tensions between the east and west were at their height. How does the author trivialise the Cold War setting to enhance the entertainment of the novel?

If you haven't attended one of our book club events before, you can find more information at

The IPCRESS File by Len Deighton is available in paperback, hardback, audio and ebook formats, borrowable from public libraries or to purchase. To see what printed and digital copies are available from Cambridge University Libraries (borrowable by University staff and students), search iDiscover.