Eric Ambler

Eric Ambler, 1909–98, English novelist. An advertising executive, he turned exclusively to writing after his realistic and innovative suspense novels became popular. Ambler has often been called the first thriller writer whose work succeeded as literature. His heroes are usually ordinary men who become accidentally or innocently involved in international intrigues. Several of his novels were made into films, e.g., A Coffin for Dimitrios (1939, film 1944), Journey into Fear (1940, film 1942), and Topkapi (1962, film 1964). Among his other thrillers are Passage of Arms (1959), To Catch a Spy (1964), Doctor Frigo (1974), and The Care of Time (1981). Ambler also wrote screenplays, including those for The Cruel Sea (1953) and The Guns of Navarone (1961).

See his autobiography, Here Lies (1985).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Intrigue: The Great Spy Novels of Eric Ambler
Eric Ambler.
Alfred A. Knopf, 1943
Still Writing after All These Years
Mitgang, Herberg.
The Progressive, Vol. 59, No. 3, March 1995
Why British Thriller Writers of the 1930S, Such as Eric Ambler and Graham Greene, Offer a Far Better Exploration of the Nature of Freedom Than Any Other Novelists. (Platform)
Evans, Julian.
New Statesman (1996), Vol. 132, No. 4628, March 10, 2003
Dictionary of Literary Themes and Motifs: L-Z
Jean-Charles Seigneuret.
Greenwood Press, vol.2, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Eric Ambler begins on p. 1229
Mystery Fiction and Modern Life
R. Gordon Kelly.
University Press of Mississippi, 1998
Dark Cinema: American Film Noir in Cultural Perspective
Jon Tuska.
Greenwood Press, 1984
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Eric Ambler begins on p. 73
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