Atomic Blonde: The Coldest City by Antony Johnston

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Atomic Blonde: The Coldest City by Antony Johnston is the graphic novel that the movie is based on and though I have yet to watch the movie, I cannot believe that the movie is much like the book. There is no nudity and sex and gratuitous violence in this book. There is no…”let’s make a female Bond because the political correctness of our time demands it and we will make money on it!!!” Which by the way, the movie absolutely did not do.

Though I happen to think that Charlize Theron is one of the better actresses of our generation and her incredible hotness is only an asset to her obvious talents; she is not the choice for the character of Lorraine Broughton. No this should have been Olivia Munn or even an unknown British actress given the seriousness of the role of espionage and betrayal. This is not Bond, at least not the Bond that movies offer us. No this a British spy that is far more Le Carre than Fleming. Which is why the graphic novel would not make a good American movie. It is simply, too smart.

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It is November of 1989 and the world is changing. Berlin, at one time, the center of the cold war is now the symbol of freedom as the wall that divided communism from the rest of the world is coming down. But for M16, there is something happening in Berlin and the death of a M16 agent only complicates matters.

Into this fragile world M16 spy Lorraine Broughton is sent to investigate. But there are challenges to her entering this secretive and untrusting world. She is new to Berlin and she is not a true field agent and even more, she is a woman. But her handlers believe this may actually work in her favor. Lorraine is an unknown. She is not threatening and even more, she is easily expendable.

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What she finds is a world of betrayal and murder in the junction of the world where the English and the French and the Russian and even the Germans wage a cold and quiet war that no one outside of the world of spies ever knows.

Now, in the sterile dark rooms of M16, Lorraine must tell the story of what happened in Berlin that November of 1989. And hope she is believed.

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This is a terrific black and white graphic novel that could have been told just as well in a regular novel format. It is a well researched and plotted tale of spies and politics that fans of John Le Carre would devour is they knew about it.

A very good read with wonderful twists and turns.


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