NO BANNERS, NO BANDS by Robert Hayden Aloorn


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This is sequel to Alcorn's No Bugles for Spies and similarly is a handful of true stories from the wartime files of the O.S.S. The author served with the O.S.S. and personally knew many of the spies and double-agents whose activities he describes. Coupled with the fact that many of these spies were killed (and that Alcorn's stories are unverifiable), the writing is so sensational and luridly graphic that only the most naive reader will swallow the book whole. The accounts of hideous torture, depravity, sexual assault and the constant flow of murders finally leaves one with a feeling stranger than non-fiction, for the author enters his stories with such relish of imagination and zest for vivid incident that it is impossible to credit his veracity. The first story, about a multi-lingual and brilliant agent who passed himself off as a deaf-mute in Paris, is fairly believable. (Despite his success, he did get killed.) But the adventures of Gina, the super double-agent who worked on the highest levels of Italian, German and American counter-intelligence, defies credulity as she passes through endless disguises and metamorphoses. Almost rhymthmically, most of the agents experience a curious sensual, idyllic lull of respite. Then some final horror overtakes them...Agent-training and O.S.S. background information is factual enough.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1965
Publisher: McKay