Hopscotch by Brian Garfield

Hopscotch by Brian Garfield

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Winner of the 1976 Edgar Award for Best Novel

Bored with retirement, an ex-spy challenges his old agency to a game

Miles Kendig is one of the CIA’s top deep-cover agents, until an injury ruins him for active duty. Rather than take a desk job, he retires. But the tawdry thrills of civilian life—gambling, drinking, sex—offer none of the pleasures of the intelligence game. Even a Russian agent’s offer to go to work against his old employers seems dull. Without the thrill of unpredictable conflict, Kendig skulks through Paris like the walking dead.

To revive himself, he begins writing a tell-all memoir, divulging every secret he accumulated in his long career. Neither CIA nor KGB can afford to have it in print, and so he challenges them both: Until they catch him, a chapter will go to the publisher every week. Kendig’s life is fun again, with survival on the line.


“Fun and games: that’s what Hopscotch is all about . . . Garfield is one of the best: he writes as well as any crime novelist around.” - New York Times 

“Great fun.” - Otto Penzler

“Once again Garfield shows his genius for weaving history and fiction into a fabric of fast-paced, high-suspense storytelling.” - Robert Ludlum

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via Wikipedia

Hopscotch is a 1980 American film directed by Ronald Neame and produced by Otto Plaschkes. It was written by Bryan Forbes and Brian Garfield, based on Garfield's novel of the same name.

The film is a comedy starring Walter Matthau as Miles Kendig, a renegade CIA agent intent on publishing a memoir exposing the inner workings of the CIA and the KGB. Sam Waterston and Ned Beatty play Cutter and Myerson, Kendig's protégé and his obnoxious, incompetent, and profane former boss, respectively, and are repeatedly foiled in their attempts to capture him and stop the publication of the damaging memoir. Herbert Lom is Yaskov, the sympathetic KGB agent with an equal interest in his capture. Glenda Jackson plays Isobel von Schoenenberg, his Austrian love interest who helps him stay one step ahead of his captors.

The film was received in a lukewarm manner by critics and was a moderate financial success during its release. Matthau received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. The Criterion Collection released the film to DVD in 2002.