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Lindsay Gutteridge (1923–2007)

Author of Cold War in a Country Garden

3 Works 114 Members 4 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: Linsay Gutteridge


Works by Lindsay Gutteridge

Killer Pine (1973) 41 copies
Fratricide is a Gas (1975) 20 copies


Common Knowledge




The subject is an enjoyable one: miniaturized men doing espionage work in Romania. Scary side effects in the form of antlions and centipedes. There is not much explanation of how the miniaturization is done, and at times it was hard to visualize what was being described. Still, an entertaining read.
burritapal | 1 other review | Oct 23, 2022 |
An excellent followup to the first book in the series, which sees Mathew Dilke continuing his training of a cadre of micro-men (his secretary and love interest, Hyacinthe seems to be the only micro-woman), though this detail seems principally to facilitate the debriefing of readers who may not be familiar with the first volume, as Dilke and Hyacinthe are soon off on their main mission, to save the forestry industry of North America.

Cut to British Columbia in the Canadian Rockies, where some mysterious blight is causing the forests to die off. A new member of the micro-team is the rather dour Scottish botanist, Jon Butt, who obviously hasn't been briefed on the poor survival rate of Dilke's companions! He's less interested in the commercial ruin being caused, the main concern of the high-ranking official who's sanctioned the mission, and more on the ecological impact of the environmental disaster.

It's not giving too much away to say that, as this is still a Cold War spy adventure, those pesky commies are up to their old nefarious tricks again! Gutteridge does, however, manage to keep them from being wholly cardboard villains.

A fun quick read for a summer's afternoon.
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Michael.Rimmer | 1 other review | May 6, 2018 |
The new Ant-Man movie reminded me that I wanted to reread Lindsay Gutteridge's Mathew Dilke stories, which I first read when I was at school, and fondly remember, mixing, as they did, several boyhood interests: science fiction, insects and spies.

The story falls into two main parts: We are first introduced to Dilke after he's already completed the mysterious miniaturisation process, now standing at ΒΌ inch high and, thanks to some departmental joker, bearing the codename 00.25. Dilke's survival training is an excitingly fast-paced series of violent encounters with the micro-beasts that inhabit his suburban English back-garden. Enough detail is given about the development of his survival gear to satisfy curiosity, but not so much that it gets bogged down in technical detail. Other micro-characters are introduced and there's a good feeling of macho camaraderie fitting the time it was written (early 70s) and the 'safari' situation. It's not all plain sailing, though!

The second part moves from the garden to the Eastern bloc, as might be expected from the 'Cold War' of the title, where Dilke and his team embark upon their mission of espionage. I found that I'd forgotten a significant part of this section and was pleasantly surprised at the turn of events (though the turn events take is not so pleasant, actually!).

Happily, then, I was justified in keeping this book for the last 36 years. Hopefully, the sequels will be as good as I remember, too.
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Michael.Rimmer | 1 other review | Jul 5, 2015 |


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½ 3.6

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