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Joseph Kanon Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

An American author, the novelist Jospeh Kanon is largely known for his many spy novels, which are mostly set in the post Second World War period, many of them being highly regarded for their attention to detail and accuracy regarding the era. Not only that, but he has also had a Hollywood adaptation of his work produced with ‘The Good German’ back in 2006. Regarded highly by both his peers and contemporaries, he’s managed to build a name for himself over the years, one which he’s maintained to this very day, garnering acclaim both nationally and internationally with his insightful and engaging novels.

Early and Personal Life

Born in Pennsylvania in 1946, the American author Joseph Kanon was brought up with a strong passion for the written word. Taking in inspiration from the world around him, he nurtured his love for both reading and writing from a very young age. This has lead to him becoming one of the most well known authors of his time, as his work continues to be discovered to this day by a new generation of both readers and writers alike.

Studying at Harvard University he always had a strong academic background to his work, something which was soon backed up by his entry into Trinity College, followed by Cambridge. During his time here he’d continue to work on his writing constantly, even managing to publish some of his short stories in The Atlantic Monthly whilst still an undergraduate. After his education he went straight into publishing, building up his portfolio as an editor, and firmly establishing his background as an author.

Working as an editor for some time he later went on to become the CEO and editor-in-chief of the major publishing houses E.P. Dutton, as well as Houghton Mifflin. Both were situated in New York, and he had a long and successful career there, learning many of the tricks of the trade during his time working. It was then in 1995 that he finally went on to become a fully fledged writer himself and build his name as a novelist.

Still writing to this very day, he currently lives in New York City where he resides with his wife, the literary agent Robin Straus. With a whole host of awards and nominations, it seems that he’s not stopping anytime soon either, as there’s plenty more planned on the horizon. As films and commercial success and heaped on him, his career is growing from strength-to-strength, and will continue to do so for some time yet.

Writing Career

Bringing out his first book, Los Alamos, in 1997, Joseph Kanon made quite a big impact on the scene regarding his initial debut. Gaining an award for it the following year in 1998 with the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, he had sealed his brand as one of the upcoming names to now watch in the industry. Not only did the critics and awards judges take to him, though, but the general public also appreciated him, with his work being a commercial success as well.

Focusing on the spy and thriller genres mainly, he was well known for his ability to craft a good mystery filled with suspense and intrigue. Keeping the readers guessing right until the end was not his only caveat though, as he was also well regarded for his accuracy in conveying the period details of his stories too. Looking mainly at the post-World War Two era, he really got into the paranoia of the times well, something which was later captured on-screen with ‘The Good German’.

Reaching the cinema, he had the Steven Soderbergh 2006 produced film, adapted from his novel of the same name. With George Clooney and Cate Blanchett starring in it, it was a big and well established Hollywood affair that gained a large audience. With more books planned to be released soon, it looks like he’s set to continue on into the foreseeable future for some time to come.

Los Alamos

Initially published in 1997, this was to be the first book from Joseph Kanon as an author to reach the market. Setting up both his style and his tone, it managed to capture the essence of what he was about as a writer, and is a must for any avid readers of his hoping to gain an insight into the early stages of his development. With a whole host of unforgettable characters, it works at building an atmosphere and ambiance that sticks with the reader long after they’ve finished.

Telling the story of Mike Connolly in 1945, it follows his progress in the aftermath of the second world war, with it being set in the spring time. Taking place in New Mexico, it sees Rober J. Oppenheimer as its backdrop, who’s rushing to finish the nuclear bomb in a race against time. The story itself though is a thriller, whereby Connolly finds a scientist who has been battered to death, and it is up to him to find out if it is anything more than some twisted sex crime. Will he be able to find the killer before it’s too late? Can he survive long enough to do so? What will become of him in Los Alamos?

Leaving Berlin

Originally published in 2015 on the third of September, this was one of his most recent books as an author, with it being brought out through the Simon and Schuster publishing label. Clearly showing how far he has come as an author, it manages to capture the essence of what has worked before in his past novels, whilst developing them and providing something new in the process. Getting a lot of good reviews as well, it’s ideal for anybody hoping to delve into the world of Joseph Kanon, as it makes an ideal starting block for any avid reader.

Set in 1948 it takes place in familiar territory for any previous readers of Kanon, with it this time looking at Berlin just four years after the war has ended. Heading into this is one Alex Meier, a young Jewish CIA operative who’s hoping to make a bargain with the current American Macarthy lead government. Then finding himself in an even deeper web of intrigue he must now navigate the harsh realities of post-war Berlin, as he deals with the politics of the time. Will he be able to navigate this harsh terrain? Can he make it out alive? What will it take to find himself finally leaving Berlin?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Joseph Kanon

2 Responses to “Joseph Kanon”

  1. alan goldberg: 6 months ago

    For me, it’s all about the accuracy of the research and Kanon exceeds my expectations. There is nothing to be learned if the history is not factually correct. A fictional character dropped into the story is fine. Just don’t attempt to change history in order to increase readability. Joseph Kanon, Alan Furst, Philip Kerr are three of the best.

  2. Jim Andrews: 10 months ago

    I am an avid reader, but I have never before been so caught up as I am now by Joseph Kanon. I hate comming to the end of one of hi\s novels, knowing that I read quicker than he can write!


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