intent upon

Tremor of Intent: An Eschatological Spy Novel

Tremor of Intent: An Eschatological Spy Novel (1966), by Anthony Burgess, is an English espionage novel. Burgess conceived it as a reaction to both the heavy-handed, humorless spy fiction of John Le Carré and to Ian Fleming's James Bond, a character Burgess thought an imperialist relic. Its subtitle, "An Eschatological Spy Novel", refers to Burgess' idea of the Cold War as a hostile symbiosis, an "ultimate conflict" wherein Good and Evil are inadequate terms.

In Burgess' view, Russia and the West formed a yin and yang-type duoverse; in You've Had Your Time, Being the Second Part of the Confessions of Anthony Burgess, the writer confesses that the title occurred to him one hungover morning when his hand began shaking; "That," his wife said, "is tremor of intent". Upon publication, the novel confused readers and critics, because it straddled the dichotomies of serious fiction and comic fiction, of popular genre storytelling and of metaphysical philosophy.

Plot summary

The amoral Agent Hillier of MI6 journeys to the city of Yarylyuk aboard the passenger ship Polyolbion, on a mission to infiltrate a convention of Soviet scientists and return to Britain his childhood friend Roper, who has defected to Russia. Enroute, he meets the sexually precocious sixteen year old Clara, the voluptuous femme fatale Miss Devi, and the shadowy tycoon Theodorescu.

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