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Jeremiah Torres
Jeremiah Torres

Slow Horses: The Book that Inspired the Apple TV+ Series Starring Gary Oldman



Slow Horses: Slough House, Book Review




If you are looking for a thrilling and witty spy novel that will keep you hooked until the end, you might want to check out Slow Horses, the first book in the Slough House series by Mick Herron. In this article, we will review Slow Horses and tell you everything you need to know about this captivating book.




Slow Horses: Slough House, Book


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What is Slough House?




Slough House is not a place you want to work at if you are a British intelligence agent. It is a dumping ground for failed spies, or "slow horses" as they are called. These are agents who have messed up their careers in some way, such as botching an operation, leaking secrets, or offending their superiors. They are sent to Slough House as a punishment, where they are assigned to tedious and meaningless tasks, such as transcribing phone calls or monitoring CCTV cameras. They are led by Jackson Lamb, a cynical and slovenly veteran who has his own secrets and grudges. Slough House is supposed to be a dead end for these agents, who are hoping for a chance to redeem themselves or escape their misery.


Who are the Slow Horses?




The slow horses are a diverse and colorful group of characters, each with their own flaws and quirks. Here are some of them:


  • River Cartwright, a young and ambitious agent who was blamed for a major disaster during a training exercise.



  • Roderick Ho, a hacker and a prankster who likes to annoy his colleagues and hack into their computers.



  • Catherine Standish, a former alcoholic and a secretary who was once the lover of a notorious spy.



  • Louisa Guy, a tough and competent agent who has a soft spot for River.



  • Min Harper, a former soldier and a family man who lost his nerve after a traumatic incident.



  • J.K. Coe, a quiet and mysterious agent who suffers from PTSD and has a lethal skill.



  • Shirley Dander, a foul-mouthed and aggressive agent who has a drug problem.



  • Marcus Longridge, a charming and wealthy agent who has a gambling problem.



These are the main slow horses in Slow Horses, but there are more of them in the later books in the series.


What is the plot of Slow Horses?




The plot of Slow Horses is complex and fast-paced, full of twists and turns. It starts with a seemingly simple case of a kidnapped boy, who is held hostage by a group of terrorists who threaten to behead him live on the internet. The slow horses are accidentally involved in this case, when they discover that the boy is the nephew of a journalist who has been investigating Slough House. They decide to take matters into their own hands and try to save the boy, without the permission or knowledge of their superiors. However, they soon realize that there is more to this case than meets the eye, and that they are dealing with a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top of the British establishment. They also have to contend with their enemies within the intelligence service, who are trying to sabotage them or use them for their own agenda. The slow horses have to use their skills, wits, and courage to unravel the mystery and stop the villains, while also facing their own personal demons and dilemmas.


What are the themes of Slow Horses?




Slow Horses is not just an entertaining spy novel, but also a smart and insightful one. It explores various themes that are relevant to the contemporary world, such as:


  • Espionage: The book shows the dark and dirty side of espionage, where agents are disposable, morals are flexible, and secrets are dangerous. It also shows the contrast between the old-fashioned spies like Jackson Lamb, who rely on instinct and experience, and the new generation of spies like Diana Taverner, who rely on technology and data.



  • Politics: The book reflects the political climate of post-9/11 Britain, where terrorism, immigration, nationalism, and media manipulation are hot topics. It also shows how politicians and powerful people can abuse their power and influence for their own interests or ideologies, and how they can cover up their crimes or scandals.



  • Loyalty: The book examines the concept of loyalty, which is essential for spies. It shows how loyalty can be tested, betrayed, or rewarded in different situations. It also shows how loyalty can be personal or professional, and how it can conflict with other values or goals.



  • Redemption: The book portrays the slow horses as flawed and damaged people, who have made mistakes or suffered losses in their lives. It shows how they cope with their failures and regrets, and how they seek redemption or forgiveness in different ways. It also shows how redemption can be possible or impossible, depending on the circumstances or choices.



What are the strengths of Slow Horses?




Slow Horses is a well-written and well-crafted book that has many strengths, such as:


  • Humor: The book is full of humor, which balances the seriousness and darkness of the plot. The humor comes from the witty and sarcastic dialogue between the characters, especially Jackson Lamb, who has some of the best lines in the book. The humor also comes from the absurd and ironic situations that the slow horses find themselves in, such as having to deal with a dead horse or a rogue drone.



  • Suspense: The book is full of suspense, which keeps the reader engaged and curious until the end. The suspense comes from the multiple twists and surprises that the plot offers, as well as from the danger and uncertainty that the slow horses face. The suspense also comes from the clever and intricate way that the plot is constructed and resolved.



```html What are the weaknesses of Slow Horses?




Slow Horses is not a perfect book, and it has some weaknesses, such as:


  • Complexity: The book is complex and sometimes confusing, especially for readers who are not familiar with the British intelligence system or slang. The book has many characters, subplots, and details that can be hard to follow or remember. The book also switches between different points of view and timelines, which can be disorienting or distracting.



  • Violence: The book is violent and sometimes graphic, which might not suit some readers' tastes or expectations. The book depicts various forms of violence, such as torture, murder, suicide, and terrorism, which can be disturbing or upsetting. The book also uses explicit and vulgar language, which might offend some readers or reduce the impact of the dialogue.



  • Stereotypes: The book is stereotypical and sometimes biased, which might annoy some readers or undermine the credibility of the story. The book portrays some characters or groups in a negative or simplistic way, such as Muslims, immigrants, politicians, or women, which can be unfair or inaccurate. The book also relies on some clichés or tropes of the spy genre, such as the rogue agent, the mole, or the femme fatale, which can be predictable or unrealistic.



How does Slow Horses compare to other spy novels?




Slow Horses is a unique and original spy novel that stands out from other spy novels in several ways, such as:


  • Style: Slow Horses has a distinctive and distinctive style that combines humor and suspense, realism and satire, action and character. The style is influenced by the author's background as a poet and a editor, as well as by his admiration for other spy writers like John le Carré or Graham Greene.



  • Setting: Slow Horses has a contemporary and relevant setting that reflects the current issues and challenges of the modern world, such as terrorism, immigration, nationalism, and media manipulation. The setting is also authentic and detailed, based on the author's research and experience of living and working in London.



  • Characters: Slow Horses has a diverse and colorful cast of characters that are different from the typical spies in other spy novels. The characters are not glamorous or heroic, but flawed and human. They are not super spies or masterminds, but ordinary people who make mistakes or have problems. They are not loyal or patriotic, but cynical and disillusioned.



Who is Mick Herron?




Mick Herron is the author of Slow Horses and the Slough House series. He is a British writer who was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1963. He studied English at Oxford University and worked as a sub-editor for several years. He published his first novel, Down Cemetery Road, in 2003. He is best known for his spy novels, but he has also written other genres, such as crime fiction, historical fiction, and children's fiction. He has won several awards for his writing, such as the CWA Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel in 2013 for Dead Lions, the second book in the Slough House series. He lives in Oxford with his wife and two cats.


What is the Slough House series?




The Slough House series is a series of spy novels by Mick Herron that feature the slow horses and their adventures. There are currently seven books in the series:


  • Slow Horses (2010)



  • Dead Lions (2013)



  • Real Tigers (2016)



  • Spook Street (2017)



  • London Rules (2018)



  • Joe Country (2019)



  • Slough House (2021)



The series also includes some novellas and short stories that focus on specific characters or events, such as:


  • The List (2015)



  • The Drop (2018)



  • The Catch (2019)



  • The Last Dead Letter (2020)



How to read Slow Horses?




If you want to read Slow Horses and enjoy it fully, here are some tips and advice:


  • Read it in order: Although each book in the series can be read as a standalone novel, it is better to read them in order, as there are some references and connections between them. You will also appreciate the development and evolution of the characters and their relationships more if you follow their journey from the beginning.



  • Pay attention: As mentioned before, the book is complex and sometimes confusing, so you need to pay attention to the details and the clues that the author provides. You might also want to take notes or use a bookmark to keep track of the characters, the subplots, and the timelines.



  • Enjoy the humor: One of the best things about the book is its humor, which makes it fun and enjoyable to read. Don't take everything too seriously, and appreciate the wit and sarcasm of the author and the characters. You might also want to look up some of the British slang or references that the book uses, as they can add to the humor and the atmosphere of the book.



Where to buy Slow Horses?




If you are interested in buying Slow Horses, you have several options:


  • Online: You can buy Slow Horses online from various platforms, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Book Depository. You can choose between different formats, such as paperback, hardcover, ebook, or audiobook. You can also read some reviews or ratings from other readers before you buy it.



  • In store: You can buy Slow Horses in store from various bookstores, such as Waterstones, WHSmith, or Foyles. You can browse through the shelves and look for the book in the spy or thriller section. You can also ask for help from the staff or use a self-service kiosk to find it.



  • Library: You can borrow Slow Horses from your local library for free. You can check the availability and location of the book on the library's website or app. You can also reserve it or request it if it is not available. You can also join a book club or a reading group that is reading or discussing Slow Horses.



Conclusion




Slow Horses is a brilliant and engaging spy novel that will appeal to fans of espionage, suspense, humor, and character. It is the first book in a series that follows the adventures of a group of failed spies who work at Slough House, a dumping ground for the British intelligence service. The book combines a complex and fast-paced plot with a diverse and colorful cast of characters, and explores various themes that are relevant to the contemporary world. It also has a distinctive and distinctive style that sets it apart from other spy novels. If you are looking for a thrilling and witty spy novel that will keep you hooked until the end, you might want to check out Slow Horses by Mick Herron.


FAQs




What is the meaning of the title Slow Horses?




The title Slow Horses is a play on words that refers to the main characters of the book, who are failed spies who work at Slough House. The word "slow" means that they are incompetent or useless, and the word "horses" is a pun on "MI5", which is the name of the British intelligence service. The title also suggests that they are unwanted or disposable, as they are sent to Slough House as a punishment or a way to get rid of them.


Is Slow Horses based on real events or people?




No, Slow Horses is not based on real events or people. It is a fictional story that uses some elements of reality, such as the British intelligence system, the political climate, or some historical references, but it does not depict any actual events or people that happened or existed in real life. The author has used his imagination and creativity to create a fictional world and characters that are inspired by reality but not bound by it.


Is Slow Horses suitable for young readers?




No, Slow Horses is not suitable for young readers. It is a mature and adult book that contains some content and language that might be inappropriate or unsuitable for younger audiences. The book depicts various forms of violence, such as torture, murder, suicide, and terrorism, which can be disturbing or upsetting. The book also uses explicit and vulgar language, which might offend some readers or reduce the impact of the dialogue. The book also explores some themes and issues that might be too complex or sensitive for younger readers, such as espionage, politics, loyalty, and redemption.


Is Slow Horses a standalone novel or part of a series?




```html Is Slow Horses a standalone novel or part of a series?




Slow Horses is both a standalone novel and part of a series. It is a standalone novel in the sense that it has a complete and satisfying story that can be read and enjoyed on its own, without requiring any prior or further knowledge of the characters or the plot. It is part of a series in the sense that it is the first book in a series that follows the same characters and their adventures, and that has some references and connections to the other books in the series. Therefore, readers who like Slow Horses can continue reading the other books in the series to find out more about the slow horses and their world.


Is there a movie or TV adaptation of Slow Horses?




Yes, there is a planned TV adaptation of Slow Horses that is currently in development. The TV adaptation will be produced by Apple TV+ and See-Saw Films, and will star Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb. The TV adaptation will be based on the first book in the series, but will also include some elements from the other books. The TV adaptation will be written by Will Smith, who is also the co-creator and writer of Veep, a popular political comedy show. The TV adaptation does not have a release date yet, but it is expected to be released sometime in 2022 or 2023. 71b2f0854b


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