pykeWhen I first picked up a copy of today’s book, The Ingenious Mr. Pyke: Inventor, Fugitive, Spy by Henry Hemming, I read the dustjacket and felt like a total underachiever. Geoffrey Pyke lived an adventurous life and most likely did more before noon on an average day than I do in a week. Lucky for us, Mr. Pyke was involved in all sorts of intrigue at the highest level during the First and Second World Wars and the crucial period in their aftermaths. Mr. Pyke’s story is told expertly by Mr. Hemming and it plays out in cinematic clarity.

About The Ingenious Mr. Pyke: Inventor, Fugitive, Spy by Henry Hemming: “In the World War II era, Geoffrey Pyke was described as one of the world’s great minds—to rank alongside Einstein. Pyke was an inventor, adventurer, polymath, and unlikely hero of both world wars. He earned a fortune on the stock market, founded an influential pre-school, wrote a bestseller, and came up with the idea for the US and Canadian Special Forces. In 1942, he convinced Winston Churchill to build an aircraft carrier out of reinforced ice. Pyke escaped from a German WWI prison camp, devised an ingenious plan to help the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, and launched a private attempt to avert the outbreak of the Second World War by sending into Nazi Germany a group of pollsters disguised as golfers. And he may have been a Russian spy. Henry Hemming is the first reporter to sift through this extraordinary new information and finally tell Pyke’s astonishing story in full: his brilliance, his flaws, and his life of adventures, ideas, and secrets.”

I’ve said it many times before – give me a true story of a person like Mr. Pyke any day over the run-of-the mill novel.

The Ingenious Mr. Pyke by Henry Hemming is available from Amazon and other fine book retailers.