JOHN BROCK

 
Full Name: John Brock
Nationality: British
Organization: Unnamed Secret Agency
Occupation Agent

Creator: Desmond Skirrow
Time Span: 1966 - 1968
ABOUT THE SERIES

       John Brock is an agent for a secret British Intelligence agency.
       He has been one for almost a decade and a half, since the end of WWII when he was first noticed by the Fat Man. Brock had been drinking and carousing and getting into fights as worked as hard as he could to blow the little money given upon his discharge from the military. The Fat Man, as Brock always thought of him, watched how well he handled himself and how little he cared for fighting fair, only winning, and decided he could use a man like Brock in his organization. So he paid for more drinking, night after night, and watched over and over how Brock would get out of trouble he got himself into.
       Then when Brock was dead broke and banned from every bar in the Brighton area, the Fat Man offered him a job. Brock told him to get stuffed and left. He headed to London to try to get a job in advertising but the Fat Man soon sent two associates to bring him him and he reluctantly went. It was also reluctantly that he stayed in the secret facility for the next three months learning how to do a lot of things that normal citizens had no reason to know ranging from the kiss of life to the kiss of death.
       At that point, the Fat Man gave Brock his first assignment and, because he "was young and keen and stupid", he did it. It proved to be totally unnecessary, totally illegal, and all fully documented by the Fat Man. From that day on, if asked to do a job, Brock knew that refusal meant evidence being released that would get him sent "to Germany to be electrocuted, then brought back ... to be hung." In fact, Brock realized that he had broken more laws than he had known existed and he belonged to the Fat Man. But the Fat Man didn't want him all the time so he was free to go about his planned business.
       And so for the past many years, Brock has worked in a very easy job in advertising where day after day he dealt with fools at the top giving orders to "zombies" to give to workers like him to do and he would drink a lot and and chase a lot of women. But one or twice each year, he will be invited to the headquarters in Kensington Gardens and off he would go to some different place and do things that he shouldn't do, all for the sake of his country and only when the Fat Man demands.

BOOKS

Number of Books:3
First Appearance:1966
Last Appearance:1968

1 It Won't Get You Anywhere It Won't Get You Anywhere
Written by Desmond Skirrow
Copyright: 1966

The plan of Lord Llewellyn, believing himself to be the rightful ruler of England, is planning on becoming the only source of electricity for the nation, and then turning that power off until he is given what he wants. It is up to John Brock to stop him.

2 I Was Following This Girl I Was Following This Girl
Written by Desmond Skirrow
Copyright: 1967

Kiki Kondor is considered the most desirable woman in the world because she has the best looks and the most money. She also has a wild streak that puts her in danger. The Fat Man has John Brock following her day and night though he didn't say why.

3 I'm Trying To Give It Up I'm Trying To Give It Up
Written by Desmond Skirrow
Copyright: 1968

Recently retired from his part-time job as a secret agent, John Brock wants to concentrate on the ad business but finds himself forced back into his old sideline, this time engaging in industrial espionage.

MY COMMENTS

       There is a wonderful irreverence to this series which is by no means a comedy but which still manages to not take itself too seriously. Brock lives to party and love the ladies and he needs the money the Fat Man's agency provides, not to mention knowing he really cannot say no. The action isn't too bad, either, and the jobs are fun, too.
       I especially liked the fact that I always felt though Brock is being forced to take the assignments, his normal job is so very boring that he likely would have taken the jobs anyways just to do something exciting. He is just too stubborn to admit it even to himself.

GRADE

My Grade: B

YOUR OPINIONS
Andy Boot - 5/9/2013 11:16:09 PM

To be honest, i it's the sixties you could keep Bond, I'd rather have Brock. The ad man background helps, as I find that a fascinating backdrop, but really this is about the narrative voice. Brock has a wonderful world-weary tone to him, and viewsa lot of his actions with a kind of detached wryness that I find appealing. The plots are damn' good, too, which is a plus: it's too easy for books of this era to tip into unwitting parody, but Skirrow avoids this.


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