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   The NYT reports today on a British best-selling novel about
   breaking the Enigma codes, published this month in the US:

      Enigma, by Robert Harris, Random House.

      Harris interviewed many of the people who worked at
      Bletchley Park, and, most challenging, had to wrestle
      with complex mathematics to explain how the codes were
      broken ... by an elite comprised of an eccentric band of
      British and refugee intellectuals, aided by young women
      carefully picked from upper-class British families.

      So, Mr. Harris was asked, is the book a celebration of
      British amateurism? "There's a bit of that," he
      conceded. "Just as the British benefited from that
      tradition, the Germans were undone by the ruthless
      military efficiency, which made it easier to read their
      messages. The idea of brains taking on brute strength
      does have a certain romantic appeal."

      More than one reviewer said Harris was a thriller writer
      in the British tradition of Eric Ambler, Len Deighton,
      John Le Carre and John Buchan. "Harris has fashioned a
      story that is as humane, intelligent and gripping as
      documentary fiction can get, the critic Anthony Quinn
      wrote in The Financial Times. This is a story of
      intelligence, romance, twisted logic and necessary
      compromise," Peter Millar wrote in The Times of London,
      adding that it was "altogether top-class stuff."