Global Politics

Could the Sean Connery-era James Bond still swing it today?

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The James Bond of old would have a tough time in the modern day spy game.

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Sam Mircovich/Reuters

It's a great time for spy novelists.

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Check that. It's been a great decade for spy novelists. 

There are terrorists to be hunted down and plots to be foiled. And now, the NSA leaks. Fertile territory for a fictional spy.

Best-selling spy novelist Alex Berenson says it's renewed interest in the genre. Berenson's novels move with precision, though the eyes of John Wells, a CIA agent.

But while Berenson says the genre is doing great, the same can't be said for the James Bond of the 1970s. Berenson says the CIA has really separated the brains from the brawn in its operations.

"The man in the middle. The Sean Connery, the man who could handle a gun, who could go to a cocktail party, who could romance, who is a jack of all trades ... that guy is gone," he says.

For fans of 007, it's definitely more shaken than stirred.