This fascinating book contains probably the most expert stories of espionage ever written. For a period of time after it was first published, the book became official required reading for persons entering the British Secret Service.
During World War I, Maugham enlisted with an ambulance unit, but was soon shifted to the Intelligence Department. Although these stories were based on the author's own experiences as a British agent during the war, he emphasized that they were written purely as entertainment, at which, indeed, Ashenden succeeds. Maugham's clarity of style, the perfection of his form, the subtlety of his thought, veiled thinly behind a worldly cynicism, has made him an international figure.
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... had a stroke . I don ' t know . The night - porter woke me and said Monsieur
Bridet wanted me to get up at once . ' Monsieur Bridet was the assistant -
manager . ' What is the time ? ' asked Ashenden . ' It must be three o ' clock . '
They arrived ...
It arrived at Thonon every morning twenty minutes after the steamer going in the
opposite direction had left . Ashenden had an inspiration . " Where is the man
who brought it ? ' ' He ' s in the ticket - office . ' ' Give him the letter and tell him to ...
When they arrived she had burst into loud German exclamations on the beauty of
the scene , and now , softened perhaps too by food and drink , her eyes ,
dwelling on the grandeur before her , filled with tears . She stretched out her