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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She came to dinner at my house . Did I say she was not beautiful ? She was the
most beautiful , the most exquisite creature I had ever met . I was intoxicated .
She had charm and she had wit . She had all the gracia of the Andalusian . In
Dinner was at seven , and , wishing to be in the dining - room before anyone else
so that he could take stock of his fellowguests as they entered , he went down as
soon as he heard the bell . It was a very plain , stiff , white - washed room , with ...
Ashenden did not find his dinner dull , but neither did he find it exhilarating . He
would have been more interested if the ambassador had not so invariably said
the right , wise , and sensible thing upon every topic that was introduced .