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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This was really an insult to the intelligence . These men were even stupider than
he thought ; but Ashenden had always a soft corner in his heart for the stupid and
now he looked upon them with a feeling of unexpected kindliness . He would ...
It looked as though , feeling ill , she had taken off the receiver to call for help and
then collapsed . The night - porter hurried to fetch the assistant - manager and
together they had lifted her back into bed . Then the maid was wakened and the ...
Who could help feeling sorry for her ? The time hung heavy on his hands too . He
read a good deal and wrote a little , he hired a canoe and went for long leisurely
paddles on the lake ; and at last one morning the clerk at Cook ' s handed him a ...