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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... grew friendly with her he had thought it necessary to get a few particulars about
her past , and he knew among other things that her private income did not permit
her to live on the somewhat lavish scale on which she was living in Geneva .
He ' d had a thundering good time , he regretted nothing , it was rotten tough luck
getting T . B . but to hell with it , no one can live for ever , and when you came to
think of it , he might have been killed in the war or broken his bloody neck in a ...
I don ' t think Miss Bishop will ever be strong enough to lead a normal life , but if
she continues to live as she has been doing for the last eight years . . . ' ' In
sanatoriums ? ' ' Yes . There ' s no reason why she shouldn ' t live very
comfortably , if ...