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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plays the fiddle . It drives McLeod wild . He says he ' s been ... McLeod wants me
to stop Campbell playing , but I can ' t do that , he ' s got a perfect right to play so
long as he doesn ' t play in the silence hours . I ' ve offered to change McLeod ' s
Though McLeod and Campbell were always at odds they played bridge together
because , till Templeton came , they ... As a rule Templeton refused to play with
them ; though a fine player he preferred to play with Ivy Bishop , and McLeod and
He wouldn ' t play bridge . He wouldn ' t talk . ... I haven ' t heard you play for a
fortnight . ' ' I haven ' t . ' " Why not ? ' ' It ' s no fun any more . I used to get a kick
out of playing because I knew it maddened McLeod . But now nobody cares if I