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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When Ashenden congratulated her she shrugged her shoulders . ' The decadent
music of a decadent nation , ' she said . Then with powerful hands she struck the
first resounding chords of a sonata by Beethoven ; but she stopped . ' I cannot ...
The men did various exercises on twin trapezes while Alix tripped about the
stage , giving them handkerchiefs to wipe their hands on , and occasionally
turned a somersault . When the fat man raised the thin one on his shoulders she
What class have you got ? ' she asked him . * First . ' ' I ' m glad of that . Father and
Vladimir travel third on account of their principles , but I always feel sick on a train
and I like to be able to lean my head on somebody ' s shoulder . It ' s easier in ...