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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Ashenden knowing that R . liked a sitting - room had engaged one for him , and
to this , when they reached the hotel , they went . The hotel was old - fashioned
and the sitting - room was vast . It was furnished with a heavy mahogany suite ...
... from the Consulate and said : The enclosed telegram arrived tonight and in
case it is urgent I am sending it round to your hotel by messenger . It had
apparently been left some time before midnight while Ashenden was sitting in his
Blood was thicker than water , he ' d say , and they ' d do more towards winning
the war by sitting down in their shirtsleeves and talking things out over a bottle of
rye than by all their diplomacy and white spats . Now it was obviously very ...