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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He asked Ashenden whether he played écarté and when Ashenden told him that
he did not suggested piquet . This was a game that Ashenden was not unfamiliar
with , so they settled the stakes and began . Since both were in favour of quick ...
... suggested that they should have luncheon and he asked Ashenden to take him
to some place where they could see smart people . It amused Ashenden to see R
. , so sharp , sure of himself and alert in his office , seized as he walked into ...
It was soon clear that he was pleased with Dr Egon Orth and so without further to
- do he suggested that here was the perfect interpreter for him . ' He talks Russian
like a Russian . But he ' s an American citizen so that he won ' t do you down .