Ashenden, Or: The British Agent
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 had half a mind to turn tail and walk out of the hotel, leaving everything
behind him; he had his passport in his pocket and he knew by heart the hours at
which trains started for the frontier: before the Swiss authorities had made up
He was a German-Swiss and spoke French with a strong accent. He immediately
asked for his wages and these Ashenden passed over to him in an envelope.
They were in Swiss francs. He gave a general account of his stay in Germany
that both the Germans and the Swiss guarded the frontier with severity. “Oh? Why
should you not cross in the ordinary way? You were engaged because your
connection with a Swiss firm supplying necessary goods to Germany made it
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - lamour - LibraryThing
This is volume three of Maugham's collected short stories. In this volume he has put his stories that have the same protagonist, Ashendan who is recruited to move to Switzerland where he will be a ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - jimgysin - LibraryThing
It's easy to see why this one is considered an archetype of espionage fiction. The fact that the book was first published back in the late 1920s means that some of the dialogue and narrative will ... Read full review