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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When once you have found a motive the chances are that you will hit upon
evidence that till then had escaped you. ... or had cheated or insulted you, then a
scrap of paper, a bit of string or a chance remark would be enough to hang you.
I've been trying to catch him for a year, I thought there wasn't a hope; but now at
last I've got a chance, and by God, I'm going to take it.” “And what'll you do then?”
R. chuckled grimly. “Shoot him and shoot him damn quick.” Ashenden did not ...
“Of course they haven't got a chance, the Germans,” said Caypor, “not a dog's
chance. I knew they were beaten the moment we came in.” His manner was
earnest, sincere and confidential. Ashenden made a commonplace rejoinder. “It's
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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