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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“I'm afraid you're feeling very ill, Miss King.” It seemed to him that a flash of anger
crossed her eyes and Ashenden could not but imagine that she was exasperated
by his futile words. “You do not mind waiting?” asked the doctor. “Of course not.
Perhaps she had asked him only because, feeling death near, she had had a
sudden yearning, she the exile of so many years, to die with someone of her own
people, so long forgotten, by her side. That was what the doctor thought. But why
I am not feeling well.” Before Ashenden could say anything she had flung
nervously from the room, and in the evening he got a note from her to say that
she regretted that she must discontinue giving him conversation lessons. She
gave no ...
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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