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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Love and a dark woman, danger, betrayal and death. It was as plain as the nose
on your face. Any fool would have known what it meant and I have been using
the cards all my life. There is hardly an action that I make without consulting them.
“Did you think I was such a fool as to risk my life for fifty pounds a month? I love
my wife.” Ashenden laughed outright. “I congratulate you. It is not everyone who
can flatter himself that he has made a fool of our secret service for a year.” “I had
“Yes.” “What do you think of the brandy?” “I think it's marvellous.” “And of Byring?”
The question came so oddly on the top of the other that it sounded faintly comic. “
Oh, I think he's a damned fool.” Sir Herbert leaned back in his chair, holding the ...
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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