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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Lake Leman, on fine days so trim and pretty, artificial like a piece of water in a
French garden, in this tempestuous weather was as secret and as menacing as
the sea. He made up his mind that, on getting back to his hotel, he would have a
He hired a boat and rowed on the lake or hired a horse and trotted sedately, for in
that neat and orderly Canton it is difficult to find a stretch of turf where you can
have a good gallop, along the macadamized roads in the environs of the town.
... a great stone lion and a church in which he had sat, bored yet im. pressed,
while they played an organ; and now wandering along a shady quay (and the
lake looked just as tawdry and unreal as it looked on the picture-postcards) he
tried not ...
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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