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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“Dramatic, isn't it?” he asked. - “Do you mean to say that happened the other day
?” “The week before last.” “Impossible,” cried Ashenden. “Why, we've been
putting that incident on the stage for sixty years, we've written it in a thousand
It might be that some new plan was in question, it might be that the very greatest
affairs were afoot, and perhaps what the old woman had to say might make all
the difference in the world. It might mean defeat or victory. It might mean anything.
“What do you mean by that? Do you mean that if I do everything in my power and
fail, that . . .” She looked at Ashenden with wild eyes. “Yes, it means either you or
him.” She staggered. She put her hand to her heart. Then I31 GIULIA LAZZARI.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - kristykay22 - LibraryThing
This is a compelling, although rather chilly, collection of loosely connected short stories following the intelligence work of Ashenden, a writer turned spy for the British government during World War ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - lamour - LibraryThing
This is volume three of Maugham's collected short stories. In this volume he has placed his stories that have the same protagonist, Ashendan, who is recruited to move to Switzerland where he will be a ... Read full review