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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His only moment of risk was when he walked back to his hotel with the paper in
his pocket, and after this scare he made up his mind to shorten as much as
possible the period during which it could be found on him. Ashenden sighed, for
abstracted his mind from the fact that his bath was growing almost tepid, when he
heard a knock at the door. Since he did not want anyone to enter, he had the
presence of mind not to say come in, but the knocking was repeated. “Who is it?
But these were only dreams and he knew that nothing would come of them. He
never really chaffered with the thought that when the three months came to an
end he would not return to his own life with its obligations. With his mind, that cold
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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