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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They never lie. Ah, if I had only had greater faith in them I should have avoided
the only action of my life that has weighed heavily on me. My conscience is at
ease. I did what any man would do under the circumstances, but I regret that ...
He talked with precision, using a copious vocabulary and forming his sentences
with deliberation; he never used a short word when a longer one would do; he
never paused. He went on and on. It was not a torrent, for there was nothing ...
... character: when she had a toothache Vladimir Semenovich suffered the
agonies of the damned and when her heart was wrung by the suffering of her
unhappy country Vladimir Semenovich might well have wished he had never
What people are saying - Write a review
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