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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A little way off two fat citizens of Geneva, with black beards, were playing
dominoes, and on the other side a young man ... One of the things that had
bothered Ashenden was the possibility that he would be arrested before he
finished his play.
Ashenden could not but wonder why he had been asked to play. He had (he
flattered himself) few illusions about himself, and so far as bridge was concerned
none. He knew that he was a good player of the second class, but he had played
“By the way, my friend, does the British Government pay your card losses when
you are on a mission?” he asked. “It certainly doesn't.” “Well, I think you have lost
enough. If it went down on your expense account I would have proposed playing
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