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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It flashed across him that if the detective asked him such a question it was
because he had no shadow of proof that he was engaged in any illegal practice.
It was clear that he had been denounced, but no evidence had been offered, and
formed him through an intermediary what question himself would ask and what
reply he was to give. He chose the luncheon hour for the meeting, since then the
café was unlikely to be crowded, and it chanced that on entering he saw but one
He'll see that when it's a question of my own selfdevelopment I haven't the right to
hesitate. Vladimir will give me my freedom without question.” At that time the
divorce law in England was even more complicated and absurd than it is now
What people are saying - Write a review
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