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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... in the photograph were liquid and cowlike. He looked ill-at-ease in European
clothes. “Here he is in native dress,” said R., giving Ashenden another
photograph. This was full-length, whereas the first had shown only the head and
... faults but accepted them with a tolerant shrug of the shoulders, or because he
ascribed to them excellencies that they did not possess; and since he judged his
friends with candour they never disappointed him and so he seldom lost one.
When the fat man raised the thin one on his shoulders she climbed up and stood
on the shoulders of the second kissing her hand to the audience. They did tricks
with safety bicycles. There is often grace, and even beauty, in the performance of
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