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 made him feel shy, but he cultivated their society; he became quite a lady's
man, and to Ashenden who knew more about him than R. suspected that bowl of
roses told a story. Ashenden knew that R. had not sent for him to talk about the ...
I must ask her again. It ought not to be very hard to find a man who is prepared to
come and talk German to me for an hour a day. ... “After all you want someone
with a good north-German accent and she only talks Swiss. I'll ask my wife if she
“How can I talk when your attention is taken up by whether you are going to get a
black seven to put on a red eight? ... a study of it you have the right to expect that
the person you're talking to will give you the fullest attention he is capable of.
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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