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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He took up the greasy pack of cards and set them out in a number of little piles. “
Let us see what the cards say. 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 ...
Meanwhile he felt the clothes, rapidly but with care, as he took them out. There
were no papers of any sort in the suit-case. Then he took out his knife and slit the
lining. It was a cheap piece and the lining was gummed to the material of which ...
Ashenden was embarrassed by the care he took of him and though racked with
pain could not help laughing at the fussy attention with which Mr. Harrington took
his temperature, from his neatly packed valise extracted a whole regiment 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