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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Ashenden gave the postcard to an agent who was waiting to take it to Pontarlier
and then made his way along the crowded train to his sleeping-car. It was bright
and sunny, though cold, next morning when they reached their destination.
There was a waiting-room next to the ticketoffice and here he told the detectives
to hold themselves in readiness. ... travelling with a false one, issued probably by
a neutral nation, he was to be asked to wait and Ashenden was to identify him.
“I suppose they're holding him in the waiting-room.” Ashenden was out of breath
when they reached the pier. He burst into the waiting-room. A group of men,
talking at the top of their voices and gesticulating wildly, were clustered round a
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