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 had often watched him with the old Irish Colonel and his wife who
were the only other residents of the hotel; he would listen goodhumouredly to the
old man's tedious stories of the Egyptian war, and he was charming with her.
“I don't really want to boast,” said the ambassador as he watched the butler pour
the golden liquid into Ashenden's glass, “but I venture to think that if you like
brandy you'll like this. I got it when I was Counsellor for a short time in Paris.
On ships crossing the Atlantic he had sometimes watched with awe the tall, spare
gentleman of commanding aspect who sat in the centre of fifteen ladies no longer
in their first youth and in a resonant voice read to them the history of Art.
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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