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Ashenden, or, The British Agent Paperback – 6 Jul 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (6 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099289709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099289708
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"The most persuasive espionage fiction" (New York Times)

"The first spy story written by someone who had been there and done that. A humane and compassionate antidote to two-fisted, square-jawed heroes battling dastardly foreigners. The head of British Intelligence is known only as "R", anticipating James Bond's "M" by a quarter of a century" (The Times)

"Thoughtful spy novels began with Somerset Maugham's Ashenden, featuring a detached hero on a journey to disillusion, a process brought to its apotheosis by le Carre via Greene" (Daily Telegraph)

"A collection of stories so accurate that Churchill ordered the destruction of 14 of them, while Russian intelligence immediately set up a special unit to read British spy novels for clues" (New Statesman)

Synopsis

A celebrated writer by the time the war broke out in 1914, Somerset Maugham was dispatched by the Secret Service to Lucerne - under the guise of completing a play. An assignment whose danger and drama appealed both to his sense of romance and of the ridiculous. The stories collected in ASHENDEN are rooted in Maugham's own experiences as an agent, reflecting the ruthlessness and brutality of espionage, its intrigue and treachery, as well as absurdity.

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51 customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

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