This fascinating book contains probably the most expert stories of espionage ever written. For a period of time after it was first published, the ...Show synopsisThis 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.Hide synopsis
Description:Good. Jacket is shelf-worn and may be lightly soiled, with...Good. Jacket is shelf-worn and may be lightly soiled, with chips and closed tears. Cover is lightly worn or soiled, with shelf edge wear and bumped corners. Binding appears gently read, but still square and tight. Pages may contain former owner name or book plate and light reading wear.
Description:Fair. No Dust Jacket. Cover is lightly worn or soiled, with...Fair. No Dust Jacket. Cover is lightly worn or soiled, with shelf edge wear and bumped corners. Binding is slightly loose and may show slight spine lean. Pages may contain former owner name, highlighting or underlining, soiling, and light water wrinkling.
Description:Good. Pages may have contain writing, highlighting or notes. May...Good. Pages may have contain writing, highlighting or notes. May be an ex library copy with library markings. Dust jacket or accessories may not be included.
Description:Good. A good paperback. Worn with creased cover, reading crease...Good. A good paperback. Worn with creased cover, reading crease, Wear at spine ends. Bright. New Avon Library 24 (no number on book). Book store stamp on 1st page.
Description:Fair. Good copy for reading, may have heavy page wear with...Fair. Good copy for reading, may have heavy page wear with writing textual notes highlighting or be an heavily used ex library copy with library markings, stickers or stamps. Dust jacket or accessories may not be included.
Description:Good. No dust jacket as issued. VG- 1943 paperback edition from...Good. No dust jacket as issued. VG- 1943 paperback edition from Avon (not numbered, but their 24th book). VERY GOOD MINUS. Uncredited wrap-around cover art.
ALLEGEDLY THIS BOOK HAD A "SLIGHTLY WORN DUST JACKET IN GOOD CONDITION". IT WAS FALLING APART. LITERALLY. I WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED BY THE CONDITION. BROKER SHOULD HAVE BEEN HONEST. I WOULD HAVE PAID MORE FOR A DUST JACKET THAT WAS ACTUALLY IN GOOD CONDITION. THE CONTENT OF THE BOOK IS EXCELLENT--ANOTHER GREAT MAUGHAM TALE. VERY MIFFED ABOUT THE BROKER.
Historically this is an interesting book, being one of the first spy novels, and based in some measure on Maugham's own World War I experiences. He also was involved in an interesting but failed attempt to shore up the Kerensky republic before the rise of the Soviets. Maugham used much of this book in various short stories, and the book is more of a collection of stories than a coherent novel. The writing is superior, and the characters while not plausible, are at least interesting. The book reads quickly and gives an historical perspective of the life and times.
Fans of James Bond probably will not like this, as there are no hot women, fast cars, bombs, or gunfire. But it is much more realistic than Bond, and the writing is outstanding. My husband and I were particularly charmed by bits such as "These men were even stupider than he thought; but Ashenden had always a soft corner of his heart for the stupid and now he looked upo them a feeling of unexpected kindliness."
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